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Preschool Peer Pressure and the Sandwich

Eating New Foods in the Group Environment | Kylie from Kidgredients guest posts on Play with Food

Guest blogger Kylie from Kidgredients spills the beans on how her little man made peace with the humble sandwich!


Over a year ago I wrote a blog post on Kidgredients about the fact that my son wouldn’t eat a sandwich and how I personally completely understood that.  But here I am a year later, writing a post about why he now happily eats a sandwich and what I think clicked for him.  I’m calling this: Preschool Peer Pressure and the Sandwich.

Once upon a time…

Let me give you some background.  I don’t particularly like sandwiches myself*, so I have a fair bit of empathy for a kid that doesn’t like them.  I made it my job to create school lunches that he would like, scrolls, sushi, rice paper rolls. Anything really. And so the sandwich was left by the wayside. And you know how they say “absence makes the heart grow fonder”? Well it has.

*comment from Simone – neither does my fussy husband and this post is how I handle a fussy husband. :p

And then we switched preschool…

At the start of this year Master 4 began at a new preschool.  The lunchboxes which had been packed away over the summer made an appearance again and it was time to pack lunches again.  And I fell into my usual lunches, scrolls, sushi, rice paper rolls, all that stuff.  

Then we talked about lunches one day and he said “I want you to make a sandwich”. “Huh?” “A sandwich like the boy who sitted next to me”.  I was floored.  

So I did…and he ate it…

We tried it at home first, because by definition I am a feeder, I love to make sure everyone has enough to eat, because I can’t bare the thought of someone going hungry. So we couldn’t try it at preschool, because I was worried he’d starve (unlikely).  

He ate every last mouthful of the sandwich and we opened a whole new chapter in lunch-making! 😉

Let’s talk about some of the reasons behind this change of heart.

1) I didn’t push the issue.
I know, it’s just a sandwich, but there were other options, so I just let it slide. Which when faced with a stubborn child, is the easy option. I don’t back down for other things, like veggies, no I keep on serving those…but a sandwich? That wasn’t a battle worth taking on.

2) Peer pressure of preschool
There’s something about group situations at preschool, the routine of eating at a certain time, sitting next to the same child and the rituals of the hand washing, the way the kids sit and the autonomy over where they start eating in their lunchbox (my daughter goes for savoury carrots and cucumber first, whereas my son likes his fruit first) that allows a child to feel like it is a very controlled environment.

3) Maturity?
I’d like to think that he has matured, as he now likes mixed textures, which is what a sandwich is. He’s also feeling more comfortable with things like risotto and enjoying more unusual foods. He’s gotten more into a “try first” then decide mentality than what he had before which is a win win situation for me.
Now I’ve just got to hope that preschool peer pressure gets him sleeping through the night. 😉



Kylie is a kids food blogger. She blogs at Kidgredients and loves to make homemade school lunches and healthy family meals. You will recognise her name from the review that I did of her eBook “The Kidgredients Guide to Awesome Lunchboxes” (an eBook that features my nutritional advice for packing variety into lunchboxes.) AND also that she is super popular on Facebook and is an absolute hoot to meet in person. Thanks for sharing your story, Kylie!

If you are interested more in learning about the feeding research, root causes of fussy eating behaviours and how group environments like preschools and day care centres can offer the best-in-class feeding dynamic for kids, please, check out my online video “Feeding Kids in the Group Environment… Especially Fussy Ones”.
Feeding Kids in the Group Environment, especially fussy / picky eaters.

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