Little People’s Place cook retiring after 27-years of feeding pre-schoolers

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BY CARLA ALLEN The Shelburne Coastguard Having problems getting your young child to eat?

Little People’s Place of Shelburne’s cook Jean Saulnier-Blades is retiring after 27 years of feeding pre-schoolers. She cheerfully shares some of what she’s learned. “Always make sure that meals are a pleasant experience. It should never be forced,” she said.

She advises against supplying alternate food if a child says they don’t want to eat what’s placed before them. “When children are hungry, they will eat. Leave the child at the table five minutes longer than the family. If they don’t eat, don’t make a fuss. Take the food away and when they say, ‘I’m hungry,’ tell them, I know dear, we’re going to have a snack soon. Don’t give them anything else and don’t growl at them.”

She says she did this to her own daughter and within two days, she began eating everything.

Saulnier-Blades’ retirement plans include spending more time with her family, painting and more church activities.

Executive director Susan Elliott says the facility will miss their long-standing cook. She’s fed legions of little children in Shelburne County but her talent extends far beyond nutritional needs. “She has such a positive attitude. She’s a very compassionate person. She was always exceptionally good with the parents, very friendly to everyone,” said Elliot.

The public is invited to attend Saulnier-Blades’ retirement party at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 14 at the Sandy Point Hall.

Geographic location: Shelburne County

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