Leave it to the Blog Dare to ask the question,” What vegetable will you not insist your kid eat?” My answer,” I don’t insist they eat anything.” Now, let me start by saying that I have some strong feeling about food and about what children should eat. I also respect the fact that not everything I put down in front of my child will agree with him. I was that kid that would smuggle a steak dinner into their napkin then right into the trash. (Sorry mom) I just couldn’t eat it. While at first it might seem time consuming, here is what I’ve done since I have a picky eater and one that will eat/try everything.
My youngest is horrible with food and always has been. He wouldn’t try new things and hates vegetables, but loves french fries. (Don’t get me started, they so don’t count!) I began writing down everything he would eat. I was determined not to be one of those households that makes a different meal for everyone. Once I had a good idea of what he would actually eat I began tailoring our meals around those food items while introducing new ones. Now I’m not talking chicken nuggets, but grilled chicken, fish, beans and pasta. Veggies have and still are an issue with him, but for the first time I feel as if I have made a breakthrough. I always add a veggie to his plate and now he’ll eat them even if I don’t ask. This only happens when it’s a small amount. I think visually seeing a large amount on his plate would cause him to panic. I also only put veggies on his plate that I know he will eat. I’ll put a new one or one that he doesn’t like on a small plate next to his dish. This offers him a bit of control and has been successful.
While this must seem like a lot of work to begin with, it actually has made mealtime a pleasure. I cook one meal for everyone. I’m not fighting with anyone at meal time, thus avoiding any issues with food. The most work I do is making an extra vegetable because I know my little guy won’t eat string beans so I’ll make carrots as well. Then he has something to eat he won’t argue about. Another tool I use to help my children understand the importance of a good diet is education. For example: I talk to them about the sugar content of food. They know that chocolate milk has as much sugar in it as soda because of that information they don’t fight with me restricting it. I allow them to buy flavored milk once a week at school and they never ask me for it at any other time. I hope that I am teaching them how to be able to enjoy something without over indulging. I don’t want to say no. I want to say, ” Sure, have a little, but that’s it for today.” My goal is proper nutrition without feeling restricted. I want them to have a healthy relationship with food.