At dinner last night, we had a little… episode, shall we say? My husband and I don’t see eye to eye on how to get our kids (really just the one kid) to eat their veggies.
As a side note, while I do love to sneak healthy foods into my kids’ diets without them realizing they’re eating something nutritious, I also want to teach them about the importance of a balaned diet. In other words, sometimes they need to KNOW they’re eating their fruit and veggies.
So tonight I made two vegetables to accompany our pork tenderloin and cous cous (which we, of course, call baby rice to get our kids to eat it). I made braised green beans and roasted Brussels sprouts.
For Mr. A, my nine year old, I dished out a little bit of everything and he devoured it all!
D-Man, my seven-year old, was another story. He ate his pork (after picking all the “burnt” parts off the outside) and he ate his baby rice. When it was time to tackle his veggies, all went south.
I gave him a choice: either one Brussels sprout or four green beans. Not too much to ask, right? Wrong! It was way too much to ask. Disgusted by both options, he begged for fruit instead. Trying to teach him a lesson, daddy forced encouraged him to eat the one Brussels sprout.
D-Man, crying at this point, was still begging for fruit. I was sitting by, observing and trying to figure out what the right course of action was at this point.
Daddy told him that he’d get no ice cream unless he ate the one Brussels sprout. Tears streaming down his face, D-man hesitantly put it in his mouth; then he gagged. He started to spit it out. Dad was having none of that!
“Don’t you dare spit it out! You have to learn to eat things you don’t like,” he said as he handed him a cup of water. ”Wash it down with a drink. That’s what I used to do!”
Hmmm… and at 38, he still doesn’t eat Brussels sprouts. Wonder why. But I digress.
D-man, still gagging and crying, was now looking/sounding like he was going to actually throw up. Daddy informed him that if he needed to puke, he should do it on the plate and not on the deck.
“Okay, that’s enough,” I said. “There’s got to be a better way!” This seemed a sure fire way to get him to hate veggies for the rest of his life (like his dad).
I took him inside and we talked. We negotiated. And we came up with terms we could both live with: He agreed to have two large carrots instead of the one dreaded Brussels sprout. We then talked about and decided on which veggies he IS willing to eat (salad with ranch, mashed potatoes with cauliflower and raw carrots). Finally, he reluctantly agreed to at least try new foods that I offer him.
Deal? Deal! Hand shake. Done.
So tonight, he did as promised. He ate salad with ranch! In fact, he dipped each piece of lettuce into his little side serving of the dressing and gobbled it down like it was chips and dip! I watched in utter and complete satisfaction.
Do you have any picky eaters in your family? How to you handle it?
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