I have been reading a lot of blog entries this week about “getting your kids to eat vegetables.” Some of the tips encourage the parents to create something playful out of food or make a game out of eating vegetables. This may work for some people – and there may not be much harm in it. But, is it necessary? Is eating really a game? How will the eating games transition into the teen and adult years?
My kids are smart, as are all kids. They are little people with great big minds and wills all to themselves. My kids eat most of their veggies and I do not have to coerce or play games to get them to eat. They have likes/dislikes, moods, good days and bad days. They are entitled to have off days when they don’t want to eat much of anything. And, it’s OK if there’s a veggie here and there that they just don’t like.
I would rather teach them to love eating whole foods, than to try to convince them to eat broccoli trees because they are cute.
Healthy eating is our way of life. It’s how we cook. We know it’s the right thing. It makes us feel good and gives us energy. We think clearly on a plant-based diet with a zest for life and desire to learn.
My kids have grown up at the farmers market. We go to pick your own farms throughout the spring and summer.
We all eat the same meal together – with loads of veggies. The adults eat and do not complain. They see us enjoying our food.
We garden together – choosing seeds, planting and harvesting as a family.
They help me cook. They watch me, smell the ingredients, and taste test along the way.
They see me reading cookbooks and want to look at the colorful pictures of food. My daughter has just started reading cookbooks and picking out meals to cook (more on that in another post).
They take a part in planning the weekly menu. They choose vibrant veggie dishes and sweet treats.
They enjoy eating and understand it’s nourishment so their little bodies will grow “big and strong.”
I don’t get overexcited (towards them) when they eat a vegetable. Although I am happy, I treat it like they are eating any other food and don’t make a big deal.
Seldom do I write a blog post in 10 minutes. This one just flowed……..
So, where do you stand? Do names and games work for you, or do you take a more holistic approach?
Have a beautiful day.