Friday, February 18, 2011

Hidden Meanings

Actually its more like hidden vegetables. Reading a website yesterday someone asked about how to get their 8 year old to eat fruit and vegetable. Suddenly there was an outpouring of ideas. Or idea. Hide the vegetables! She'll never know she is eating them! All I could think was "And then when she moves out of home in 10 or so years, she'll go back to eating no vegetables at all" Why? Because she never knew she was eating them in the first place! 

I have never hidden vegetables in the girls food. It has always been served up as is. Vegetables on the plate as clear as day. For a while there Jasmine loved carrots. Just carrots. So she always got carrots and at least on other vegetable which was mixed up with the carrots. She always tried the other vegetable. Sometimes she would like it, sometimes not. If she liked it she would get it more often. Now she eats pretty much every vegetable served to her and will happily try new ones. Sure she only eats the stalks of broccoli, and likes baby corn more than normal corn, but she eats them and knows she is eating them.

Both Rodger and I try and set a good example by eating all our vegetables too. Vegetables are not the enemy. I'm not opposed to adding extra to some dishes, but full on hiding them in every meal is only setting your child up for more struggles along the line I think. Let them smoother them in sauce if that's what they want. At least they know they are eating the vegetables. Let them pick two or three fave veggies and serve them. Meal times should not be a fight nor should they be a way to have one up on your kids. 

We now let Jasmine help plan the meals for the week. Of late she is always choosing pasta but she's 4, that's expected. We do expect her to eat her dinner and we do expect her to eat her vegetables and she knows this. We make is very clear what we expect of her so there are no surprises. And that includes within her meal. No hidden secrets.

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