not as I do. This is my general motto when it comes to my kids' eating habits. I feel fortunate that my children eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables with very little junk mixed in. In theory, I know this is how I should eat as well. It just doesn't always happen.
This week's topic for Parent's University is healthy eating. Many folks who have shared our dinner table have commented on the way my kids eat. I think the key is to start early. I have always expected that my kids would like everything. As soon as they could grasp cheerios, they were also grasping frozen peas. Baby lima beans were a lunch box staple. My children are often found eating frozen green beans as dinner cooks. They call them dog bones - not sure why.
This has taken training on both my part and my husband's. I believe that children will only eat what is offered to them. However, they won't eat what is never offered to them. Therefor we offer everything and do so repeatedly.
Well, maybe not everything. Candy and other non-nutritive foods are kept to a minimum. Nicole will remember the story when I almost had a stroke when my #1's first MDO teacher offered her a skittle if she went over to the circle time rug. Noooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was screaming inside! As they have gotten older they are more aware that jelly beans and tootsie rolls exist. In our house they exist in a pink basket on a high shelf that only comes down after dinner and not every night of the week. Halloween candy lasts for almost a year around here.
Every meal consists of fruit and vegetables. I send baby carrots, frozen peas and corn in lunch boxes. Unsweetened applesauce, nectarines, kiwis, cantaloupe, grapes, strawberries.......actually every fruit we have ever tried are our favorites.
This is where my hypocrisy comes in. I, too, love fruit. But it is really expensive, so I don't eat as much as I should, simply because I give it to the kiddos.......you know, sacrificing for the children :)
The other night we invited my grandparents over for dinner. My number one asked if we could go buy some brussel sprouts because she knows those are Grandpa's favorites. Now that's my girl!
So, know, if you come to our table, you will be expected to try everything on your plate. And our general rule is one bite for every year of your life. We will cap that at 5, I think.
It makes me laugh out loud when my children scold my 20 year old cousin for not eating his veggies! And a bit proud, too.
There is also a really cute Sesame Street video called Happy Healthy Monsters that has a great fruit song we sing all the time. And I have tried a few recipes from Jessica Seinfeld's book, too.
Just start early and stay consistent. That could be parenting advice on just about any topic, no?
So, go eat something already!