As a parent one of the usual fights we have is about fruit and vegetables. One of the ways I incorporate veggies that they wouldn’t normally eat is by blending them. For instance, if I am making a pasta meal, the tomato sauce wil not only contain tomatoes but also, mushrooms, onions, carrots, celery, red peppers (capsicum) and pretty much any other veggie I have lying around in the fridge. One they’re cooked they all get blended up. Smug with my little self, my kids have this kind of sauce in all sorts, chicken cacciatore, spagetti bolognaise, meatballs, casserole (with any meat I can think of), lasagna. You can see the trend, it’s basically the same base with a different name depending upon what serve it with. The kids love it and wolf it down and I am happy because they are getting plenty of veggies and I dont have to fight with them.
Today however I read an article about how these days we basically hide veggies from kids and how wrong this is. At first I was all, well at least they are eating them but as I read on it actually struck a cord with me. What are we teaching them?
They dont have to eat anything they are not that keen on
It is okay to not eat anything green
Healthy foods must taste terrible otherwise we wouldn’t hide them
They can have whatever they want (ie they dont have to eat veggies…because they dont know they actually are)
They dont learn how to make appropriate food choices
They dont learn to like veggies
I have never really viewed it this way. Dont get me wrong, my kids will still be getting the tomato ‘surprise’ sauce but they will know what it is made from. Also I intend to start introducing other veggies that they have previously said they dont like. I have realised that I have been too soft on them. The article has opened my eyes to this. I am the parent and really do need to stop being, as the author puts it, namby-pamby. There is a difference between “don’t like” and “not favorite.” Everyone has things they don’t like. Apparently, most people have 3-5 things they don’t like. A child who likes 3-5 things only and “doesn’t like” everything else knows how to get what they want. Most of the time, when a child says they don’t like something, what they actually mean is they prefer something else…I know this from experience! Another way to look at it is that children enjoy what they are fed. Children from India are not born with a craving for curry, they are brought up eating it and so that is what they like.
So, here goes, I am going to attempt to get my children to appreciate more veggies. Wish me luck. I’ll need it, especially with Marcus ‘I would rather starve than eat THAT’ Turner.