This story involves the challenges in feeding kids. It also involves bean dip.
However, it could resonate with you if you are a parent, especially if you are a parent who tries to feed your child nutritious food. And if you are one of those parents, you know that it isn't as simple as providing nutritious food for them. That generally works quite well when they are younger - say 2 to 3 years old. Then something happens. I don't recall the exact age but my daughter, one day decided if a food was green then she shouldn't eat it. Just like that. She had been observing me eating "green" food often so her logic was, "You eat green food. I don't." I could tell a few stories around all of that....
Thankfully we have gotten past that stage - or so I thought. It came back yesterday. So here's the story about lunch....
So.... I pick her up from school yesterday after having packed the "green" dip. Here's how the dialogue goes. And by the way, she started the conversation about lunch. I didn't even have to ask.
Her: "Why did you pack that green stuff for me? I didn't eat it."
Me: "That's the white bean dip I've made for you before. You love it!"
Her: "No I don't." "Well. It had green things in it." (said with a grimace)
Me: "I know. Those are herbs. You like them."
Her: "No I don't. I like hummus. It's brown."
You get the picture....
Me: "You are making decisions with your eyes. Not your taste buds. You don't want to eat it just because it is green."
Her: "I don't eat leaves."
Me: "Yes you do. You like rosemary and mint." (Lately she will just pick the leaves and eat them plain. She loves it.)
This is where I started to gain ground... Yay!!
Her: "Well, I don't like that kind of leaf."
At this point, I go into silly talk. It's hard to transcribe but I'll try. I'm going to feel a bit like a fool but I'm doing this to help other Moms out there - the Moms in the trenches with me.
Me: "Your poor taste buds are saying, 'Hey, let us try that stuff. We think we remember this. We like it.' " "Then, when you take a bite, they might say, 'Hmmm. That's a little different.' "
"Then, when you take a second bite, they say 'You know. This isn't too bad.' "
"On the third bite, they say, 'This stuff is great!! I want some more!!' "
I've condensed that a bit. Truthfully I can't recall the exact dialogue (and yes, it was just yesterday afternoon but I'm a working mom. A lot has happened since then already!). I usually do some other sound effects and am fairly dramatic with it all. This makes her laugh which helps to win her over to my side.
Here's how it turned out. She decided she would try the dip when we got home. She was even ready to leave the playground by the time we finished our dialogue so she could eat.
We got home. She tried the dip. She loved the dip. She finished off the bag of rice crackers eating the dip. I offered her carrots sticks. She loved the dip with the carrot sticks. She asked for more carrot sticks. She had a very healthy afternoon snack. Mommy was happy.
But there's more! (Now I sound like an infomercial. I really have to take a writing course.)
It gets better! We chatted about what I should pack for her lunch the next day (today). I offered spaghetti. She said, "no". Then she said, "I want dip." I must admit. Even after my "win" that afternoon, I was surprised by her request. I said, "I don't have any rice crackers to pack." She says, "That's ok. Can I have carrots?" And what do you think this totally shocked, surprised and pleased Mommy said? "Yes! Yes you can. I will be glad to give you carrots with your dip."
And get this - For lunch she is having carrot, celery, watermelon, beans, basil and thyme. The muffins even have oats and bananas in them. (Sorry I can't share the recipe. It's from a friend who is writing a cookbook soon. I hope. Check her out over at Plantiful Wellness. She's great!)
So how about you? Care to share any of your successes or challenges in getting your kids to eat nutritiously?