Like many parents, we have a hard time getting our child to eat her fruits and vegetables. We beg, we plead, we threaten, we try and use reverse psychology and in the end, even after we have covered them with cheese, we still won’t get a bite in. School age children especially like to assert their independence and one of the times they will be able to flex their choice the most is at the dinner table.
A lot of kids argue over the dinner table what vegetables they will, or more often than not, not eat. The trend is sugary cereals in the morning, processed lunches and then for dinner, a zoom back into 1950 with meat, potatoes and….yuck….broccoli?! No wonder children don’t want to eat their dinner; dessert for breakfast and lunch and then dinner time boredom.
Now I am all for my daughter asserting her independence when it comes to food. We live in a mixed household, and what I mean by that is I eat a vegan diet, whereas my wife eats a carnivorous one, however we both try and be attentive to eating their right things in our diet. We encourage our daughter to be choosy about what she eats, what sweets to avoid and what vitamins come from where and how to get them.
This still hasn’t solved the dinner time dilemma. She doesn’t want the fruit, she wants the macaroni. She doesn’t want the vegetables, she wants the hamburger, and so on. Sound familiar?
We would ask her what type of veggie she wants only to have her wheel and deal about how many bites will get her dessert. “Just one more bite!” said one too many times made me realize the negative spin we were putting in the foods she really needs!
Why does every dinner have to include the “veggie argument” I thought, then it dawned on me. It doesn’t have to anymore. As long as she gets her daily dose of fruit and veggies, I’m fine with her eating like a kid.
Almost every morning, I start my day off with a smoothie and I asked her today if she wanted one. I laid an array of frozen fruits, vegetables and add-ins to the counter next to our blender. Her eyes lit up with excitement! She was soon adding all sorts of berries, fruits and protein bases to her mixture just like a future scientist. She looked pleased with her creation as she blended it all together.
I poured it into one of her favorite glasses and waited for her to give her scathing review. “It’s really really good!” I was overjoyed, she finally ate her daily dose of fruit! She trades out a sugary cereal for a healthy smoothie and she loved it. I look forward to helping her create a smoothie for an after school snack as well, and maybe even sneak in that broccoli.