Eat All Your Peas...

As parents, we see all the research and we see all the hoopla about eating your vegetables. I mean, I grew up during an era when my mom was serious about us eating everything on our plates! When it comes to parenting skills, I like to think that as parents we do the best we can; there is no manual on parenting. One of my favorite phrases to say is: "when you know better, you do better".
Here's my idea of sharing the "better" with you about making your children eat everything you put on their plate: DON'T DO IT! (LOL) Seriously, do not force your children to eat what they don't like. Mealtime should be a pleasurable experience for you and your child(ren). Think for a minute... when you're busy doing your daily tasks, and you think about dinner, is it not true that sometimes you begin to imagine what that meal will taste like because you just can't wait to get home to eat it? Just the thought of the food hitting your pallate makes your mouth water!
Don't you want your children to have the same experience? There are many ways to ensure your children are getting their daily dose of vitamins; take a little extra time to read labels. If all else fails, here's an idea: ask your child(ren) what THEY like, what THEY want to eat. Allow them to assist with the grocery list. Do you visit restaurants that do not prepare the type of food you like? Well...your child(ren) don't want to visit your dining room or kitchen when it doesn't offer the choices they like. Children have rights as well (that's another blog) and they have a right to say what they don't like. Even if you notice they are asking for the same foods, cook them! Their bodies are gettig nourishment from their food choices. Its okay to continue to offer other food choices and remind them why certain foods are good for them, just don't force them to eat foods they don't care for. Out of my four children, I had this issue with two: my oldest (a 19 year old football player) and my youngest ( a 7 year old cheerleader who loves gymnastics); my 18 year old daughter and 11 year old daughter are basketball players who will try anything at least once. The key is offering choices, children like to know that they have choices. Recommend other food choices while allowing their input as well. * Please note: I discussed thhis issue with the family Pediatrician each time it arose with my children to ensure what I was doing was appropriate, hence, my advice in this blog.
Happy eating!!!