I refuse to smuggle veggies.
I do not hide what my children eat from them.
There are a couple of reasons 1. being – I don’t like lying to them (and yes that does mean I struggle with Santa!) and the main reason:
Healthy, happy children make healthy, happy adults.
Children who know what they are eating and why means they will form better habits now that will carry them through their teens and into their adult life.
They aren’t stupid. They see you putting fuel in your car. They know your car needs fuel to go.
I tell them that food is your fuel. For the body to do what it’s meant to do – things they love doing; running, jumping, playing – the fuel they put in their bodies needs to be good fuel.
I tell them about sometimes foods; foods that we might like to eat a lot of but they don’t help our bodies work very well – we can get sick if we eat too much and there is no fun in being sick.
I involve them in what we do in the kitchen. They cut veggies, they choose fruits, we go to the markets of a Sunday and they try different things and pick things they like. We try new things. We don’t always like them and that’s okay.
I understand they aren’t always going to like it and that’s fine. I also understand that to encourage my children to eat new things that are good for them, I also may have to eat things I don’t like. Which is why I gagged down a piece of tomato so my son would eat it and realise he likes it.
when we don’t like something, we’ll try it a different way – tomatoes in bruschetta instead of just sliced up.
I trust him to make good decisions. When he chooses something that is a sometimes food we talk about it. Usually he rethinks his decision and makes a healthier choice.
sometimes he doesn’t and that’s okay.
We still have treats, we still have sometimes foods.
We still have meltdowns about not wanting to eat our veggies and that is expected. But the thing is most of the time, they DO end up eating them. And they know they are eating them.
they KNOW what a balanced meal is, without even having to learn it. They are living it in the kitchen with me, cutting up the foods, picking different things.
Why would I take away from them the empowering knowledge of how to look after themselves? Knowing that making a good choice makes them feel good?
I don’t think children are given enough credit. They know when the feel good and when they don’t. They are the perfect example of what our bodies are designed to do.
Why would we want to take that away from them?
I refuse to smuggle veggies because I refuse to insult my child by suggesting he isn’t capable of making a good decision for his body.
And Lola, well – she knows no different. She would eat a cucumber or two a day if I let her.