Magic or Bribery?: Summer CSA 2017 – Week #13
“Your kids must be great veggie eaters, seeing as you farm and all!”
I hear this comment so much from parents. I’m often unsure how to respond. Yes, our kids do eat loads of vegetables, but it’s not because of the reason stated above.
You see, the above statement implies that because our kids live on a farm they somehow love eating vegetables – naturally, just cause.
Oh how I wish this were true!
Left to their own devices, our kids would eat cereal, pancakes, toast with jelly, macaroni and cheese, and ice cream exclusively. There are some veggie dishes they enjoy, but still they would never choose these over starchy and sweet options.
If you were to sit down at our dinner table, you would hear so very much whining over eating vegetables. In fact, we recently tried sitting down to make a written agreement with our middle child about how to make it through dinner each night without constant whining. Sometimes she’s asked to eat by herself in a different room because Mike and I just can’t deal (and then the veggies disappear in a hurry).
One night they love a veggie dish. Make that same dish one week later and it could be an all out whining war at the table. Our kids, just like most kids, are fickle and their little mouths don’t crave the more subtle bitters and different textures of some vegetables.
Nevertheless, we make our kids eat what we grow and cook for them. We are quite strict on the matter.
Our rule? No other food until you’ve eaten your dinner. Aka, that’s fine if they don’t want to eat their dinner full of veggies, but they can expect to eat it for breakfast. Each kid has had to eat their dinner for breakfast exactly one time only. They quickly realized their attempt to starve themselves until their morning carbo load of toast or cereal wasn’t an effective strategy.
Our best trick? Special treat. This is the name we call the sweet treat one receives after finishing their veggie dense dinner. At our house getting our kids to eat vegetables is not magic; rather it involves lots of bribery in the form of ice cream and chocolate.
I’m not suggesting that our parenting method of bribery or rewarding healthy eating with unhealthy eating is the right way to go. In fact, many fellow friend/parents have expressed shock at our “outdated” methods. It’s just the way that’s worked best for us so far. We are open to suggestion!
I’m sharing this to let all you parents out there know we’re down in the trenches with you trying to get our kids to eat all the healthy stuff. It’s hard work. It’s constant and repetitive. And every day we wonder how else we might more successfully accomplish this as a family.
Some positive news I will share is that our oldest now eats loads of vegetables and does so with the least amount of complaining. And little by little, one eggplant at time, our younger kids are learning to eat and enjoy vegetables… sometimes 🙂
Thanks for reading and enjoy your veggies!
In the Box:
- Green Beans
- Head Lettuce
- Onion, Bottle
- Pepper, Carmen (sweet!)
- Pepper, Colored Bell
- Pepper, Joe Parker/Anaheim (hot)
- Potatoes, small russets
- Sweet Corn
- Watermelon (littles)