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Monday, June 29, 2015

Our children WANT to eat vegetables, they really do!

My 13-year-old daughter was thrilled that the peak of our garden peas coincided with her week of ballet rehearsals and recitals. "Non-messy" snacks were allowed in the dressing room, and she thought the peas would be perfect. She bounced in the house after her ride home from dress rehearsal and gleefully reported that when the dancers pooled their snacks, her peas were gone in a flash. "At the end of the night the Doritos were still there!" she said incredulously. Her contribution was a favorite, and that made her feel great.

I was surprised the peas were a hit. I half-expected other kids to poke fun, the way my lunchroom pals teased Dee P. for eating raw jalapeƱos, or Jeff V. for packing sandwich ingredients singly instead of already assembled. (Given the success of Lunchables, he was on to something!) One breakfast at camp the counselor gathered kids to stare at me when I sliced a banana into my cereal bowl, voicing doubts anyone would eat such a thing.

My neighbor has twins with wildly different tastes; the daughter asks for Twinkies in her lunch, the son requests salad. Guess which one the mom calls "a weird kid?"

All of my babies started out loving vegetables. What changes to make so many children forget this about themselves? What is it about our society that labels vegetable- and fruit-loving children as the oddballs?

My daughter's experience sharing peas with her ballet class reminds me that our children really do want vegetables. We need to unabashedly keep offering them.

What are some of your children's favorites?


Julie Jinks said...

Mine love a fresh cucumber from the garden sliced with vinegar. They also love grilled asparagus.

David said...

Jennifer, I have a grandson from the time he was old enough to grab finger food gobbled up fruit to the max. Today at 10 years old breakfast includes a plate of all sorts of fruit along with cereal. During the day snacks are fruit, fruit, and more fruit. His favorite is frozen grapes. It makes for a great cooling off snack after a round of outside playing. Don't get me wrong, he loves his chicken nuggets and fries as well but I've never seen a kid consume fruit so much because he just wants it. He went to live with his Dad for a year and I wondered if he would still have the craving for fruit because fruit was not so much an item in his Dad's household. When he returned to live in my house, the first week he couldn't get enough fruit. I guess it's going to be a life long thing for him that will only be a great benefit to his health. Natural habits are way easier to encourage than learned ones. I don't know if his peers in school ever thought him strange for eating all their school lunch broccoli but I'm guessing if they did, he didn't care. He doesn't really think much about stuff like that which will be another great asset for his life. I'm not sure where he inherited those traits from but I'm sure glad he has them.

Have a great pea picking day.

Marisa Johnson said...

My kids love cherry tomatoes right off the vine. I love it when they head to the garden for a snack!