Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Mommy Memos

Mommy Memo #1

The little one and I boarded a plane and headed home to Detroit for Thanksgiving this year. Because my mother's side of the family is small (three generations of only children - make that four) Thanksgiving dinner is not unlike a regular dinner, only with all of my favorite foods. We landed on Thanksgiving afternoon as hungry as can be. I couldn't wait to sit down to a heaping plate of cheese grits, cranberry sauce, homemade rolls, stuffing and green beans. I was sure my little one would be just as excited to eat all of sweet and savory treats he rarely gets at home.

I was wrong.

My finicky son sat down at the Thanksgiving table and ate:

A dinner roll.

That's it.

A dinner roll.

I was so ashamed. So, now I'm on a mission to get my child back on the vegetable wagon (as if he was ever on it) or at least back on the food wagon. After doing some research my mother and I came up with seven tips to get your kids to eat vegetables. These tips were so good that her co-worker Carolyn Clifford decided to share them in her weekly health column in the Detroit News Newspaper (wink wink) and I'm sharing them with you.

1. Be a good role model. They won't eat them if you won't.

2. Be persistent. Some experts say a child may have to be exposed to a new food four to five times before trying it. Others say it will have to be on the plate as many as 15 times before the toddler will take a bite. So don't give up.

3. Be creative. Make vegetables attractive to children. Serve them on the plate in fun ways.

4. Be stealthy if you must. Add vegetables to favorite dishes such as pizza, spaghetti, quesadillas or tacos. You can even add grated carrots or squash when making fresh-baked goods.

5. Be sensitive to the young palate . Kids' taste buds are more sensitive than adults, so bitter vegetables such as spinach and asparagus may elicit strong negative reactions. Children also prefer crunchy veggies to soft, mushy ones.

6. Be involved in food cultivation and prep, and let them be, too. In the spring urge them to grow their favorite vegetables. And throughout the year, let children select veggies during trips to the supermarket.

7. Be firm. Serve healthy meals to the entire family. Don't prepare special meals for the picky eater. If healthy food is all that is available, sooner or later that is what they'll have to eat.

How do you get your kids to eat healthy foods? Share with a sister...I need all the help I can get.

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