We struggle with fruit and veggies in our house. I know that many others do too. I feel like a bad mama sometimes for not pushing it more. I feel like a pushover sometimes for letting my 4 year old dictate what he will and will not eat. Today, I feel like a triumphant mama...he ate a green bean last night.
Owen had his annual physical with our beloved pediatrician Dr. Moss yesterday and one of the things we talked about was the lack of vegetables in Owen's diet. Owen proudly declared to Dr. Moss "I don't wike veg-e-ta-bles" (with that many syllables and a huge grin on his face) Dr. Moss then asked me to come in on another day without Owen to meet with the nutritionist...bad mama feelings coming on.
I feel like I have tried everything, bribery, rewards (are they the same thing?), loss of privilges, nutrition "talks"...and none of it worked. I am determined not to turn into the kind of mama who will force feed a child, so holding him down and putting the sweet potato into his mouth was not going to fly...and really where would that get us...he would be mad and still not liking vegetables. And frankly, the eat it for dinner or have nothing does not really work for me either...I then get a kid who will not eat (cause he really does not care about food - how is he my child?!) and then is cranky and unbearable.
So last night, on the heels of the doctor's visit, we talked about how important eating healty is. And I said we were having a new rule in our house. NEW VEGGIE RULE: I will make 3 veggies every night and you have to choose 2. I know how important choice and control is to Owen (and probably most people) and I felt that this would be the best option for all. I did not think about what I would do if he refused and thankfully we did not have to cross that road last night. (note to self - think of consequence in case this honeymoon period ends)
I made chicken (his fave), potatoes (his fave), corn on the cob (his fave...do you see the trend here?), sweet potato and green beans. Owen had to choose from corn, sweet potato and beans. He choose corn and sweet potato. I cut a piece of sweet potato the size of a kernel of corn and put it on his plate - he touched it to his lips and then put it back - "I don't like it" (but he felt like he had tried it so it was OK). "No way" I said "it has to be eaten. That means you have to chew it and swallow and it has to go into your belly" "HUMPH! OK, I will try the green bean" (with disgust in his voice) So I cut a tiny piece of green bean and he tried it and said "Hey, this is good. I like it" He then proceeded to eat a whole one. Then he and I had a contest to see who could eat one quicker...and he won!
Well...we called Nana and Papa...Grandma...Nana...Daddy...we celebrated and danced and did high-5s. He was so proud and so was I...baby steps...it all starts with baby steps.
He ate a green bean.