Profile photo of Anita Ayela Parents, Eat and Let Eat!

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Don’t blame the kids, blame the parents! I know, a lot of parents’ eyes would be glaring at this with anger or would have stopped reading this by now. But wait a moment! Read through this before you form any opinion. I was just talking about the eating habits of kids!

It is a very common complaint of parents all over the world that their kids don’t eat certain vegetables or any vegetables at all, varying from house to house and kid to kid! But if we delve deeper, we get to see that the parents of these kids don’t do justice to their vegetables too.

Let’s begin at the beginning….It is scientifically proven that what we eat during pregnancy, those tastes travel through the amniotic fluids to the baby in the womb. Babies develop taste buds while in there too. Doctors believe that if the moms who eat all varieties of vegetables and fruits during pregnancy, then these babies would later eat their fruits and vegetables without putting up a fight. The baby’s exposure to variety of food while in the womb would have less chances of the baby being a fussy eater later in life.

In most of our houses now, neither of the parents or either of the parents is a very bad eater of vegetables and fruits.  And so is the kid! No surprises here as to why it is so. Some parents don’t cook vegetables or dishes they themselves don’t like. Some parents are clever enough to understand the situation and try to steal in vegetables into the kid’s food that they themselves would have never even sighted upon when they were kids! If this is done very early in their childhood, like for month’s babies, then it would probably work. But not after the kid grows up enough to understand that he/she is being fed what his/her parents don’t like to eat. That’s a gone case then!

My friend is very possessive about her one and only son. She is at his beck and call always and cooks only what he likes. She cooks as if only the son’s favorites are edible on the entire planet. You guessed it right!-Her husband gets the same food almost every day as the kid’s glossary of vegetables and fruits is very limited to two or three for that matter! A day came when they had to hospitalize the kid for being anaemic due to lack of proper nutrients in the body. It is absolutely fine to pamper your only kid, but not at the cost of the kid’s health.

Leaving modesty aside, I must mention here that I am envied amongst my cousins and friends! Even my mother-in-law always has a good word for me regarding my kids’ eating habits! I have always liked all vegetables if cooked in the proper way, and fruits have always been my secret snacks. No wonder my kids eat all vegetables and fruits! Touchwood! If they don’t like some vegetable they sure let me know but they eat it anyways, because I never give them a choice! Not that I force them, but I just let them know the time and effort I put into cooking them! Viola, they clean their plates! Come on, that’s not being mean, but just being persuasive.

I remember when growing up, my mom used the same trick for us kids. We ate everything my mom cooked as we knew the love and effort she put in cooking for us. And of course, my dad was strict enough to support her efforts by saying that ‘what’s on your plate has to be eaten, no matter what’! You bet my parents are proud of me now when they see my kids following that!

When I stepped into my in-laws’ house, incidentally, I saw that at least this was one thing that is very common with my family’s values. They too never got a chance to say ‘no’ to any food on their plate. When I had kids, I was sure glad that both my husband and I had the same values as far as parenting goes!

Fruits and vegetables are in abundance in the US. There are a lot of varieties of vegetables here; in addition to the American vegetables, we get Mexican vegetables and Indian vegetables too. My house has seen broccoli, asparagus, zucchini, and tomatillos playing with the okras and bitter gourds. I try my best to cook each vegetable in hundred and one ways, and the kids usually take to at the least a couple of varieties. I have tried and learnt different cuisines and so Indian, Italian, Mexican, all foods co-exist in my kitchen. My father-in-law in good humor says that I should have done my PhD in cooking, not English. Yes, I love food, and my husband likes different cuisines, the result being that I learnt all kinds. And, of course, it goes without saying that I love cooking! This has helped me extensively in winning my kids’ palates.

Eat, and eat everything is the motto in my house! And you bet, it worked and it still works!!! Touchwood!

1 Comment

sarah evanston says:

I let me children make up their minds as to what they like and don’t like. As long as you offer healthy meals every day, they will make the right choices. So far, my children like every fruit and vegetable known except for beans. I can live with that.

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