Upbringing Your Child
He is scurrying on a look out for a hiding place. You step here and peep there and suddenly he is nowhere. You start with a little threat and see the little blob of his head hidden under the bed. He is scolded, his eyes are now flooded, a pout on face, a slight frown, and eyes fixed towards the ground. You give him no choice and finally he swallows the bitter gourd without any more noise.
Does it all seem familiar? Well yes, this is what happens to the little ones at the sight of the week’s veggie menu. Mothers often struggle with their children not eating the recommended amount of vegetables. They sometimes force, beg and plead and even try to bribe their children to eat them. Hiding them in other foods, serving them first and leaving the chicken and pasta for later, adding lots of seasonings for flavor to fool them into thinking its delicious, cheerleading them into the ‘who finishes first’ race and what not but the witch-y veggie trouble never ends.
It is common knowledge that balanced amount of vitamins and minerals are required by a child’s growing body and they are a must on any kid’s plate. Children who regularly consume vegetables perform better in school than children with poor dietary habits. A balanced diet can help maintain good behavior and longer-lasting energy in a child. On the other hand, food like fast food, fried food, fatty meats, chocolate, soda and commercially baked goods can slow down the brain’s ability to transmit messages, causing tiredness and aggression that greatly affects the child’s behavior. Vegetables contain the most essential nutrients that are important for a child’s health, growth and development.
Mothers tend to give up feeding vegetables because their children leave these on the plate or in the lunchbox but continuous offers of small portions according to their age and appetite may help. Remember any amount is better than consuming nothing at all. Making children participate in the preparation and presentation of food is a great idea. Increasing the amounts of their favorite snacks like jacket potatoes, salsa and vegetable soups always work. Frying vegetables into crisps is better replaced with salads and dressings. In addition, offering children a variety of veggies is more important than the amount consumed by them. It is not right to force children to eat more vegetables but the best way is for parents to integrate fruit and vegetables into the family’s diet.
So, the next time you see the little one’s hidden under the bed you will know the best way he is fed. ‘The Veggie Witch’ might remain forever but a little effort at planning; preparing and engaging the kids can definitely help them eat better.