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ice cream is not for breakfast

feeding your kids without losing your mind

The trouble with greens


I have to admit, my children generally eat pretty healthy.

Yes, we give them animal crackers. They get chocolate sometimes, but it’s dark chocolate. And the milk they drink is organic.lettuce.jpg

The problem is greens. In the past, we used to be able to get our children to eat more greens.

Both were really into peas at various points, but that seems to have faded.

My four-year-old was really into olives and even ate asparagus, but since he emerged from his extremely picky stage, he hasn’t accepted them back into his diet.

We’ve gotten lucky that he will eat raw red cabbage and carrots. But they’re not green now, are they?

I worry sometimes that we rely on grains, dairy and meat (and sometimes chicken) for the overwhelming majority of their calories. Both our little guys are huge carnivores. And the bread they eat is whole wheat, multi-grain or bakery-made; no Wonder bread here. Their cereal is either Cheerios or Honey Bunches of Oats.

Yes, they do drink juice and yes, they do eat certain fruits. Bananas, grapes, blueberries; Markus will eat raisins, though Rafael doesn’t like them anymore. But that brings me back to my original point: how is it that my children avoid virtually all greens (the grapes they prefer are red).

Trader Joe’s stores sell long-cut French green beans that are — I think — flash-frozen (when we defrost them, they are crisp, so I don’t think they were sitting around for long before freezing).

That seems to be the one in with Rafael, the four-year-old. He’ll eat them. And if — and only if — there’s peanut butter on it, he’ll also eat celery. Unfortunately, celery has virtually no redeeming nutritional value. It’s basically water with a little bit of fiber. And he already gets lots of fiber from all the grains he eats.

He always wants to try salad, but he’ll take a bite of the lettuce, wrinkle his nose and spit it out onto his plate. We keep letting him try it, in the hopes that one day, some day, he’ll actually eat it.

So this is the plan: walk around the supermarket produce department with Rafael and let him pick out a couple of greens he thinks he’d like to try. If he picks it out, maybe he’ll actually try it.

Stay tuned.

Photo via SXC.hu.

This entry was posted on Saturday, October 4th, 2008 at 9:03 am by Amy Vernon. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
Category: greens, picky eaters, the trouble with greens, vegetables