I’m pretty straight forward with my kids about how we feel about different food issues. Obviously, the issues of intolerance comes first, because it has to do with keeping them healthy. But after that, there are still a lot of things we don’t feed our kids or want them to have much or even at all.
They appreciate the honestly over all I think. Yes, I do realize that they are 2 and 5.
I treat chemicals and just about any topic the same way. Ada wants to paint her nails like grandma, and she is told that nail polish has “chemicals that give momma a headache. It might make you sick, so we go outside to do that.” Same thing goes for perfume, except we don’t use that outside. I tell Azita that perfume can make Momma sick and we only use a certain kind, not the same ones as others might use.
So this morning when Azita and Ada wanted popsicles for breakfast, I told them “Okay, our popsicles are healthy enough for breakfast” because I feel the need to differentiate between what we eat and any bright blue artificial, corn syrup marinated concoction they may see at some other point in their lives.
“Yeah I know, because you put fruit and veggies in them,” Azita said. This time it was in agreement with my methods. In ten years it will be: “Yea, yea, mom. Your freakin’ popsicles are as fruity as you are. Can I have the keys and go each junk with my friends?”
I asked her which veggies she thought I put in them? “Greens”
She knows me so well.
Her popsicles this time we made with a bag of organic frozen strawberries, raw spinach, a bit of water and a tablespoon or two of honey.
You can’t see or taste the greens and the nutrients and longer lasting fullness they bring to the table. So why do I tell her they are in there? Sometimes it might mean she doesn’t want to try it.
Because children deserve to have all the information they need about what they are eating, in case it ends up making them sick.
I don’t ascribe to the ‘hiding veggies in food’ stuff that became popular with a few cookbooks aimed at moms a few years ago.
Of course, this view will seem strange and like over-kill parenting to many people, I’m sure. But that’s because those people don’t have or haven’t recognized food intolerances or at the very least minor food reactions/side effects.
The first thing many people say when they are considering whether or not they might need to cut out a food of their diet, or more often, their child’s, is “But that’s all he eats! What else would I feed him?” and that goes back to the truth about picky eating. Or they next most common statement “She hates these but she need the protien/vitamin/etc, so I make her eat them.”
If a food causing a reaction, immediate or delayed, and the kid doesn’t know he is eating it, it’s unfair to him. He’ll be lacking information to make informed choices for himself. It’s like circumventing humans’ natural defense to know what they are eating and how it affects them.
If Ada or Azita is really averse to some food, even if it “should” be healthy because it’s a whole food or a veggie or something, than I do not force it in the least.
I was always averse to eggs growing up. I never ever remember them being forced on me. As an adult, I realized they were triggering my migraines, migraines that I didn’t have as a teen because I didn’t eat them.
So, by the way, the green smoothie popsicles are always a huge hit. Azita doesn’t love spinach, but isn’t averse to it, and she’s knows what she’s eating. She know that she likes it in green smoothie popsicle form!