Friday, April 04, 2008
The other day, while tucking into a mixed salad for lunch, one of the children I work with pointed at a red pepper and said 'Ugh, I hate them'. As he stuffed another chocolate biscuit in his mouth he went on to list a hate of most vegetables. 'Does your mum cook them at home?' I asked.
'No.' he said 'She doesn't like them.'
So how much do we influence our children's eating habits? I looked to my own family. With two meat-eaters and two veggies I suppose we are exposed to a variety of foods everyday. I have only consciously deprived them of parsnips and prunes (I blame that one on school dinners). Other than that, between us, we eat most of the world's garden.
I am not righteous about food, my vegetarian habits come from a stomach that cannot cope with meat rather than moral issues. I do, however, try and provide a healthy balance. I steer clear of meat that doesn't look like meat, preservatives, enhancers, colours, or stuff that makes yer bread last for a month (Saint Minx!).
The Feckers made their own names for veg - trees = broccoli, naked trees = cauliflower, fart bombs = sprouts, grass = cress. They didn't like mushrooms until they were in their teens but I never told them that they didn't like them, only that they hadn't grown into them yet. I also assured them that they liked everything (I had no time for fads) and that chocolate was a vegetable!
So my theory of a healthy eating regime for your children is... tell them lies.
Now, shut up, sit up, and eat your pepperfrogs.
More cute veg can be found HERE