Friday, December 17, 2010

How to get a Preschooler to Eat a Vegetable

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of spending the day with my nephews, Jack and Ian. Jack is 3 and Ian is 4. We had a great day. These boys are perfect angels; I don't care what their mothers say.

They had waffles and milk for breakfast and played all morning. We visited my garden and checked out the Gulf Fritillary caterpillars. There was a bit of drama when Jack mistook a small bit of rope for a snake. I didn't know little boys could scream like that. Just little more shrill and only dogs could have heard it.

Knowing that little guys can be pretty picky eaters, I decided to see if I could get them to eat something straight from the garden. I asked them if they could find the broccoli. My broccoli plants are big and beautiful. To find the actual broccoli heads, you have to really get down in there and hunt for them. Ian was very excited, he apparently loves broccoli. After a few minutes of them digging around in the plants, I pulled back the leaves on one particularly large one and showed them the broccoli head. Ian picked that one and Jack found one just a few feet away smaller, but he was happy. Jack's love of broccoli is not as profound as Ian's love of broccoli. As we were heading back into the house to make their lunches, Jack saw that piece of rope, screamed and threw his broccoli at it. After a little reassurance that the rope was not an actual snake, we retrieved the broccoli, went on inside, made sandwiches and cut up the broccoli, some carrots and an apple. The little men enjoyed a healthy lunch of peanut butter sandwiches with fresh fruit and veggies.

All of my children eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. I believe the reason they do is because they did exactly what Jack and Ian did that morning most days of their lives. To this day, they will wander around out in the garden looking for something to eat. That, my friends, is how it is done.

While you are here, why don't you go over visit Anna's new site, Best Garden Blogs. Just click on the image of the little girl reading a book statue over there on the right.