Well I had and still have my share of pressures in making my son eat healthy foods. Although he loves eating fruits and some vegetables, yet he needs a wholesome diet for all round development. By the age of three, he was comfortable with fruits and accepted pulses. But I felt a much healthier diet was required. Given his moodiness and less desire to accept new dishes, it was quite difficult to introduce new recipes and vegetables to him.
Getting strict was not working. And no amount of persuading and cajoling was working either. At that point of time I decided to change my strategy and to address the issue in a different way.
My son wanted to be tall like his father and would often stand on the chair and pretend like him. At that point him, I thought of testing my new way of persuading him. I told him if he really wants to be tall then he should eat French beans as the vegetable is quite long. Similarly I showed him ladyfinger and told him that his father used to eat ladyfinger and French beans when he was small and that is the secret of his height! Guess what! He was convinced and from that day itself these vegetables are his favorite.
I would like to share more experiences with you and may be you can also benefit from them.
While still in preschool, my son complained of being bullied by one of his classmates. And the complaint actually became a regular feature despite of all the communication with the school authorities. When my son again complained after returning from school, I explained to him that stronger children usually bully the weaker ones. If he could become stronger in some ways then the boy would not dare to bully. These words worked like magic indeed. I introduced more new vegetables to him and he tried them so that he could become stronger and be able to fight back.
After a couple of years I remember, I made a simple dish. Not at all time consuming or difficult. I added some sugar and a pinch of rock salt in yoghurt and mixed it. (A little bit of rock salt is good for health as it provides the essential minerals.)Then added some slices of fresh fruits like banana and apple to it (you can also add pieces of mango or pomegranate or any other of your choice) and later served it at dinner. But I didn’t offer it to my son. Out of curiosity he asked me why I didn’t give it to him. I told him that it was my favorite. Instead of cajoling him to try it, I showed that I was excited to have it more. That prompted him to try this new recipe and later he asked me I could make it once more for him!
I remember another small incident which stopped him from eating chips daily. On his way to cycling, when he was five, with his grandma my son would often demand chips from the store on the way. To avoid his tantrums, his demand was met daily. One day I went with him and as usual he asked for chips. Instead of saying “no” I offered an alternative to him. I told him that he needed a pair of sports shoes which would make him cycle faster. But the shoes were costly and required him to save money. I explained him if he could avoid that pack of chips for few days then I would use the money saved for buying his sports shoes. The trick worked! He complied and later on I fulfilled my promise.
Parenting is an ongoing process and it would be wrong if I say that I have no difficulty in raising my children. Do tell me what do you think about these experiences of mine and you are heartily welcome to share your experiences and views.
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