My child feeding philosophy is simple: tis better to put the good stuff in than keep the bad stuff out. In other words, even though I would rather my kids not eat sugar, I know it tastes mighty fine, and everyone deserves something mighty fine every once in a while. So you can have it. You just need to make sure something good goes into your system along with it. Our dessert rule has always been in order to earn dessert, you have to finish your vegetables and/or fruit. Simple as that. You can leave the bread, the meat, the rice, the pasta etc. You just have to eat the good stuff in order to eat the bad stuff. If you opt to skip the green, dad eats your dessert.
Now you can argue that this makes kids see vegetables in a negative light and this is sabotaging them from the get-go. But let's get real. Vegetables suck. And fruit is ok if it's perfectly in season. A Snicker's bar? Always delicious. Always in season. Frozen, room temp, or melted. At least I'm not hiding broccoli puree in a brownie, like a wuss. I'm owning this! When my kids eat broccoli, they are eating broccoli, stem, floret and all. And the whole time, I'm reaffirming "you'll poop good. You can thank me later." Not everything in life has to be shiny and fun. Chomping down those 3 asparagus stalks makes that chocolate chip cookie all the sweeter. Nothing wrong with teaching my kids the value of a hard earned reward. If vegetables have to take the fall, so be it.
So Happy Family royally messed things up for me.
It all started when they contacted me to be a "Bright Side Blogger." They told me that they wanted to film me talking about getting my kids to eat healthier and then have improv actors do silly things. Everyone has me at silly things. Here is where I would insert my FTC disclosure, but seeing as I created an entire disclosure post already, I will spare you. Watch this instead (click the image to go to Happy Family's Bright Side page).
While the filming of all this was amazing, and I will always look upon it as one of those unique experiences that bloggers are so lucky to be able to partake in, I still don't forgive Happy Family for messing up my healthy eating tactics. When I arrived in NYC to film this, I was given a bag of goodies, consisting mostly of squeeze pouches in different flavor blends. I don't remember specifics, but I remember trying one because I figured I should at least try the product. You know what? I liked it. Not because I was in NYC on their dime, but because coconut makes everything good, and Happy Family knows this. I hadn't even gotten into the car to take me to the studio before I skipped a quick run to the bar and opted for another pouch instead. I'm not proud of this, but these are that good (not to say I wouldn't squeeze some vodka into these sometime). During the shoot itself, I consumed four more.
But that's not the worst of it. When I returned home, I experimented on my kids. Here are the results:
The easist fruit they ever ate. One part of me wants to jump up and down and declare that I have discovered a solution to healthy kids eating; the other part of me curses Happy Family. This teaches kids that they can have it all. That healthy and tasty can coexist in the same pouch. Now they probably think they can get into any college they want, or that they will get great jobs when they graduate. This is not good!
See this picture below? Those are Happy Yogis: little organic freeze dried (or I think so - I'm no snack creation guru) discs of yogurt. She passed up cookies for these.
And this weekend, I was opening a bag of Skittles that she asked for when she spotted this canister of Happy Puffs, which I wasn't planning on giving to her because they are for babies. Evidently not.
You win, Happy Family. Now my kids have learned that you don't have to suffer in order to have good things. While I'm amazed that there is something out there that is healthy to a fault and can compete with candy and cookies come dessert or snack time, I have to say I will really miss taking cookies hostage as bargaining chips in my quest to get my kids to eat healthier.
All that I stated above was true: my opinion, my own words, my own kids, my own healthy eating tactics. If you have similar healthy eating tricks, experiences or amusing stories, and would like to possibly win $20K toward college, go to the Stories From the Bright Side page and share them. EARN it, because evidently, earning dessert is now an obsolete activity.