This is the best! I can relate to how hungry you get doing farm work. I don't recall complaining much about what we had for meals because I was always hungry after working all day. (In fact, my dad routinely said, "If you don't work, you don't eat." We knew he meant it.) I'm now in my sixties, but I still try things I know I don't like. My wife loves Brussel sprouts and makes them regularly. I always take two, eat them and think "Yep, still as nasty as they were 50 years ago." My wife and I routinely let our kids go without eating. When they complained about being hungry, we replied, "Well, you can eat what we have on the table or the next meal is breakfast (lunch, or dinner) and you can decide then if you want to eat." They were typically hungry enough to eat the next meal and none of our children ever died from missing a meal.
I think one of the funniest things I ever read was Dave Barry's comment that we all know brussell sprouts are really the severed heads of martians. I think there can be a fine line between encouraging our children to eat healthful foods, or becoming fanatical about it. We have enough eating disorders without being too forceful about kids eating foods they truly hate. Sometimes kids hate foods because they are actually allergic to them. Of course. cutting out junk food snacks is a good idea. But, If a child consistently hates peas, wouldn't a good alternative to offer another green vegetable? Would an adult want someone to insist they eat something they dislike?
Love your articles whatever they are about! This one brought back lots of memories. Another thing to try when introducing new foods is to only give a very small portion - sometimes only a bite. A kid will be more likely to eat 1 bite than a whole pile of something. It worked in our family along with all the other suggestions you gave. Love your daughter's inventiveness of putting the green beans in your sleeve. :)
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