As a parent, you’re filled with so much angst, worry, doubt and second-guessing. It’s automatic, I think, when you’re entirely responsible for another person’s life. Did I dress them warmly enough? Are they sick enough to go to the doctor – or urgent care? Have I fed them chicken nuggets too many times this week – even if they’re the “all-natural” ones? Yada, yada, yada.
But – I know I’m doing at least something right. My kids like vegetables. Genuinely like them. Even prefer them (sometimes) to other goodies. When I bring home sugar snap peas, it’s like Christmas. No kidding. Whooping and hollering and rejoicing. A couple weeks ago, at the farmers’ market, the kids begged for carrots. (Well, in all honesty, they also begged for apple doughnuts, too.) My three-year old walked around carrying a carrot in one hand and doughnut in the other, absolutely delighted. And guess which one he actually finished? Yup. The carrot.
Now, don’t get me wrong. While I may sound boastful – my intention is really to share my disbelief. I was raised on processed foods – hamburger meals in a box, mock chicken legs, beefaroni and San Francisco treats. There is a warm place in my heart for these delicious, sodium-filled foods. I have a mother who hates most veggies. Yet, I have grown to love many of them (which shocks her, actually), and even had a stint as a vegetarian. But the fact that my kids delight in them, quite frankly, baffles and awes me. It’s almost like I’m withholding a secret – that vegetables are good for them – and thus, they should (or could) protest rather than exult. On the other hand, I’m super proud of them. And of myself. For skirting the fact that what I’m feeding them is good for them.
We’re a relatively healthy family. No major issues, for which we are extremely grateful. My kids have inherited a history of high-blood pressure, however – so those sodium rich convenience foods that I have a life-long love for are off the table. Literally. Unfortunately – and fortunately. My kids are active, they like playing sports and climbing trees. We own video games, but our house is not consumed by them. We belong to the Y. It’s one of their favorite places to go (and I would tell you that regardless of being a “Y blogger” or not).
On the other hand, they bicker with each other, taunt and tease. They compete for attention, and all the other things three siblings tend to do. But this time of year – I greatly prefer to count my blessings. And today, it’s that I’ve successfully “tricked” my kids into liking vegetables.