Just this week, True had a request to have her typical school lunch served for lunch at home. It was an easy enough request, that I knew they would all love, so I happily obliged. All the kids got a sunflower butter and jelly sandwich (True is allergic to peanut butter) with a side of raw, mini bell peppers and fresh picked tomatoes. Some people wonder how in the world our girls can eat vegetables. Ben, is a registered dietitian, thus healthy eating is very important to our home and we want to instill in our kids good eating habits. He says that thankfully, early on in True’s life, he was exposed to Ellyn Satter’s Division of Responsibility in Feeding; and while sometimes counter-intuituve, and not always easy, adoption of these principles has helped tremendously.
As we try to teach our children to identify foods that are more nutritionally-dense, we find we use the terms “high nutrition” and “low nutrition” often in our home. Our girls have changed the terms a bit and now say, “high-nu” and “low-nu.” Brave is the one who came up with those cute, little abbreviations.
I mentioned last week, how True comes home telling me the commentary her classmates have regarding the foods in her lunch. She will also make sure to tell me how most of their lunches were filled with “low nutrition.” She can get snobby about her food and the fact that she eats mostly “high nutrition,” but this also makes me and Ben laugh because she is like any other kid and totally loves her sometimes foods too. We have to remind her that while she does love eating foods high in nutrition, she shouldn’t get haughty about it because she loves to have her share of “low-nu.”
In regards to what we feed our kids, we try to give them more opportunities for “high-nu” than ” low-nu,” which we also call as “sometimes foods.” We know if we deprive them, they’ll just go crazy behind our backs (and we don’t want that), so we make sure to try and teach them that “sometimes foods” are okay, but just sometimes, as it is better to fill your bodies with “high nutrition.” Thankfully, Ben and I eat pretty healthy (I do love desserts though!), so since the very beginning, these girls have been exposed to a lot of different types of fruits and vegetables. They aren’t very many fruits and veggies they will say no to and we encourage them to try everything at least once. I am thankful that we don’t have to fight our kids to make good food choices, but we do continue to try to teach them balance and moderation.
My girls even eat the highly unpopular vegetable brussels sprouts! They really are so good!!! Do you like brussels sprouts?