Last week my son was hanging out with his Grandparents while my husband and I were at a couple's book club meeting. My Mom made him a dinner of creamed peas and mashed potatoes and oven baked chicken. Sounds good right? Well, while they were eating, my Mom suggests to her darling Grandson that he eat some of his mashed potatoes and he looks at her with the most serious expression a two year old can give and says: "I don't eat vegetables."
Now, I fully realize that toddler refusal of vegetable consumption is nothing new. However his grandparents were rather shocked at the verbal conviction that this particular toddler used in his refusal. I was embarrassed, my husband thought it was hilarious (he's not much help in this particular venue of child rearing). I admit we were pretty complacent when it came to meal time. We'd offer a variety of foods (fruit, protein, whole grains, dairy, veggies, etc) and let him chose what he'd like to eat. Real meals before snacks, milk or water to drink. We though that was good enough. Apparently not. It was time for an intervention.
I plan on taking a tricky approach, hiding the goods in his favorite meals, and then gradually showing him that what he really likes is also good for him. Today I took the first step. We had vegetable soup, pureed smooth in a blender. I added some cooked macaroni noodles to entice him. And guess what? He ate it. In fact he ate around the noodles (leaving most of them behind) and polished off the broth of the soup.
Mom: one, Veggie Phobic Tot: zero.
Although in reality he wins too :)
I know this will be a long, drawn out, frustrating, and likely tearful process, but in the end I think it will be worth it.