Friday, January 14, 2011

Kid salads for the win!

My kids are not great veggie eaters. Actually, they are terrible. They try to pass ketchup as a vegetable. Other than cucumber, it's hard to get them to eat their veggies.

Until a few nights ago.

I had a bag of shredded carrots, and wanted to make carrot slaw. I had the brilliant idea to give them a choice of dressing - creamy or not. One chose creamy, the other not (and then changed his mind so got a mix of both). They seemed happy about their own personal bowls of carrot slaw, so I thought we'd take this game a step further.
I asked if either wanted raisins: my small girl did, the tall boy, not. And for almonds, they both did. I chopped the almonds and they both dressed their salads themselves.

I've never seen my boy eat so much salad at one sitting. Amazing.

After dinner we made a list of ingredients for subsequent kids salads. We named them silly things like:

The crispy bacon:
add bacon, cubed cheddar and tomatoes to romaine lettuce

The monkey:
mandarin oranges and almonds with carrots (with bear paw crumbs as croutons...not my choice, but if it helps, what the hay!)

Because they developed these ideas, they'll be more likely to eat them than if I had just put the salads in front of them. The act of actually making the salads helps too. I'll sneak in more exotic elements as we get used to this habit (second year psychology class on conditioning is very helpful here - the concept of shaping works for both rats and children!)

I can't believe I didn't think of this earlier!

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