Challenge Complete!!Posted: March 20, 2011
Week one challenge complete!! We did it!
I noticed today that my kids were counting their fruits and vegetables on their own. They ate an orange and a bowl of frozen blueberries this morning as “breakfast appetizers” while they waited for Ed to make waffles. I had fun experimenting with recipes for blueberry syrup too! I took an original recipe, which called for 1.5 cups sugar(!!) and substituted about 3/4 cup honey. It made quite a large batch, which unfortunately, tasted too strongly of honey. But the kids loved it! I made a second, smaller batch for Ed and I with no honey, just a little bit of pure maple syrup added. That one tasted much better. Next time I try it, I think I’ll just omit the sweetener all together and see how it turns out. Blueberries are pretty tasty and sweet to begin with!
But back to the kids counting their own fruits and vegetables… at lunch I served them scrambled eggs with spinach and a bowl of applesauce with frozen raspberries mixed in. Michael immediately started counting… spinach, applesauce, raspberries… “Mom – did you cook the eggs in coconut oil?” Yes, I did. Not sure that counts as a vegetable, but he counted it and was thrilled to have exceeded the minimum requirement! Then he said, “Just two more vegetables at dinner time and we get our very special dessert!” Uh, oops. No wonder my kids were so into this challenge! I had completely forgotten that when I first talked to them about the challenge, I promised that if they made it the whole week I would make them a very special, healthy dessert! Ha ha ha… oh well. Whatever the incentive, they did it and did it happily. And to be quite honest, I think they’ll be happy to continue to challenge, even without the promise of dessert. Now… what to make? I have a recipe for spinach ice cream… think they’ll go for it?
Tomorrow starts Week 2. I’ve decided to go ahead with the challenge of not forcing them to eat everything they are served. For one entire week, I will simply serve them their meals and when they claim to be full I will not say a word. I will allow them to stop eating.
I will allow for one small snack between breakfast and lunch and one snack between lunch and dinner, but they must be healthy.
Dessert is usually my incentive for clearing their plates, but it is also tied to how they behave at the table. If they complain and whine throughout the meal they cannot have dessert. They must have good manners and a good attitude if they want dessert. I think I will stick with this rule. They won’t have to eat everything, but they will have to be polite. Also, in the past we’ve had a rule about having to take at least 2 or 3 bites before they can declare they don’t like something. I think I may bring that rule back – they don’t have to eat every last bite on their plate, but they do have to take at least 3 bites of everything. Is that fair? I think it is a good rule because it make them try things – they can’t outright reject anything. But I am still not forcing them to eat beyond the point of being full.
I’ve been going back and forth as to whether or not to explain this challenge to the kids or to simply do it without telling them. I think I will go ahead and tell them because I like to talk with them about healthy choices and I’d like them to know why I am doing this. I will explain the rules as I’ve outlined them here.