Yet another one of our parental gaps is our kids' nutrition. Well, that is not exactly right. We do limit the treats, make every effort for the carbs to have a reasonable amount of fibre (i.e. bread, pasta) and don't allow sugary drinks - they both prefer milk and water to most anything else.
But when it comes to vegetables, they have the bilateral vegetable aversion. Anyone in Husband's or my family will tell tales of how each of us were fussy. Legend has it in Husband's family, that he had his own section of the fridge dedicated to him and him alone. Severe punishment was visited upon the soul to cross the border into that sacred territory.
I certainly ate some vegetables, but didn't care for many. I didn't care for the texture of many vegetables then. Even now, I have a few I like to avoid. Husband is pretty good but has his own vegetable no-fly list.
The problem with this is party because the ones I don't care for he likes. A lot. And vice versa. So I really don't care for celery or peppers. I'll barely tolerate peas. Those are his favourites. He likes to stay away from mushrooms and cooked spinach and those are my favourites.
So when it comes to cooking dinner, the intersection of vegetables we both like AND that we have in the fridge which is not growing fungus can be a narrow list. But with trial and error and some vegetables that can be cooked or eaten by just one, we do okay. Usually.
The problem is that our overlapping veggies don't have much overlap with the kids, who seemed to each have their own preferences.
We started off the kid nutrition on the right foot. They were 9 months old each when I lovingly steamed or baked vegetables, pureed them and froze them in ice cube trays. I gave them 2 vegetables every night. They ate everything. I seem to recall them baulking at a couple veggies initially, but eventually they ate it all. They also ate a wide variety of fruits.
But then we screwed it up.
We were so busy keeping up with preschool fundraisers and takeout menus those early years, that somehow the vegetable quotient was neglected. By the time our kids were four-ish it was down right embarrassing. Even their fruit preferences narrowed.
A friend at work told me that around age 7 the kids get over some level of their fussiness and start entertaining new foods. That was actually true with Jackson. He started eating more things. He expanded his vegetable quotient to include peas and sometimes roasted cauliflower.
For the past year or two Husband and I have tried harder to eat a bigger variety of veggies and fruits and offer it more often to the kids. We've had some limited success. Sydney added watermelon to her list of acceptable fruits. Jackson developed a liking for strawberries. They both ate carrots once day with the inducement of peanut butter. The kids learn about healthy eating at school so in theory they are open to eating healthfully.
Last week, I took a new tact. I asked the kids what new vegetable OR fruit they wanted to try. I included fruit as it was the concept of openness and commitment I was after. So if someone wanted to try kiwi or raspberries, heretofore undesirables, I figured it would be a step in the right direction.