Wednesday, March 31, 2010

WFMW--Increasing Fruit & Veggie Consumption in my Kids

It's been ages since I did a WFMW but I've been having such success with this food rule, I had to share.

We have instituted a rule in our house: if you want dessert, you need to have consumed at least one fruit and one vegetable serving today. I have explained that it is about getting your body the nutrients it needs to keep healthy and strong, and it is a choice, not a punishment. My one son rarely has problems with this rule. He eats a very varied diet without even thinking about it much. My other one, though, has a very limited number of fruits and vegetables that don't make him gag. More on my despair about that another time.

But...what's been working for me is one of the "Food Rules" from Michael Pollan's new book. I haven't even read it yet, but some magazine I read (O? The New York Times Magazine? probably the latter) covered some of the rules he puts forth in his book. One was, in effect, No snacking in front of the TV, ever--unless it's fruits or vegetables. Studies (and hello, every living being's experience) have shown there is something hypnotic about being in front of the TV that makes hand go to mouth without even registering fully what it is that is being consumed. That doesn't seem like a good thing. But I decided this might be our second exception to the "food only at the dining room table" rule. (We have that rule to keep things neat, because we have a dog who understands that food on the table is Not Hers, and also because we had ants--eeeuw--and they were easier to control with all food in one area. The first exception, btw, is popcorn during family movie time.) Happily, the dog does not enjoy fruits and vegetables and doesn't bother with them on the floor.

So a few months ago, I thought I'd try this theory. While the kids were watching something and I was preparing dinner and having a small panic attack because I had severely underestimated the timing, I quickly cored an apple, took it to the kids in small bowls, and put them down next to them without saying a word. Half an hour later, with dinner under control, the bowls were empty. No muss, no fuss, calmer bellies for the boys, and fruit consumed. What a joy!

There are limits...I can't sneak anything past the Very Fussy One with this--he still won't eat what he does not eat. But overall it's been a big success--and increasing my kids' fruit and veggie consumption is working for me! What's working for you? Go share at We are THAT Family and find out what's working for others, too!


Your Frugal Friend, Niki said...

I love that idea of putting fresh fruit out while dinner is fixin.


Christy said...

I do that with veggies also. Just put cut up ones on the counter and it amazes me how much gets eaten by walk by grazers.