A few weeks ago, I took a long and melancholy walk into our living room to break some sobering news to my husband.
"Honey" I reported with all due solemnity, "You and I are going to have to start eating vegetables. Like every day."
David was understandably undone by such news and demanded that I explain further. I told him that Snoodie, who had heretofore happily gobbled up any and all foodstuffs (and, to be honest, a number of decidedly NON foodstuffs) that were put in front of him, had suddenly begun rejecting a whole slew of items at mealtimes with EXTREME prejudice.
Gone were the halcyon days when I'd watch my little boy cram strawberries, broccoli, and pears into his gaping maw with abandon! Instead his preferred dinner had devolved to the point where he was regularly dining on six pieces of white bread. PERIOD.
Having rushed to my computer to google "my toddler won't eat" in a panic, I discovered that, according to the anonymous non-medical professionals at Ask.com, my dear son was rushing headlong towards a nasty bout of early-onset scurvy. And so, I became determined to dig in my heels and fight the nutrition wars with all I had.
I consulted Snoodie's pediatrician, who, much to my non-delight, explained to me the concept of FOOD MODELING.
See, it turns out that our kids are, like, totally watching us. And believe it or not, what we do in front of these children is apparently significantly more important than what we tell them to do. This means that the best way to get our children to behave in the way we want them to is for us to model that behavior for them every single day.
I shared this information with my husband over dinner. I talked through the doctor's points while enjoying a meal of 2 SuperPretzles, one frozen KitKat, half a peanut butter sandwich, and a Diet Coke. David listened intently while sampling from his three preferred food groups: Chocolate, Fried, and Beer. Or I should say, David listened as intently as he could manage, considering we were both sitting in front of the TV at the time watching a rerun of WIPEOUT and checking our iPhones as we ate.
Things haven't always been quite so dire chez nous. When we were first married, I actually took some cooking classes and was filling our newfound China with yummy and vaguely healthy meals on a semi-nightly basis. But, after birthing my second child in as many years, the fact is that my passion for spending an hour in front of the stove each night (as well as my ability to do so without misplacing one of my offspring) has gone the way of the rotary phone. And this downhill slide has led us to our current state - where we regularly dine on whatever items can be grabbed in under two minutes and consumed without hassle in front of the glowing box of joy.
But, as the Bradys will tell you, "When it's time to change, you've got to rearrange. Move your heart into what you're gonna be." (I would have sworn it was "who you are into what you're gonna be", thanks Google!). In any case, those singing kids are on to something! IT IS TIME TO CHANGE! I shall attempt to direct my almost two-year-old towards the plum on his plate while shoving him away from the pop tart in my hand NO MORE!
Instead, starting this month we will find ourselves all gathered around the table at mealtime, Daddy and Mommy smiling and ooohing over the deliciousness of our carrots and broccoli! Singing the praises of peaches as we eat them with abandon (and occasionally through gritted teeth)! And there, at our healthy family dinner Snood will sit, watching us in rapt attention....
..........while gnawing happily upon his pile of white bread. FOR NOW.