Thursday, 30 October 2014

Confession from Mummy

I feel very proud when I see Tara enjoying fresh salad leaves, cucumber, and various fruits and vegetables alongwith her meals. She's not the best eater in the world, but she eats right. It's not genetic or her natural predisposition to eat these. It's a culmination of years of strategy and a few white lies.

In her earliest years when my Tara was a helpless baby wobbling on her high chair, she had no choice but to eat what was prepared for her. In my efforts to provide the best possible fresh home made food, I created some horrible horrors that were probably very good for Tara's health but not great on the taste buds. Tara had always been given a wide variety of fruit for dessert, and only came across chocolate when offered it in Reception year at school. It was never a planned decision, it just never happened, as fruit was always the undisputed option at home. I remember getting a note back from the teacher that my four year old was reluctant to eat chocolate because "she had never eaten it before!"

I did not appreciate the speech marks and the exclamation mark in the teacher's note. It seemed to imply that the teacher didn't believe Tara when she said she had never tasted chocolate before. Okay it wasn't the norm, but she wasn't lying. So I sent a note back saying it was true but I had no objection if she did eat it. That evening The Husband and I offered Tara her first chocolate. We offered a plain chocolate square to her, and watched her nose crinkle as she said "Blechhh!" The Husband and I took a piece each and watching us she took a tiny nibble of hers. The crinkled nose unwrinkled, and a puzzled expression crossed Tara's face...shortly followed by a smile. There..done :-)

I was a bit concerned if I had made a mistake not offering chocolates to Tara earlier, and she would now turn into a chocolate fiend making up for lost time. Thankfully I was wrong. Till this day my seven year old is very content having a square or two of chocolate a day. If only I followed my own good preaching. One or two squares a day is an insult to me. I can breathe in one or two squares a day. Tis better NOT to offer me one or two squares a day...A lot more or none at all...All 70% dark good quality stuff only please..... :-)

Back to Tara's food habits. As she grew, she developed a liking for cheese. She could eat cheese in anything, but like everything else I kept a tight control on too much cheese. I hit gold when I realised that Tara would attempt to eat anything with cheese on it. So I made cream...all healthy...quite delicious, then grated some cheese on top. So little cheese that it would fly off the bowl if you blew on it. I changed the name of my vegetable soup to Extra Cheesy Cheese soup. It was a runaway success! Only last week as she finished her last spoonful, my lovely child commented to her father, "It was really extra cheesy today Papa." I help matters along by saying I had put extra cheese in Tara's bowl, and not so much for Papa.

I did the same with green salad. I started stuffing crunchy green lettuce in Tara's chicken sandwich, a bit at a time. When the sandwich is eaten she could reach for the Babybel cheese sitting next to it. (She has one Babybel per week) so that's not a bad tradeoff.

Baby salad (spinach, chard, beetroot, lettuce, rocket) served with a  barely-there dusting of cheese with her main meal is eaten with enthusiasm too.

this Mummy considers this a little feather in her cap. Call it manipulation or white lies, I accept all the barbs....but my little one is learning to eat healthy. Us Mum's can take a lot more than a few self righteous barbs when it comes to the well being of our little ones.

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