Tag Archives: Raising Good Eaters

It’s Soup, Not a Conspiracy

Train a child in the way he should go,

and when he is old he will not turn from it.

Proverbs 22:6

My children are wonderful.  Mind if I take a little credit for a part of that?

We eat together

We watch T.V. together

We go to the movies together

But here’s my big bragging point:

*They eat their vegetables and they try new foods – in a foreign country no less.*

We moved to Germany when our girls were ages 12, 8, and 3 1/2.  It was the perfect age for them to enjoy and remember our overseas tour.  Each child had something unique to their own experience while living there for three years.  One took a trip to Italy for Spring Break with Club Beyond – a Christian youth group.  Another traveled with the Girl Scouts to “Our Chalet” in the Swiss alps – headquarters of  WAGGGS.  And the other, well, let’s just say she experienced (and survived) Pre School while Mom became a part time volunteer for the Red Cross at the post chapel.

We all enjoyed train trips, castle and cathedral tours, shopping and eating downtown, Volksmarching, Christmas markets and our big weekend adventure to Prague in the Czech Republic.  Everyday life in a little German town was also special.  Some of our favorite dining experiences were just a short walk away.  Perfect on a late summer evening when the sun hangs in the sky hours longer than it does in the States.

When my husband and I were young, our parents held very similar views on table etiquette.  You know, like being told to eat everything on your plate … regardless of what it was or how much was there.  My husband ate well, but does confess to occasionally having to sit there until everything was gone from his plate.  He says that on a few occasions, he was there until bedtime.

I didn’t eat much at all when I was little.  The dining room table was a place of torture for me as a child.   But, I was also sneaky and I was really good at hiding my food after the authorities left the room.  Really, I don’t know why my parents didn’t catch on when they’d find the hamburgers (we called them hockey pucks) under the china hutch…

Maybe, just maybe, we learned a little about parenting though through these experiences.  Now, let me be honest when I say, I stopped blaming my parents for what I deemed inappropriate long before I had children.  I read some books, I watched other Moms, and I learned on the fly.

I understood how much and how often to feed children and as they grew, we just gently expanded their horizons by increments.  I learned just how small their stomachs really were, how to feed them healthy food, saved treats for special times and to average out what they ate over a period of a few days.

While cleaning the soup pot last night I recalled an adult who remarked to me how I “snuck ” lima beans into the soup once – apparently she didn’t like them.  Perhaps she was forced to eat them as a child and still has lima bean nightmares to this very day …

All I could think was “Hey, it’s soup, not a conspiracy.”  (Insert YOUR giggle here)

When cooking for company, I usually try to make amiable food that everyone will enjoy…. not eccentric things that kids won’t like.  And healthy … I’m kind of known for that.  But, I certainly don’t try to sneak in an ingredient.  (The lima beans are already included in the frozen mixed veggie bag)

So, here’s the deal … We love food, we love having company, and we’ve been known to have cereal for dinner…

We teach good table manners, but I think we have really been teaching honesty, respect, and thankfulness.

I think those are really the core values hiding under all those {mushrooms, olives, beets, cooked spinach, etc.}  And the biggest lesson of all is … when they go out on their own, they are going to make their own choices.

And that, my friends and fellow parents…  {THAT WAS HARD FOR ME TO SWALLOW!}

We do intend to train a child in the way they should go, and then we {Let. Them. Go.}  And it’s a lesson I’m still learning.

**After a long day visiting Prague in the Czech Republic, the kids ate some interesting food for dinner. We were seated in a little alcove room with some other English-speaking travelers.  Here is a picture of the kids being silly and making imprints on their foreheads with the woven placemats.

  We decided that the “were all Czeched out.”

czeched out

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Posted by on March 17, 2013 in Life, in general


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