Real Boys Eat Greens
This is my son Gabriel, he is 9 ½, he likes to eat. Just how much he likes to eat was apparent in a recent conversation he had with a school mate.
Gabriel and his friend were playing in the living room and they asked each other the question, “What is your favorite thing to do?” His friend started talking about how she likes to ride horses, go camping and play with her cousins….
” When Gabriel answered the question, he said, “My favorite thing to do is eat.” The school mate said, “Seriously, eat? That’s it?” He said, “Yep.“
End of conversation, he was done. He was telling the simple truth. His favorite thing to do is eat. Of course he loves riding horses, gardening, climbing trees and lots of other things. But if you want to talk about favorite, eating it is.
I had him cooking and gardening next to me since he was a toddler. It wasn’t always easy. You have to slow way down when a young child is preparing food with you in the kitchen. Food didn’t get on the table as fast, but because of all the time we spent in the kitchen, he has a good sense for food and how to prepare it. He is a good cook and eats many different types of foods and lots of it.
I am continuously amazed at the amount he eats, as in quantity. I will have to keep writing books to be able to afford the amount of food required by this growing boy! We never ordered off of the child’s menu, it was never enough food. And why is it anyway that the child’s menu always seems to have the junkiest food on the entire menu?
One thing that Gabriel absolutely loves is salad. He eats a salad every day and will eat two if he has a bottle of ranch dressing to go with it.
We don’t eat just any ol’ salad though. We pick fresh greens from our garden and that is what he loves the best.
Do your children love to eat salad?
If your children aren’t all about salad, here are some suggestions to help them get on the salad wagon.
-Get them involved in any aspect of the salad preparation that is possible. The salad spinner is a popular piece of equipment in our kitchen.
-Drench the salad in their favorite dressing
-Don’t ask your children if they want salad, just put a spoonful on their plate
-If they say they don’t want it, well in our house there is the rule of ‘The Trying Bite’. Just put the spoonful of salad on the plate and before dinner is done they need to take their ‘Trying Bite’.
-If they say they don’t like it, you can say, “You don’t like it yet? Well maybe tomorrow you will like it, let’s see! And here is your trying bite”.
-I try not to have conversations about what they like, don’t like, what they want, don’t want. I am not going to make different food for everyone in the household. What is for dinner is what is for dinner.
I just use a super nonchalant approach to the trying bite thing. Nothing for them to resist, nothing for me to banter with them about. Like, why did they like this food yesterday and not today, or how I thought they liked this food, or how long I spent putting dinner together.
If they resist, I just put the trying bite on the plate, no drama, no emotion, I don’t tell them that I really didn’t feel like cooking dinner tonight anyway…..
Every child and every family eating environment is different. Some of these suggestions may work to entice more salad eating in your home. If not, forget I mentioned them.
Salad Greens Resources
If it is possible for you to grow some lettuce greens, I find that the best way to get children involved in eating salads. When they can plant it, watch it grow and harvest it then there is a better chance of them wanting to eat it. It is fresher tasting and they feel a connection to it. Here is a list of the salad greens that we grow and where you can get seeds to grow your own delicious green salads!
Mizuna is a mild green that I often use as the bulk of the salad because of its juiciness and subtle flavor.
Arugula has a little kick to it. It is a spicier, nutty tasting green that is delicious added to other greens. It goes especially well with a little goat cheese or topped with blue cheese dressing.
Mild Green Mustard is a hearty green with a slight crunch to it. This mustard has a mild spicy flavor. You can grow red mustard greens if you want a spicier salad. This is the kid friendly mustard green.
We love the mizuna, arugula and mustard greens in the salad seed mixes from Renee’s Garden Seeds. They have several seed combinations that are specific for growing salad greens.
-Baby Mesculun Mix
-Farmers Market Blend
-Paris Market Mix
You can find these high quality, organic seeds here: http://www.reneesgarden.com/seeds/seeds-hm/vegK.htm#let
If you aren’t able to grow your greens the farmers market is your next best bet. Salad mixes are also becoming more popular at grocery stores. A salad mix seems so much nicer than a one lettuce salad. I enjoy the array of leaf colors, shapes, flavors and textures that you get with a variety of greens. I hope you enjoy your next crunchy, juicy green salad!
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Hello I’m Kami, Welcome to Living Awareness!
I believe every family needs to have someone on board with a working knowledge of natural remedies if you want to take care of your family’s health for real.
When I was growing up, natural remedies was not a mainstream concept like it is now, in fact, you are going to be surprised that I never even heard the word natural remedy until I moved out of the house!
In my early 20’s I met someone by chance that told me about holistic health and herbal medicine. I wondered why nobody had talked to me about it before and had a voracious appetite to learn everything I could.
Now, 30 years later I've helped thousands of people demystify the world of herbal medicine and become empowered in using herbal self-care in their home to prevent illness, take care of common ailments and protect their health naturally.
For 20 years I've had a clinical herbal practice connecting people with plants and their wellness. I've developed and taught herbal curriculum for UCSF School of Nursing and the Integral Health Master’s Degree Program at the California Institute of Integral Studies.
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