See these seemingly unassuming-looking veggies pictured above? To the untrained eye, they may look perfectly ordinary. What would you say they're called? Bell peppers and zucchini? Well, think again! These are not your run-of-the-mill veggies. Let me introduce you to...pepper fries and zucchini fries. Before I had our son, I scoffed at the suggestion of coming up with cool-sounding names to entice your children to eat. "That's for sissies," I thought, "My child will eat nutritious foods called by their given names. There will be no 'Superhero Sandwiches' in my home."
As all you parents out there already know, becoming a parent has a way of humbling a person, and I am certainly no exception to this...God knows I need all the humility He's willing to grace on me!! Now I am extraordinarily thankful that our son really does love a lot of nutritious foods, especially fruits and veggies, and that's something that I've worked on ever since I began introducing solid food to him. But as I've learned more and more about the way nutrition affects every part of our bodies' functioning, I wanted to up the anty even more, both for myself and for my family. I noticed that my son was eating way too many carbs for snacks and while they were "healthier" snacks (granola bars and crackers that were preservative-free and free of trans fat), I knew that I needed to gradually work in more raw food for snacks. Calvin already loved bell peppers, so the thought of eating "pepper fries" was quite exciting to him and he was all on board. The zucchini fries didn't go over so well, but I can't complain too much because he does like cooked squash. Now he knows that for at least one of his snacks during the day, he'll having some raw foods. Giddy up, Mama!
The more I thought about this concept of making foods sound appealing, it made perfect sense, and I realized that it isn't just about kids. Adults are enticed all the time simply by the name of a food. Most people are more likely to be drawn to a "Rootin Tootin BBQ Burger" on a restaurant menu than they are to a plain ole "burger." We like to start our wining and dining in our brain, before the food even touches our palate.
I'd love to hear about the creative ways that other parents out there have used to help their kiddos eat healthy!