Don’t worry, I’m not forcing my kids to eat. Or to like whatever they eat, for that matter.
But now that my kids are older, this phrase has recently become a joke in our family. Let me explain…
We eat as a family most nights. I prepare real-food meals that are nourishing and free of processed foods and usually refined carbohydrates. And to avoid having to cook every night, I often (usually one or two times per week) plan ahead in my meal planning to have leftovers.
As you can imagine, with three kids sometimes they are not well received–the first time around, or even less likely the second time around. (Frankly, sometimes even I don’t want to eat the same thing twice even if I liked it the first time!)
So one day, I quipped a comical response to the complaints, “you will eat it and you will like it”. We laughed, they ate what I served, and now they regularly mimic me saying it…
(Of course, they also love mimicking our visiting friend’s four-year-old, who took one bite of my cooking and exclaimed in disgust, “Blecck!” At least my kids had the good sense not to do that back when they were four!)
The forcefulness of my statement “you will eat it and like it” was definitely meant as a joke. But in all seriousness, I really meant to say “sorry, not sorry” if we don’t especially love what I’ve made.
The food I provide every night is what I’ve chosen to make and it’s usually good, but always nourishing, and well, edible.
And since it’s the only option on the menu du jour, we all have the choice to eat it or not–if we can make it to breakfast. (We eat kind of late, and got in the habit of not having snacks after dinner while the kids were little to encourage better eating at dinnertime. Turns out this is better for circadian rhythms and sleeping, too.)
But “you will eat it and like it” is also a way of saying, “If you try it and set your mind to liking it, you will.” Mindset is a powerful tool we can manipulate to shape our experiences in life. (And this is helpful in many ways beyond food.)
So, although I’m a little late posting this (thanks to some military detailer upheaval–more on that later), this is simple nutrition message #4 for National Nutrition Month!
Although it has nothing to do with food, you might be intested in the book Mindset by Carol Dweck. The book was recommended to me a few years ago by one of my girls’ favorite teachers and it is one of the most infuencial books I’ve read.
It helps you foster a growth mindset (as opposed to a fixed mindset) to create motivation in education, business or whatever you do! It’s also vital to parenting, as we foster our children’s lifelong learning style.
What books have you read lately that taught you something new? I’d love to add them to my proverbial night stand and learn something new from you!