Wednesday, September 26, 2007

MOMMY, CAN WE HAVE STEAMED SPINACH FOR DINNER?


How many times have you heard your child ask this question?

I hear it at least once a month.
I also hear, "When can we have those brussel sprout thingies again?"
Or you might hear one of my kids say, "My mom makes the best shells and stewed tomatoes!"
And then there's what might be my favorite, "Can we have the boiled kind of okra instead of the fried kind?"

Of course...it was not always like this. Tornado and Twister feared the unknown just as much as the next kid, but I have found something that truly Works-For-Me.

Every time I want to introduce anything new in the kitchen, especially vegetables, I ask my kids if they would like to help me prepare dinner that night. They ALWAYS say, "Yes!" And why wouldn't they? Cooking is fun! It's the clean-up that most people dread.

The part that I have them prepare is always the new vegetable. We keep it very simple.
  • They get to wash it if it needs to be washed.
  • They get to put it in the pot or the dish.
  • They get to measure the seasonings if we are using them.
  • They get to turn on the stove, oven, or microwave.
  • They get to set the timer.
During this time, I make a HUGE deal about what a great job they are doing as "Head Vegetable Chefs" and how it will be so exciting to try their new dish at dinner. I tell them that Mr. Brownstone is sure to love it, too. I also tell them why this particular vegetable is healthy to eat and an important part of our diet.

At dinner, I make an even bigger deal! They get to introduce the new dish to Mr. Brownstone, telling him all about it - how they made it and why it is important to eat it. Then I follow-up with what a great job they did in the kitchen.

Mr. Brownstone and I then sample the dish first and make the biggest deal ever! We tell them how this is the best
steamed spinach, or the best boiled okra, they are the best stewed tomatoes, or the best brussel sprouts that we have ever eaten. Tornado and Twister cannot help but be proud of their culinary skills, and of course, they want to sample the goods, too!

We have yet to meet a vegetable that they will not eat!
Not only do we get variety in our diet and and different tastes for our pallates, we are confident that our kids are getting necessary nutrients, and they are developing healthy eating habits for life! And we have fun while doing it, not to mention that they are learning how to cook!

This Works-For-Me, and I hope it will work for you, too! Visit Shannon at Rocks In My Dryer for more Works-For-Me-Wednesday tips!

For my first ever Works-For-Me-Wednesday tip, click here! It's a great tip about making travel easy with kids!

Previous Entry: My Second Menu Plan Monday


34 comments:

Nikki said...

I LOVE YOUR TIP! (why yes, I am yelling.) You sound like me but much more improved. My kids love vegetables, but are learning that a lot of kids don't like vegetables. And now they are beginning to wonder if they should not like vegetables too. So, I will be employing this for sure. Thank you very much XBOX wife. BTW, my hubby is glued to the XBOX right now. Nikki

Mrs. Brownstone @ XBOX Wife said...

Thanks, Nikki! I hope it will work as well for you as it has for us!

Is your hubby playing the new HALO 3 game? Mine has been glued to XBOX for the last two hours and a little bit when he got home from work, too!

Stacey said...

That is a terrific tip,thanks for sharing it!

phyllis said...

great idea. although i've tried the "cooking with my kids and then they'll eat it cuz they made it" thing and it's backfired on me before...but i like involving dad as the "test market" so to speak. thanks for the idea:-)

Robin said...

I'm willing to try anything. Today I made zucchini bread to get something green in the boy. Yeah, I know that doesn't really count.

alli~ Mrs. Fussypants said...

What a great, witty blog yoy have! I love it.
So nice to 'meet' you!

Happy WFMW!

love & blessings

An Ordinary Mom said...

What a positive and fun way to teach the kids. I love it!

infinitygoods.com said...

Great! I ditto your tip, it really does work. Our son has been helping in the kitchen too and what a difference it has made.

Nikki said...

Why yes he is playing HALO 3. He's been there for about four hours now.

Mrs. Brownstone @ XBOX Wife said...

Mr. Brownstone did FINALLY go to bed! I feel quite sure that I will not be seeing him much over the next week! LOL

Does your hubby play live?

Susan said...

Will have to do that when JR is older! Thanks!

Kathy in WA said...

Absolutely LOVE your tip!! I am continually seeking ways to encourage healthy eating in the children. Thanks for sharing!

Duckabush Blog

Jenny said...

What a great idea! So far, our little ones enjoy their veggies but this is still something I'd like to try with them.

Liz said...

Thanks for a great idea to use while introducing new foods with the little ones! Great tip!

Anonymous said...

Great tip girl! My girlies would love that!

steph

Jen @ JenuineJen said...

Generally, I have my children help cook as well. Still, they do not like to eat new things. Now, I know what I am doing wrong. I do not talk up their responsibility as the head chef, how yummy it will taste, or do the taste test. know what to do next time.

Thanks for the tip!

ellen b said...

Great tips! I love brussel sprouts, had them last night...yum.
BTW: Thanks for having the "other" option in your comment section!!
:)

SAHMmy Says said...

Great tips! My son never met a fruit/veg he didn't like--it's my husband who is reluctant to try anything beyond broccoli and spinach! But when my son proudly proclaims that he made dinner, who could resist eating every bit?!

Nap Warden said...

Hmmm, we'll have to try this one! The kiddos have not been eating the veggies:(

Jen said...

Oh yes, we do this too! I even created a website called Mommy What's For Dinner with recipes & tips about how to get kids to help with a specific meal.

Attitude is everything! Thanks for visiting me today!

Angie said...

What a fun tip! :) Although, sadly, we've already done it at our house, and it still hasn't helped. But, at least the kids are getting some good skills in the kitchen. LOL

Melissa said...

that's a great tip! i will remember it when mlm is older. now i just am trying to get a 4 month old to like his carrots :)

WorksForMom said...

Great tip (I wish my son would scream for spinach)!

Jill said...

That is amazing. I think my daughter would be wise to me. She is getting better about trying new foods everyday, but MAN is it a battle. I will have to try this.

Side note: I am skeptical about anyone liking brussel sprouts and steamed spinach. Maybe I could come over and you could try your technique with me.

T with Honey said...

I've noticed that Princess is more excited over meals where she has helped in the preparation. I never thought of harnessing that enthusiasm this way thought. Brilliant!

Missy said...

I love your tip! It works on my younger children but the teenagers have caught on to my game. I need a plan B.;) Love your site & Thanks for visiting mine.

lynnae @ from under the clutter said...

Great idea! I need to try this!

Lindsey said...

Fantastic tip! I love hearing all the creative parenting tips . . . I store them up for future use, LOL!

And I know how you feel about Halo 3 . . . I'm an XBOX girlfriend . . .

Scrawny Mommy said...

That's such a good idea -- I do a similar things with the refugee children I work with to teach them life skills like cleaning. "Who wants to be my Cleanup Kid today?" I ask, and they always oblige. I have a special badge/necklace I made that says Cleanup Kid and let the child wear it all day.

Laane said...

Great idea.

We have the fun here that they won't eat stew or mashed things. And most of our traditional dishes are just like that.
The father of the children throws everything together.

I cook the potatoes and vegatables seperate.

Then they get the choice what to eat, and if it's mashed.

They eat....and eat....and eat.

Mrs. Brownstone @ XBOX Wife said...

Thank you so much to everyone that visited my blog.

I appreciate the wonderful comments!

I apologize that it has taken me a few days to respond - yesterday was a tough day for me with my grandmother AND a sick child to boot, and today, well - it's just been busy!

Thanks again for visiting. I promise to visit all of you as soon as possible!

Milehimama said...

I thought my kids were the only ones who liked brussels sprouts! They call them turtle vegetables.
Nice tip and thanks for your comments on my blog too!

mommy-fied said...

This is a great tip!

Mrs. Brownstone @ XBOX Wife said...

Milehimama, it's nice to meet someone else who's kids love brussel sprouts! I love the name you've given them ~ turtle vegetables. That sounds so much more fun!

Mommy-fied, thanks so much for the compliment and for stopping by my blog!

Hope y'all are having a wonderful weekend!