Sneakin' Veggies to the Rugrats - A Mother's Guide
Contributed by: Stephanie Olsen
I consider myself a moderately honest person, at times forthright and
even true. However, I admit to having conquered new lows in my quest
to feed the kids nutritionally-balanced meals and wanted to share the
lies and subterfuges with all and sundry, not only so that your
children might heretofore consume dark leafy greens but also that I
might spread the guilt.
The new rule in my house was met with jeers, catcalls and thrown
objects, but when I pulled myself together and announced to my
daughters that they were to dine, henceforth and forever more, only
at the kitchen table and never, under any circumstances, in front of
the TV, they just expressed mild relief that I would still feed them.
Being a fair-minded autocrat, I explained the reason behind the novel
law: that we must be aware of what we put into our mouths, and that
we should eat only when responding to hunger and not as a thought-
less automatic action. I knew my first grader had caught on when she
piped up: "Oh, like when you read books at the table, mom?".
In an attempt to set an example (we all know that they follow our
actions, not our words, the boneheads), I now only nosh and read in
the front closet where, although bag rustlings, page flipping and
chip crunching are apparently (from all rude comments overheard)
somewhat intrusive, I am out of sight. And it can be quite a
struggle in there, let me tell you - trying to balance the
flashlight, the licorice and the People magazine is one thing, but
getting at the Diet Coke in my jacket pocket without spilling!
However, I try not to complain too much - it's just one of those
things a mother has to do.
When another brainstorm hit, I was nearly floored by myself in full
admiration and will accept any and all nominations for Mother of the
Year or Saint. When the girls were watching one of their educational
videos (it was either about dolphins or Scooby-Doo, I can't quite
recall), I brought in a bowl of cooled broccoli, which I had earlier
steamed, decorated with sweet mandarin slices. I may have been in the
throes of my cuisine artistry course or perhaps it was simply some
kind of fit, but the food looked pretty and the girls loved their
snack in front of the TV. And the statute in my house has been
amended accordingly: you may eat as much as you want while watching
the tube, as long as it's vegetable or fruit, steamed or in its
As a final bid for sainthood, let me bare my soul and confess to one
last prevarication: the Shepherd's Pie I made last week? The one with
green potatoes on top? They weren't green potatoes, hon. They were
regular old mashed 0otatoes with chopped spinach!
About the Author:
Stephanie Olsen, published writer, homeschooling mother of two and
ESL teacher currently residing in Europe, is also owner of the
expatriate site, Family Life Abroad http://www.familylifeabroad.com
where you'll find humorous and informative articles by experienced
expatriates on all aspects of living abroad, with lots of links and