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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 13, 2007 / 27 Sivan, 5767

You gonna eat that?

By Malcolm Fleschner


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | "What can be done to convince young children to eat healthy foods?"


For centuries this question has stymied philosophers - the ones with children, anyway. Yet today we are no closer to a definitive answer, as the received wisdom of generations seems to boil down to, "Um, I don't know, maybe make choo-choo noises while you slip a forkful into their mouths?"


In my house we have three preschool-age children who exhibit varying levels of disdain for the food my wife and I put in front of them. These days my 3-year-old most consistently disapproves of anything new that appears on his plate. Not wanting to appear inflexible, however, he does generously suggest that we replace the offensive fare we've offered in favor of a stack of pancakes. He does this at every meal.


When this picky behavior first emerged, I had some success in persuading him to at least taste of new foods, typically by smiling and offering an enthusiastic, "Just try it - I promise you'll like it!" Sadly, I lost any food-related credibility I had established after the incident my children now refer to only as "Lima Bean-gate."


As a result, my son is now instantly suspicious of any unfamiliar food, even desserts. Narrowing his eyes, he shifts his gaze between his plate and me, like a character in a spy novel wondering what his food might be laced with. "Come on," I exclaim in frustration, "It's good. It's chocolate pudding, for crying out loud. I'm not trying to poison you!"


Despite these mealtime frustrations, my wife and I refuse to force our kids to eat anything. We both recall with horror countless childhood hours spent glumly staring at meals that we suspected came directly out of our parents' copies of "The Joy of Cooking (Meals Your Children Will Hate)." Having been instructed that I couldn't leave the table before my food was all gone, I always honored the letter - if not the spirit - of the law. Thousands of years from now, archaeologists sifting through the rubble of my mother's house will likely conclude that late 20th-century Americans shored up their homes by filling every baseboard crack with pieces of overcooked, rubberized meat.


When coercion didn't work, another popular tactic was applying guilt. "Eat your dinner - there are starving children in Africa," we were told. Of course my sister and I always responded enthusiastically, squealing, "Oh goody! Another mealtime lecture on the harmful effects of an unstable global economic system, unseasonably low levels of rainfall and other factors leading to the tragic malnutrition afflicting sub-Saharan Africa!" Concerned, thoughtful children that we were, we readily suggested boxing up our meals for immediate shipment to the hardest-hit areas.


Surprisingly, my mother never took us up on these acts of selflessness, which was just as well. "You're right, Mom," I would say, imagining a village of hungry African children clambering to open a shipment of food, expecting rice or grains, only to be confronted with a Corningware flower print dish filled with my mother's green bean casserole. "Those kids have suffered enough already."


Many parents today, weary of fighting these mealtime battles, just give in and just let kids choose their own menus. These parents serve an important societal function - namely, making the rest of us feel better about our own halfhearted parenting. Because while I might in rare instances allow a cereal into my home that lists "sugar," "high fructose corn syrup" and "more sugar" as the three primary ingredients, I can still take pride in knowing that I draw the line at feeding my children a breakfast consisting of, say, a bowl of Doritos swimming in Yoo Hoo.


Advertisers are, naturally, all too eager to help parents rationalize making these nutritional concessions. That's why you might see an ad referring to a cereal consisting of miniature marshmallows with cookie dough centers as "part of this complete breakfast." Look at the ad a little more closely, however, and you'll notice that the cereal bowl is surrounded by a large glass of orange juice, a plate of fresh fruit, a dozen multivitamins and a bushel of Brussels sprouts (not pictured) while the breakfasting child appears to be running on a treadmill. By this standard, what wouldn't qualify as part of a "complete breakfast?" A Twinkie? Cheetos? A pack of Marlboros?


Now, as a result of my children's adamant refusal to try new foods, I have fallen back on that most shopworn of parental strategies, reverse psychology. "If you don't want it, that just means more for me," I'll say, popping the spurned carrots, asparagus, peas or broccoli into my mouth, hoping they'll stop me, which they never do.


Ah well, at least someone in our household is eating healthy.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Malcolm Fleschner is a humor columnist for The DC Examiner. Let him know what you think by clicking here.


Previously:

05/08/07:That's disinter-tainment
05/02/07:You Are (not) Getting Sleepy...
04/18/07: No time like Father Time
03/15/07: Deface the Nation
03/08/07: More gifts? You shouldn't have
02/22/07: Relationships can be such a chore
12/05/06: Who's calling the shots?
11/09/06: I'm taking selling to a whole new level
10/27/06: Some skills are beyond repair
10/18/06: You can't tech it with you
10/04/06: Award to the wise
08/24/06: Phrased and Confused
08/09/06: We're Gonna Party Like it's $19.99
07/19/06: Just Singing in the Brain
05/24/06: Who says you can't go home again?
05/11/06: When nightly news stories go off script
04/26/06: Cents and sensibility: A thought for your pennies
03/16/06: The day the Muzak died
02/23/06: Checkbook diplomacy begins at home
02/15/06: Today's toys: Where learning means earning



© 2006, Malcolm Fleschner

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