Today I read an interesting article in Macleans’ magazine called ‘The Collapse of Parenting’. The article goes on to state that in today’s modern, anti hierarchical world parents are taking a more relaxed and friendship building roll relinquishing control to their children; a good example of this is at the dinner table. When I was younger there were strict rules that had to be followed at the dinner table. Good manners were enforced, proper etiquette behavior was taught and rules such as “no dessert until your vegetables are gone” were strongly adhered to. I remember one night I refused to finish my dinner (probably over some silly moral stand) and I sat at the table for 3 hours until boredom over took and I ate the entire plate of cold spaghetti. In today’s society, the parental-child relationship has morphed into “just try one bite and I’ll let you have candy”, rather than enforcing a certain behaviour. Instead of parents controlling their children, parents are letting the children set the precedents. Parents are afraid of treating their children ‘as strictly as they were treated’ and as a result kids are becoming overweight, over medicated and disrespectful to themselves and the world around them.
Let’s face it. Feeding kids is hard work. From the minute my kids walk in the door after school to the minute they go to bed, I constantly hear cries of “I’m hungry!”. I want my children to grow up enjoy veggies, fruits and healthy proteins. I would love them to have never been introduced to my-one-true-love-Chocolate, but they were. As much as I would love to give my DD4 a sucker every time she bats those big, beautify brown eyes at me and smiles so sweetly, but I can’t. I have to put on my Mommy-pants and teach them (in sometimes a strict way) how to become healthy adults.
Here are a few Parenting rules I enforce when it comes to dinner time in our house:
- All vegetables and protein on the plate must be consumed
- No dessert is permitted if dinner is not finished
- one treat (i.e. read CANDY, Chocolate or cookie) a day
- If you are hungry before dinner, you may eat all the raw vegetables you can cosume!
- If you want a snack, try fruit first
- You must try 1 tsp of new foods/unfavorable foods, every time they are served (study show that it takes 10 times of trying something for you palate to adjust to new flavours.
What dinner table rules to you use to help guide your children
(while still showing them who’s boss?)
I know whenever I make dinner, I am not going to please everyone one and I am famous for answering the question ‘what’s for dinner?’ with the reply “grossness”. If I don’t say it, someone will, so I might as well beat them to the pun
ch. Sometimes the trick to getting your kids to eat healthy is to make them think that they aren’t. Here is one of the recipes I use to provide my children with healthy, yet fun way to eat!
Sweet Potato Pizza
3 medium sweet potatoes
1 cup gluten free flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon of each basil, oregano, thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup pizza sauce
1 cup mozzarella cheese
Toppings of your choice (ham and pineapple are our go to toppings)
Step 1: Preheat oven to 400 F
Step 2: Boil a large pot of water.
Step 3: While water is boiling, peel and cube sweet potato
Step 4: Place in boiling water (approx 20 minutes) until the potatoes are soft and easily pierced with a knife. Rinse with cold water to cool potatoes.
Step 5: Mash Sweet potato and add flour, baking soda, spices and salt. Kneed with hands until well combined.
Step 6: Roll mixture out between two pieces of parchment paper until it forms a 1/2 inch disk.
Step 7: Place in oven for 15-20 minutes until edges begin to brown.
Step 8: Remove from oven and add pizza sauce, cheese and toppings. Return to oven and place under broil until the cheese is melted.
I enjoyed it and maybe you will to!!!