Insider’s Viewpoint: Picky, Picky … Just Get Tricky?

A Parent’s/Caregiver’s “Summer’s-Almost-Over” Survival Guide to Encourage Healthier Eating

Since the kids have been home, have you found any ways
To make healthier eating a part of their days?
You can’t be too obvious, though, that is true.
(The least trusted person is probably you.)

The goal of this blog is to offer relief
From the painful frustration we all know as grief…
Whenever it seems that you have to insist
That a kid try a food that they naturally resist.

It’s never too early to offer a taste
Of new fruits and veggies…it’s never a waste.
Because sometimes, folks, it might take three or four
Attempts at success…then they’ll beg you for more.

Just play “hard to get”…you know, just like a date.
If they think you’ll say no, well…they won’t want to wait.
“Let me try it, oh, PLEASE…let me, let me, oh PLEASE!
PLEASE let me have some more carrots and peas!”

“Oh, no…I don’t want any popcorn or candy…
But broccoli and spinach? Well, that would be dandy!”
“More Brussels sprouts, Mom…I think that would be great!
Just pile them up on my big, empty plate…”

OK, so I’m dreaming… those surely are dreams.
But dreams all begin with improbable “seems”…
It may not seem likely, it may not seem real
But YES, kids can love food with seeds and a peel!

Perhaps it’s the form that at times seems off-putting…
So let’s start right there on some sure, solid footing.
If a veggie that’s cooked and is mushy seems yucky…
Try serving it raw and you just might get lucky.

Sometimes they won’t drink the juice that you squeeze
But beg you they will for the kind that you freeze!
Haven’t you heard that a kid can be fickle?
But they’ll eat ‘most anything like a Popsicle.

Have fun with your food! ‘Cause in order to get ‘em
To try watermelon with seeds… let them spit ‘em!
Or just get creative in making decisions
Like slicing cucumbers in curly sweet ribbons.

You might even tell a few little white lies
The next time you whip up a fresh batch of “fries”.
Who said there is only one veggie to use?
Try carrots sometime… they just might not refuse!

But don’t get too sneaky. Who likes to be tricked?
Kids would much rather eat something they’ve picked.
So bring them along when you go to the store.
If they help make decisions, they just might eat more.

Just imagine how many “ag major” recruits
Get started because of some veggies and fruits
That tickled their fancy and captured their hearts
When they were the ones who were filling the carts!

No one will argue; we know it’s a fact…
With kids you need oodles of patience and tact.
So set good examples and then it’s a “must”…
Step back and show confidence, faith, hope and trust!

The healthiest families are ones who are able
To gather together and share at the table.
Just show that you care and that’s all kids will need…
Then no matter the outcome, you’ll always succeed!
Joanie Taylor
Director, Consumer Affairs
Schnuck Markets, Inc.
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