Radish Routine #2
If you aren’t in the habit of eating vegetables (and only four percent of American children are!), the thought of dining on daikon for dinner might make a child quiver. So, we’re going to take baby steps to get there. Rather than starting with a brown rice and kale salad, our program starts simply with a peanut butter sandwich.
If you want someone to change a behavior, you must meet them where they’re starting. Asking a child to stop eating pizza and to start eating salads overnight is a surefire setup for failure. However, if you add grilled peppers and onions to their pizza today, and repeat this behavior, you’re more likely to entice them to eat that salad a few months from now.
Putting this idea to work starts with a peanut butter sandwich. Every kid eats them, and every kid loves them. This recipe already has buy-in from our future Food Adventurers! This is the first recipe we make in our program, because most kids already know how to make a peanut butter sandwich, so we know they’ll succeed in making it, even if they don’t follow the instructions exactly. We want their first experience cooking to be positive. We hope it will hook them early so they’ll want to play in the kitchen again.
In our peanut butter sandwich recipe, we start with something familiar to our kids—and then we jostle them, ever-so-gently, out of their comfort zone. Instead of jelly, we use fresh fruit slices in our recipe. We’ve already told our kids they should eat a fruit or veggie with every meal or snack (Radish Routine #1), and this is the first time we illustrate how to practice it.
This is just one example of positive affirmation, an approach that almost always works. The point is to start where kids are comfortable, make subtle changes at first, and keep a positive attitude by gently bringing them along on this Food Adventurer journey!