Thursday, March 21, 2013

Training a Palate to Eat Healthy

Even with freezing March temperatures, Collin is still thinking spring!  He slipped on a warm weather baseball outfit.

"What happened to my bagel?" Cooper screeched.  With a look of disdain, he held up his breakfast: a 100% whole-wheat, 100 calorie bagel thin smothered in low-fat American cheese.

"It's still a bagel," I chirped.  "Just healthier."

He shot me a skeptic glance.

Today's breakfast was different.  His morning breakfast plate didn't feature a plump, calorie-laden bagel blanketed in Nutella or drenched in butter.  No sir.  His breakfast makeover arrived thanks to a weekend vow I made to eat healthier.  And by my vow, I meant our vow, the boys too.

I spent my weekend with my sweet friend, Claudia, a dietician.  The thing I love about Claudia is that even though she's a dietician, she's just as mortal as the rest of us.  I've seen Claudia indulge in a slice of birthday cake and even reach for a second piece.  She eats out of her kid's Halloween candy bags and munches on pizza too.  But, most of the time, Claudia is a model eater and has taught her kids the same healthy habits.  

During a weekend discussion on food, Claudia encouraged me to increase my boys' dinner portions of veggies.  Their dinner plates always include a vegetable side, but I must admit I tend to serve them only a minute amount of broccoli florets or Brussels sprouts.  Small quantity of veggies= less protests, you see!  

Claudia inspired me.  The night I arrived home, I loaded up the boys plates with a handful of cauliflower, broccoli, and carrots.  (Claudia recommended 3/4 cup of veggies.)

The boys took one glance at their plates and wrinkled their noses.  Within a few nanoseconds of sitting at the table, the groaning began.  "How could I do this?" they cried.  "There's just so many of them," they whined.  

Right then and there, I threw Claudia under the bus.

"Mrs. Claudia told me to add more veggies," I replied.

Claudia suddenly became public enemy number one in the Wood house.  If Claudia had been sitting at our dinner table, I would have certainly worried about her safety.

Along with the veggies, I made other small modifications.  I replaced white bread with whole wheat products.  I encouraged a snack choice of nuts over Goldfish.  I offered them yogurt and apples over corn chips.  

So far, the changes have not been greeted warmly.  Claudia told me sometimes it takes time to train a palate to eat healthier.  And so, we're (all) in training, taking it one veggie at a time.

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