A few weeks ago my ten year old grandchild J_____ was munching on her school lunch when a boy looked at her, wrinkled his nose and pointed at the bean sprouts on her salad. “Ee-e-w! What’s that?”
J______ responded, apparently dripping with condescension, “It’s a salad. Don’t you eat salad?”
My heart burst with pride when I heard this interchange.
First, for my daughter, who offered her children, salads, fruits, and vegetables from the moment they started taking solid foods.
She gave them an incredible gift by teaching them to eat whole real food.
When my granddaughters (aka grandtoys) were mere toddlers, my daughter would take them with her to dinner with friends. She usually ordered the salmon and salad entrees offered in most restaurants and she shared it with her girls. Her friends would marvel that the grandtoys would eat that, and not clamour for chicken fingers and fries.
“Why is it so amazing that my kids eat real food?”
“Because most kids don’t.”
Sad, isn’t it?
In fact, it was my daughter who pointed out to me that the offerings on kids menus are pure garbage. Burgers and fries, cheese sandwiches and fries, chicken fingers and fries, mac and cheese, and pizza populate the majority of kids’ menus. If this is what children eat they won’t develop a taste for salad and other real food.
Second, I am proud of my grandtoys, who are capable cooks. And they don’t make or eat K.D!
If tasked with preparing dinner, they start by making a salad. They love to toss in different ingredients, creating something new each time.
Their interest was further sparked when they had their own salad patches in Grandma’s garden. It was a momentous day when we picked the first salad. We’ve shared many happy moments in the garden picking tomatoes. They say children who grow food tend to eat more real food.
Third, I’m proud of J_____ for not being ashamed of her lunch. There is a great deal of peer pressure around food, in schools and even at the office!
She stood up and declared that it’s okay to eat salad. She’ll be a leader, one day. Watch out, World!
I am confident that my grandtoys will avoid many of the ills and dis-eases common today, even in children. They have a leg up because they eat salad.
Do your children or grandchildren eat salad? Do you?