Friday, May 21, 2010

Full Circle

Raising a child can be challenging. Raising one who eats healthy is even more so. When my son was a baby, I tried to keep him away from processed sugar and fed him only natural sugars, such as fruit. Well, that didn’t last long. For his first birthday, I made an applesauce cake with no added sugar. He threw it on the floor in disgust. He was used to the sugary frosted cupcakes they served at daycare. I was so desperate for him to  eat healthy, I once resorted to telling him grapes were candy to entice him to just taste them.

I really wanted him to have a healthy diet. When he was about six, I made him sit at the dinner table until bedtime because he refused to eat even one carrot. He inherited my stubborn streak and I lost the battle. He went to bed without dinner. I could relate. When I was growing up, I used to lock myself in my room rather than eat some of the food my parents served.

When my son was five years old, he began traveling between the East and West Coasts, sharing time between his father and me. The summer he returned from his dad’s and smugly announced that he now liked broccoli and salad, I was ecstatic. I had been afraid he would never eat green vegetables. His junior high graduation quilt was inspired by a fabric containing his then favorite foods – mushrooms, pizza and BROCCOLI. The quilt pays hommage to his awards, activities and taste buds. I considered liking broccoli to be one of his major accomplishments.

Now that my son is grown and married, I no longer attempt to influence his food choices. That job has been passed on to his wonderful wife. She has him eating food he would NEVER even consider for me. The power of being in love! He now eats a healthy diet that occasionally even includes fruit. His wife can persuade him to try almost anything with no threats or nagging. Maybe it’s love, or maybe all those years of my begging and pleading during his childhood lurk somewhere in his adult subconscious. Do I get any credit at all? However it happened, I am pleased to relate that my obstinate, chocolate-craving, sweet-toothed child has transformed into a health conscious adult. And now that he has a son on the way, it will be his turn to face the challenges of raising a healthy eater.

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