Bribery, Empathy and a Goldfish

Chicken nuggetsIt’s Friday, right?  Somewhere along the clean eating path I missed a day because I never made the shrimp.  Anyway, here’s an update:

Tuesday:  Crispy Chicken Nuggets with broccoli and sweet potatoes

Parent Techniques Used:  History Lesson/Bribery

You can’t get more “kid food” than chicken nuggets, and yet…”Mom, this isn’t kid food.  This is grown up food.  Kids like McDonald’s.”

Said Henri, “When I was your age I ate whatever my parents gave me.”  She still fiddled with her food.  “JUST TRY IT!” he said, exasperated.

“Can we go to McDonald’s?” asked little Henry.

Victory!  The honey worked!

Victory! The honey worked!

“I have an (awesome) idea,” I said walking to the pantry and returning with two McDonald’s honey packets.  “If you each try one bite of each item on your plate I will give you a McDonald’s honey packet for dipping sauce.”

(I know, I know McDonald’s is the Great Satan for clean eating people, but my kids are newbies and if a packet of honey will help get nutritious foods into their body then i’m lovin’ it.)

Verdict:  Success!!

Salmon - before

Salmon – before

Wednesday:  Salmon with Cilantro Salsa, green beans and quinoa

Parent Techniques Used:  Anatomy Lesson/Bluff a little/Empathy

“I don’t like fish.  Why are you making me eat this?”

“Did you know that your brain is made mostly of fat and needs Omega-3 to run properly and the only way to get Omega-3 is through food?  And salmon is one of the best sources of this.”

“Yucky!” says my three-year-old son standing on his chair with his arms crossed over his chest.

“Do you know that the baseball players on the Yankees all eat fish for the protein to make them strong?”  (Clearly, I have no idea what the Yankees eat for dinner but my son sleeps with a baseball bat and is barely past being a toddler, so we’ll go with that bluff.)

“Well, I don’t want to be a baseball player.  Can I have toast instead?  I don’t like green beans and fish.”  Ah, Rylee.

Switch tactics.  “Rylee, I know you don’t like green beans very much but they’ll grow on you.  Look what I’m eating.  I’m having a spinach salad as part of my new diet and I don’t really like it either, but I’m still eating it.”

“Will you get in trouble if you don’t eat it?”Salmon - after


“No, I just like the way eating healthy makes my body feel.”

Verdict:  So-so.  Rylee finished the salmon but left everything else beyond the mandatory five bites.  Henry finished the green beans but only ate half the salmon.

Thursday – Spaghetti

Parental tactics:  Bribery

“That doesn’t look like normal spaghetti.  Can’t I just eat noodles with butter?”

“If you guys eat your healthy dinners without complaint for the next week, we’ll get you a pet goldfish.  (Which is something we were planning on doing anyway, but why not get them to eat healthy in the process?)

Verdict:  Victory!

Little Henry with "clean" spaghetti

Little Henry with “clean” spaghetti

Guess I’m going fish shopping soon.

How about you?  What parental techniques to you use to get your kids to eat clean?

Lisa ;) (c) 2013 Lisa Traugott.  All rights reserved.  No portion of this blog, including any text, photographs, and artwork, may be reproduced or copied without written permission.

2 responses to “Bribery, Empathy and a Goldfish

  1. Ooooh put the fish in a big pickle jar! I did that once and got the best compliments about it.

    I’m not above bribery. However the rule has always been in my house that if they don’t eat their dinner that’s all they get till the next meal. I don’t argue or persuade. They know.

    They also know that once a week they get a cheap pizza.

    • We are going fish shopping today after our family flu shots. I think they will get with the clean eating program by the end of the month. They are just fighting change, ’cause, well, look who their mom is! lol

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s