By Leanne Ely, CNC
Have you noticed how much easier it is to get something done when there is a tangible reward attached? Everyone likes to be acknowledged for his or her efforts, don’t they?
I sure do! When I make dinner, one of the favorite parts is hearing my family respond positively. You sort of burst with pride when you hear your husband proclaim, “Wow, this is delicious!” or your children say, “Make this again, Mom!” Those are great rewards for those of us who work in our kitchens everyday to feed our families.
Rewards are great-they inspire us to do more and keep trying. Children especially are propelled toward greatness when offered a reward! They love being rewarded for doing the right thing. When I was in 5th grade taking piano lessons, my piano teacher would put a gold star on each page of music I mastered. I lived for those gold stars!
Remember this when you’re trying to get your children to eat their vegetables. They aren’t going to be telling you how much they love their green beans! Perhaps a little reward is in order, like a choosing a toy at the dollar store at the end of the week for eating as many bites of their vegetable that was on their plate each night as their age. In other words, if your child is 3, having him eat 3 bites will earn him a gold star. Put a gold star on the calendar and at the end of the week, ta da! He gets a reward!
This isn’t bribing! This is rewarding excellent behavior. You are teaching your child life skills when they learn to eat their vegetables. And vegetable eating is very important for understanding the significance of nutrition and how that will impact him or her for the rest of their lives.
This week, sit down with your children and give them the opportunity to earn a reward! Teach them that vegetables build muscles (ask to feel your child’s muscles before they eat their veggies and after-let them know you think you felt them grow!) and make sure you’re setting a good example, too! Your child won’t eat his vegetables if you don’t.
Remember-gold stars are for everyone, young and old!
Check out our >>Kids Cooking Club<< for more fun and creative ways for getting your children involved in the kitchen!