A mission of mine as a parent on the food front was to guide the Vegkid in to making good food choices because he wanted to and not because I told him to. In my opinion this starts with baby and goes all the way through childhood.
Some have said I catered to a picky eater. Some have said that I let him rule the kitchen. Some have said that I educate too much and need to let him just be a kid.
But what I have said, is that by educating then allowing him choices that the choices become HIS.
When children own the choice they have no need to sneak, or cheat, or rebel because they were making the choices they wanted all along.
My hope was that some day when he was off on his own, with out any parents nearby that he would still make positive choices. He has shown this to be true time and time again even at 4yrs old.
But this past camping trip took my BEING PROUD meter over the top.
I couldn't pack him any foods, so he was truly ON HIS own for the first time EVER without family and no access to family food. I was actually worried that he would go hungry before eating some of the foods they may have.
I have a grin on my face from ear to ear as the story goes:
When Pork was served, that young man of mine marched up to the Chef and asked for different foods. He pulled stuff off the salad bar that he would eat and had special items that Chef made for him to complete his meals. Not only did he NOT go hungry, but he ate super well by his own choosing. And I thank the Chef to no end for accomodating his wishes. What a wonderful experience.
It didn't stop there!
"Mom, can you believe they all ate cookies and milk before bed?" When I asked if he had any, the response went like this:
"Well Duh!! Of course not, why would I do that?"
Turns out he asked for a few pieces of fruit.
THAT'S - MY- BOY! *smile*