How to make your kid eat all of his vegetables: a case study.

I’ve got to put my foot down on something before it gets out of hand (all body parts in the previous sentence were metaphorical). I am never going to use the phrase “you need to make a happy plate” when trying to convince my children to eat all of their food.

I just wasn’t raised that way. We cleaned our plates with no regard for their emotions in my house. And given the rate at which I destroyed all food products on my plate, I’ll bet you I upset the thing from time to time. Serves it right. (so punny it makes my eye twitch, that last sentence.)

But last night at dinner my wife told our son to make a happy plate. I should clarify: she had no idea that I would react the way I did. Some things you don’t discuss during pre-marital counseling. But in hindsight, I think it might have been time well spent.

Make a happy plate? I was a card-carrying member of the clean plate club, myself. Those plates were clean and miserable, for all I cared. Just as long as they were clean. I’m in the club.

I was willing to agree to disagree on the gastric motivational tactics we were employing, until she made a critical mistake. She told our son to eat all of his carrots, so that he would have pretty eyes. As soon as the words escaped her mouth, she realized what she had done. Counting our two boys, there are exactly two little boy grandchildren on her parents’ roster, out of 11 total. So Jacqueline and I are trailblazing when it comes to masculine forms of motivation.

She quickly recovered and mentioned that superheroes eat all of their carrots to give them super night-vision. Well played, wife. Well played indeed.

Now just stop catering to the emotional wellbeing of the dishes and we’ll be all set.

How about you? Were you in the clean plate club, or the happy plate club? Comment below.

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