Wednesday, 9 November 2011

It'll put hairs on your chest

The continuing exploration of children's aversion to green foodstuffs and the quest to find new and exciting ways to encourage them to eat more veg continues. Don't forget to leave your tips here to be in with a chance of winning an Abel & Cole veg box. You have until November 14th.

Today's topic is the strange things we parents say to encourage kids to eat their greens. Things like the title of this post and other rather unscientific assertions. There is science - science aplenty and you can read all about it over on the Green Giant Facebook page but why do we persist in such old saws as, 'It'll make your hair curl' (hair seems to be a recurring theme) or 'They'll make you see in the dark'?

A quick Twitter poll also revealed such pearls of wisdom as, 'It'll give you muscles like Popeye' (spinach, obviously); 'You'll become the gentle (or sometimes, green) giant' (sweetcorn - and appropriate as I'm writing this post on behalf of Green Giant); 'For every sprout you don't eat a fairy dies' (gruesome!); 'Runner beans will make you run faster' and even, 'Cabbage protects you from goblins'.

Less credibly, some tweeps suggested that by eating your greens: 'you'll be able to generate your own wifi...' (unlikely, I feel - but no  more so than any of the others, surely?) or that, 'your hair will be able to see in the dark.' (Thanks Professor Bill Herbert for those two).

Other saws such as 'an apple a day' extended the theme to fruit, there was a neat bit of reverse psychology by someone who actually tells his children off for eating veg and a mum who told her 6-year-old that wholemeal bread was brown because it has chocolate in it.

Now I know as grown-ups we feed our children some stuff and nonsense (there's a big fat fellow with a long white beard about to hit the toy shops) but really - what's wrong with a simple 'Eat it up - it's good for you?' Or even, 'Eat it up because I say so'?

Never did me any harm.

And thanks to the following tweeps for their suggestions: Gemma, Catharine, GlitterUnicorn, John, Ruth, Pamela, Olly, Heidi, Laura, Pippa, Victoria, LucyIrritated Housewife and AConfusedTakeThatFan.

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