"If facts are the seeds that later produce knowledge and wisdom, then the emotions and the impressions of the senses are the fertile soil in which the seeds must grow."
Rachel Carson

For Mothers of Infants

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THTM #11: Vegetable baby face
(Introducing vegetables)

What is the key message?

  • Getting children to develop a love of vegetables takes time.
  • Successful parents keep trying.

Who should receive this message?

  • Any parents, especially parents whose children don’t like vegetables.

How can this message be used?

  • Tell me about some successes you’ve had in your life. Has there been a time when you weren’t successful at first, but you did eventually succeed?
  • Tell me about a success you’ve had with your child that you never thought you could achieve. How hard was it at the beginning? How did it feel to be successful?

Idea for a group:

  • I’d like to start with a story about failure and success. There was a famous swimmer named Florence Chadwick. She accepted the challenge to swim 26 miles from Catalina Island to Palos Verdes, California. The waters were frigid and sharks trailed her most of the way but Chadwick kept swimming. After 15 hours of rough swimming, a heavy fog set in and she couldn’t see her goal—the coastline—and she gave up. She climbed aboard an escort boat only to find out that she was less than half a mile from shore. When asked why she stopped, Chadwick said: “It was the fog. If I could have seen land, I would have finished. But when you can’t see your goal, you lose all sense of progress and you begin to give up.” A few months later, she set a record swimming in the same waters.
  • How does this story related to parents trying to get their child to like vegetables? Sample responses:
    • Parents may stop giving vegetables to their child just before she starts to like them.
    • Parents may not know that they are close to success.
    • Parents may think children don’t like vegetables because they don’t eat them the first time they are offered instead of trying 12-15 times.
  • What would make you feel successful about feeding your child fruits and vegetables?
  • What are some of the barriers that keep you from reaching your goal of having your children love vegetables?
  • What are important lessons that parents teach toddlers and young children that require continued attention and reinforcement over time? Sample responses:
    • Teaching them to say “please” and “thank you.”
    • Teaching them to keep their fingers out of electrical circuits.
    • Teaching them not to hit.
  • Do you give up when the child doesn’t understand the lesson the first time?
  • What do you do to keep focused on your goals when you don’t achieve them right away?
  • When your child understands the lesson, how do you feel about yourself as a parent?
  • How is getting your child to love vegetables an important life lesson?
  • How will you feel when your child loves vegetables?
  • What is one idea you have to get your child to eat more fruits and vegetables this week?
  • What will you say to yourself if your child chooses not to eat his vegetables this week?
  • What positive words could you say to yourself to encourage yourself to keep trying?


Emotion-Based Messages