Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Growth from a surprising toy

Getting my kids to eat anything that isn't yogurt, fruit or PB &J is a struggle. When they were infants I made all kinds of baby food from scratch and they ate every bite. I often worry about their nutritional balance.
I have been trying different things over the past year: talking and reading about the food groups, they help me pick out produce at the store that we are going to "juice", we color pictures of fruits or veggies, etc.
Lately I have been talking about how big and strong they will be if they eat vegetables, drink "ice water", eat fruits, etc.
My mom took them to the dollar store and bought them a sting ray that grows when it sits in water for like 96 hours or something.
I thought it was gross. It was slimey - all I could think about was keeping it away from Jaxon's mouth.
Well on Monday I forgot to drain the tub and that sting ray sat in tub water all night. The next morning when I saw the filled tub, I drained it and left to make breakfast. Mason came screaming out of the bathroom. He was so excited that I could barely understand him.
I followed him to the tub and saw this HUGE sting ray. The boys were beyond THRILLED.
So I took the opportunity to say that the reason the sting ray grew so much was because he drank water. I said, "if you guys keep drinking water, eating fruits and veggies you will grow every day just like that sting ray did. One day you will be big just like daddy."
Brant was amazed. He said, "WHAT?!" As if I had been holding out on some big secret. I couldn't believe the look on his face.
I said, "yeah. How do you think daddy got so big and tall? He ate his snacks!"
Seeing your child make a connection to something first hand was so rewarding. I had no idea that all I had to do was buy this toy for a buck. And if I knew it was going to help them connect eating food with growth I probably would have planned it better like had half eaten broccoli stems sitting by the sting ray.
The next morning Mason had two carrots for breakfast and a big glass of ice water so he could "grow big muscles like daddy."
From this experience we started a growth chart in their doorway. They are always pleased to see that they are growing into big boys every day.

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