What if I told you I found a way that can help your young son feel empowered, while simultaneously tearing down gender norms AND getting him to eat more veggies? Plus, it will keep him busy, while you cook dinner. It’s genius!
Getting my 5-year-old son to eat his vegetables has always been an “iffy” endeavor. So, I figured I would create some buy-in for him by making him part of the culinary process. I got him a serrated, nylon knife the other day. You know, the kind you can find online for kids or cutting lettuce. I have to say that I love that fact that it came in a set with an easy-to-grip peeler, too! Anyway, once he took that knife in his little hand, I set him to playing (working, really).
His task? Cutting-up his favorite veggie, cucumbers.
While I prepared other ingredients for the steak tacos we were having that night, my boy cut, chopped and—amazingly–ate. He almost polished-off a whole cucumber in his enthusiasm! He was so proud to have the whole family eating the veggie that he had sliced, himself. For the sake of full disclosure, though, he also spent half the time running around the house like he was running a 50-Yard Dash (against whom, I have no idea). He did eat that cucumber, though!
In a time when we’re raising-up and empowering our daughters to be good humans, it’s crucial that we also do the same for our sons. We need to empower them to love cooking and take care of their families. To love to eat good, healthy food (or at least a whole cucumber, after that bowl of chips you just gave him). To settle down long enough for us to actually get food on the table.
A serrated nylon knife won’t save the world, but providing our children a lifetime of empowering, nurturing, and health-improving lessons just might. Buen provecho!
The original version of this article was previously published at Authentic Arts by Jenny Hoople.
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Photo credit: Jenny Hoople