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Health & Parenting

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Celebrity Eco-Friendly Tips

The (surprisingly simple) truth about "going green": continued...


"I never wanted to make my own apple juice or puree my own peas. But now I make healthy choices about food, and I only wish someone had really, really explained to me the consequences of not doing that when you're around young kids. I always heard, 'It's important to eat your vegetables.' We all did. But it wasn't until I was older that I realized just how important it really is, and what damage can be caused by not appreciating that.

"When my kids were younger, if they didn't eat what I put out for them, it was no big deal. I didn't enforce it (and I hate the word 'enforcer'). I wasn't a big vegetable eater myself. I never said anything to them like, 'These carrots and spinach are so great, I can't wait for you to taste them.' It was just so much less friction to do SpaghettiOs or pizza again. And since I'm not a great cook, it was easier in that way, too.

"As my son got older, his habits, like those of most kids his age, were pretty much set. In high school, we had the three-bite rule: He had to take three bites of spinach or broccoli or whatever. Sure enough, he took his three bites and that was it. There was no pleasure involved whatsoever. For him, it was like a prison sentence. Now, my son is in his junior year of college, and I have to bribe him to eat a salad. Recently, we went out to eat and I said, 'Will, you've got to order some vegetables.' And he replied, 'Well, I wasn't taught to eat that way.' And you know what? He was absolutely right. He wasn't.

"It's just about my biggest regret as a parent. Instead of letting them eat Ho Hos and Twinkies and saying, 'If you're good, I'll let you have some ice cream,' why couldn't I have said, 'If you're good, I'll let you have some apple slices'? I'm not saying that, if I had it to do over again, my son would never have gone to one of those ice cream birthday parties. But it's about education and moderation.

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