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February 04 - Veggie Challenge

Today I realized it was Veggie Challenge day and I hadn't gotten any vegetables for it. The rules for Veggie Challenge are kind of fluid... we've had veggie challenges where they've needed to eat a fruit (like 10 orange slices) quickly, we've had veggie challenges where they had to identify the veggie blindfolded, we've had veggie challenges where they had to try an exotic fruit (like prickly pears or starfruit).  The winner of the veggie challenge gets bonus "Veggie points", and 350 veggie points can be traded in for a small toy. Essentially it's a sneaky way to get them to eat more vegetables: they'll do it more readily if they think of it as a game, and if there's a prize somewhere in it for them, they have motivation to see it through.

But today I had forgotten to get veggies, and all we had in the house was some leftover broccoli my wife hadn't roasted. So it was going to be a raw broccoli challenge today.

I ripped off two florets and put them on small plates, and then covered the plates with other bowls. When I called them in to start the Veggie Challenge, I insisted they couldn't look under the bowls until the challenge had begun. I didn't want them to psyche themselves out.

When they were seated, I yelled "go" and they revealed the broccoli. I said that they could get 50 veggie points for each floret they ate, plus a 100 bonus Veggie Points if they finished both first. GAME ON. They went at it.

Zephyr started asking me if he possibly could just eat the stalks, and I said I'd give him 25 points for each stalk he ate, but he'd need to eat the whole floret for the big points. Meanwhile Lyric was diligently going at it, chewing with all his might.

It looked neck and neck for a while, but Lyric ended up winning it. This was the first time in a while Lyric had beaten his older brother in something, and he was pretty thrilled about it. And Zephyr ended up getting 50 points for eating both stalks, which was enough to add to his previous winnings to get an action figure. Plus, I got to send them off to school with the knowledge that they had been tricked into eating healthy vegetables. So a win all around.