One of my children is a fussy eater so I put vegetables in his food without him knowing. I do this out of concern, for there were serious health problems in the past. Now my problem is that the child keeps questioning me if I have added anything he dislikes in the food. Most of the time I beat around the bush, sometimes even resorting to a lie justifying that I’m the mum and my child’s health is my responsibility. My child is under 15 yrs of age and has recently become baligh but is not mature enough to leave his matters to himself. Respected shaykh my question is am I sinning by this action or by my occasional lie? I have heard that a person can’t be a liar and a Muslim at the same time.
wa `alaykum salam,
It is not necessary to lie, just frank explanation and creativity is needed. Give encouragement to your child with kind advise about the goodness of eating vegetables and what benefits it brings to him. You may incorporate them into different dishes like soups and desserts. Finely chopped vegetables make them easy to eat. Children will need to be trained to adapt their tastes to vegetables, so make them tasty and flavourful. Keep serving them various vegetables regularly so that their eyes will get used to it and eventually pick up the habit of eating it. There are many cookbooks that help train children improve their diet with vegetables and fruit.
When you prepare the food, make sure you have Wudu and recite Salawat and du`a over them so that they will provide a spiritual nourishment for your child that will purify and change him.