10 Sneaky Ways To Get Your Kids To Finally Eat
Are you blessed with a picky kid? 🙂
You know, the one that doesn’t eat anything besides sugar and maybe on occasion, some cheese whenever there’s a blue moon?
Yes, me too, nice to meet you!:)
Welcome to the Club! (high fives)
I swear I’ve tried every trick in the book, some worked and some didn’t.
But at least I can say that I tried it all and that my kiddo was thoroughly entertained in the process even if, she did not care for most of what’s on her plate.
But you know what?
Something magical happened, because one day, she actually caved and decided to try something other than sugar and cheese.
She tried some carrot sticks and proclaimed, “I love it!”
I kid you not. How did that happen?
Because she thought she ate the sun! And, 😐 I am totally ok with that…
Want more crazy sneaky ways to get your kids to finally eat, try these 10 cool tricks below.
1. Make silly characters out of boring food
Turn a turkey dog into an 8 legged octopus by cutting it in ½ and making 8 slits for the legs. Add some cooked spaghetti in chunky veggie pasta sauce for a fun seaside themed meal.
2. Use lots of color
It is only natural that we eat with our eyes first. If the food does not look appetizing, then we won’t eat it. So how are we to expect any less of our kids? Make their meals appealing to them by using lots of colors, even if you have to cut it up into tiny pieces. Try seeing it through their eyes and imagine, if you can, create trees out of steamed broccoli. They are more likely to pretend to be a brontosaurus who eats trees than a kid who has to eat broccoli.
3. Cut out different shapes
This is a fun one for both kids and adults alike. If you are not keen on cutting your food into different shapes, try to rearrange them into shapes instead. For example, peel an orange and rearrange the segmented pieces into the shape of a sun or a flower.
4. Create a theme day
This can also be as much fun for adults as it can be for kids too. Make each day a theme day to break up the monotony. Plan a weekly menu together as a family, for example; Meatless Mondays, Taco Tuesdays, Wild Card Wednesdays, Italian Thursdays, Asian Fridays, Something different Saturdays, & Slow Cooker Sundays.
5. Let them choose, ask their opinion & let them help
The more you ask them for input and give them a choice to help you prepare meals, the more your kids are likely to participate and actually enjoy being in your company.
6. Eat it together
This might literally be hard to swallow depending on what types of ingredients you give your kids’ access to. Suddenly the lemon meringue pie that you had originally intended to serve your family for dessert took a turn for the worse and turned into a mystery meat surprise pie. For the sake of your little prodigal chef, you may consider taking one for the team and giving it a good hard go to encourage their sense of adventure in trying food. Think of it this way, you’ll be leading by example. 😉
7. Don’t make it a big deal
Our family pediatrician taught us a good trick. Made a deal with your kids ahead of meal time. Tell them that it is ok to not finish their plates if they make a good effort to eat at least 3 bites of vegetables per meal. If they like it, great! If not, they would at least have met their daily minimal intake of 3-5 servings of veggies for the day. It’s a win-win for everyone.
8. KISS (keep it stupid simple) but offer a variety to choose from
Think of variety in terms of the variety inside of a bento box, not the level of difficulty that is involved in a hand-rolled sushi. Create a simple bento box of grapes, sliced cheeses, deli turkey, cherry tomatoes, and cucumber chunks. Put them inside individual fun shaped silicone molds to pique your kiddo’s interest.
9. Remember to add water
I don’t know about you, but I happen to know without a doubt that my kids do not get enough water. I know because I pack their water bottles full every day for school. At the end of the day, when they come back home, I discover that their water bottles are still as full as I left them this morning. Clearly, they did not drink any water from it all day or else it would be empty.
10. Keep trying
I kept trying anyway and made water their only choice of beverage. Sure enough, it did not take them long afterward to realize that they will drink water when there is no other choice to choose from. The same hold true for their meal choice for school: the main dish with protein, a side of veggies, a side of fruit, and a healthy snack for snack time (usually veggie chips, dried fruit, or trail mix). What I discovered is that when my kids are hungry and there is no other unhealthy alternative, they will eventually eat what they are given.
I hope these 10 tips gives you more hope and encouragement to keep trying when it comes to feeding your picky kiddos.
According to this article, it takes exactly 66 days for a behavior to become a habit.
So have heart, mama, it will eventually click one day for your little one too.
Just remember that you are doing everything you can possibly do for them and you’re rocking it every day!