“How do I make my kid eat healthy food?” I get asked that a lot these days. My two little guys (3 and 1) love to eat. I’m really lucky that they are willing to try new things. Well everything is new to Little Bear. Big Bear (not their real names by the way) can get a little more picky at times. But I like to think I got it figured out when it comes to my kids and how to get them to mostly clear their plates. I’m going to share with you my top 5 tip and tricks. Keep in mind these are just things that work for my kids. You’re kids might be a bit different and need a few adjustments. Be patient and try things a few times. Which takes us to tip number one…
- Try try try again – No one liked everything the first time they tried it. I try new things a couple of times and in different way! Bear never liked hash browns (a fav of mine) until I called them tiny french fries. Poof! Plate cleared.
- Establish a one bite rule – Often I am met with a face of contempt when new food are introduced. “How dare you suggest I eat THAT?!?” That being anything from beets to carrots that he asked for. But it’s known, you don’t have to like it but you have to try it. I think I might just make that the saying on our placemats. Perfect example of how this will work in your favor: Last night I made carrots (that were asked for) but I roasted them instead of our normal crunchy raw version. First they were called “dirty” due to the color change, but we followed our one bite rule. I am happy to say I got a resounding “mh, they aren’t that bad” Followed by making sandwiches with them using meat as the filler and the carrots as “bread”. Hey, it worked so why not 😉
- Get the wiggles out – Kids have a hard time sitting still. In our house it’s ok if you have to do a lap around the kitchen to get the wiggles out. But then you sit back down and have a bite. Sometimes it ends up being bite, lap, bite, lap, repeat until plate is clear. But hey it’s all good.
- Have a routine – Dinner is at 6. It’s a known fact. So at 5:55 Bear hears “5 minutes until dinner.” Followed by “Got it?” The reply can be anything from “Yup” to “NNNOOOOOO!!!!” But then if the TV is on, he gets to turn off the TV (it a special thing for him so it help in transition times) and he knows we sit at the table.
- Be ready to break the rules – Sometimes you just got to take everything you know and throw it right out the window. Screw the lessons, the books, the unwanted guilt ridden advise and do what you think works! Sometimes it’s been a too long day for everyone so pizza and a movie works great.
Remember if you got them to eat you did great!