10 ideas to get your kids to eat (right)
Every parent knows that good nutrition is crucial for the proper development of children.
Every parent knows that good nutrition is crucial for the proper development of children – not just for the nutrients they take in to help build their bones and muscles and give them the fuel to learn and explore, but also the eating habits they pick-up and are more or less set for life. If a child grows up as a picky eater, steering clear from those yucky vegetables while constantly pining for junk food, then he is being set-up for a difficult life ahead. This is why parents would come up with any excuse to get their children to eat what they would otherwise not consider.
Below are 10 examples of these:
- Reverse psychology – “Sorry, but I only prepared enough carrots for me. I’ll make more next time.” The refusal could lead him to insist to have it.
- Make up a memory – “You loved it the last time you tried this!” Even if he has never tried it before, it reinforces the mindset that to eat this type of food is positive.
- Warn them of a consequence they understand – “If you don’t eat these, you will never grow as tall as your brother!” Because they look up to desirable qualities in others and would want it for themselves, this could get them to give up their resistance.
- Say it’s the same type of food they like – “This is a great tasting cookie!” You could specifically make food look like what food they normally eat and make them believe it’s the same thing.
- Make meal time play time – “You’re a dinosaur right? And a dinosaur will eat the leaves of trees (broccoli or cauliflower.” Kids just want to have fun so you can always make meal time a part of that.
- Change the preparation – “This isn’t just any spaghetti – it’s super pasta!” You can experiment with how you prepare the food and change its attributes (color for example through some ingredients) to get them to believe your story. You can even try to hide the ingredients they don’t like but are really good for them.
- Use a role model – “You should eat the fish because [insert favorite cartoon here] eats it too to make her skin look that pretty!” Kids follow their role models closely during these years so using them as examples could help drive the right behavior.
- Use a favorite place – “They make the same thing you really like at [insert favorite restaurant here]” Their preference for that place and the memory it invokes could help ease his resistance to eating it.
- Eat it yourself – “Yum this is so good.” Your kids adore you at this stage, so if they see you eat it, they will probably try it too.
- Get them to be afraid out right – “If you don’t eat this, the zombies might get you!” Though this will not work on a regular basis, it might get them to at least try it and find out there is nothing to fear from food.
While it isn’t good parenting to just always lie about things, or to hide information (because at some point every child learns anyway), at this stage of their lives, it’s important to expose them to a variety of healthy food so they would receive the nutrition they need to grow well. But what could also help is to stimulate their appetite. Try Propan TLC, a multivitamin with Lysine and B Vitamins that could help boost his appetite and get him to try any food you prepare for him.