Here’s a frequently asked question….
How do you get kids to EAT FOOD?
Good question! I’m still venturing through this myself…but here are my tips so far. Let’s get started!
FIRST: Keep it interesting! MIX IT UP!
Make silly faces with food. Cut out funny shapes & have them guess what they are!
Cooper ate a WHOLE English cucumber yesterday because I cut it up into triangles, rectangles, squares and circles. SCORE! It’s hard to make an oval out of a cucumber. Try it.
Get kids involved in food prep!! Put them to work! They really like eating the food they make!
Teach them how to clean up because a good cook always cleans up. (My mom drilled this into my head!)
Get them excited about eating! Cooper loves going out for Indian food because there’s a promise of a mango lassi! He even orders it himself at the restaurant! Teach your kids how to behave in restaurants. Waiters don’t bring Mango Lassis (sp?) to misbehaved boys.
Encourage them to try new things. Cooper LOVES spicy foods and found love in a bowl of Chicken Tikka Masala! Who knew? It’s only because I told him it was a dip for his naan. He kept dipping the naan into the bowl, then he grabbed his spoon and ate the rest of it!
Turn snack time into a COUNTING GAME!
Cooper can count up to 10 pieces of popcorn! Sometimes he thinks 14 comes after 10. Fourteen is his favorite number this month. He also prefers the letters D & F.
Speaking of letters…Spell words with food! Make them guess the letters. Teach them how to say your nickname because it’s cute when they say it in their kid voice. I like when kids say “bean.”
Add greens to their smoothies! Tell them it’s a MONSTER SMOOTHIE!! Tell them it turns them into a superhero.
When it becomes part of their routine, they’ll point out when you forget to put the green stuff in.
Just don’t let them touch the blender! That’s not safe. And keep the blender unplugged ’til you’re ready & and they’re out of the way!
Make food part of your drawing!! The turtle I drew sure loves bean crisps! Wouldn’t they be cool as tree trunks?
Turn healthy juices into popsicles! Here’s a popsicle made with Pineapple Mango Carrot Ginger Juice! Cooper has no idea that he’s consuming carrots. He hates carrots. Haha sucker!
If a child is hungry, they’ll eat! Don’t force food on them. They don’t like that. It’s a control thing.
They like to show you who’s boss and it’s definitely not Tony Danza.
Let them see if hummus is a good face moisturizer and try not to cringe in the process! It’s important for them to explore the taste & texture of food…even if it ends up jammed into their ears! Always do this before bath time!
A few more tips:
-Write down a list of all the things your child eats. Refer to the list when you’re in a food rut. You might forget something! Pull something out of your bag of tricks.
-If they’re not touching their food ask them “How does a SHARK eat an apple?” Watch them show you. They like doing this. Always go for the powerful eating animals. Tigers, rhinos, lions & bears work well too.
-Give them the foods they’re least likely to eat FIRST! If they’re hungry enough, they’ll eat just about anything. If I give Cooper a piece of buttered toast first, he’ll eat it, then ask for MORE TOAST while totally ignoring the bowl of strawberries on his tray. Greedy! Also related–Don’t give them too many options!
-Let your child watch their friend eat broccoli. It’s a positive spin on peer pressure!
-Don’t panic when they don’t try something. Keep at it! (I’m still trying to grasp this one!)
And there you have it!! A few tips based on feeding my almost 3 year old.
Do you have any tips? I bet you do! Let’s discuss!