It’s 5’ o’clock and you can’t wait to get home to dinner.
You can almost taste the chicken that you are planning to cook…
With a side of bread….
A glass of wine…
And some fresh steamed vegetables….
“Oh no, Billy doesn’t like vegetables… and I am in no mood for a fight tonight”
Dealing with a picky eater can have its challenges, and they can be quite frustrating as a parent. Dinner time is supposed to be the best part of the day, enjoying each others company and talking about your day, not a deathmatch.
So here are a few things you can try with the hopes of getting your child to eat.
Make it Fun
There is no rule against having fun at the dinner table? Right? Hold on maybe we should be clearer on that notion because next thing you know you are hosting the next neighborhood backyard event at your dinner table. But all seriousness fun can be misinterpreted. Let them play a little with there food. When it comes to introducing new textures to my child, I tell them that they have a “little buddy” in their tummy that likes the food all mixed up before it goes down. The introduction is made when they first hear their stomach growling…’little buddy” is hungry.
Help with Food Prep
Please disregard the mess. It is well worth it. Let your child add their own ingredients and flavors to their mashed potatoes. Want a little ketchup in your corn? Have at it. Don’t worry you don’t have to eat it, but hopefully, they will.
Have Them Pick Out Dinner Options
Much like with helping with food prep, involvement is vital. The more involved your children are in the decision making, the more likely they are to try it. One thing we do in our house is we let each of our three children pick the main protein (steak, fish, chicken, etc.) for dinner. The only exception is that we pick the vegetables and sides. If they choose not to eat the sides that we select, then they will not have a choice with next week’s dinner options. So far there have been a few disagreements, but the great part of it is with three kids, we have them trying three different items each week.
One way to alleviate all these headaches in the future is to introduce them to a variety of foods early. As soon as they can start eating solids, start introducing them to the same types of foods that you enjoy eating. But remember that their taste preferences are changing constantly. So if they don’t like something at that particular time, always try to reintroduce it again when they get a little older
Its been a long day. You don’t have time to come up with tricks or the patience to let them cook with you. Just resort to good ole’ fashion bartering. “If you don’t eat it, you know that ice cream that is in the fridge, that you love? Well, if you don’t eat all your dinner, consider it out of the question.”
And don’t cave…One thing that I always remember my parents telling me and I am now telling my kids “ This is not a restaurant, you will eat what we cook, or go to bed hungry,” and no one wants to go to bed hungry.