I recently posted a question on Instagram about what foods your kids won’t it. It turns out that everyone has these issues. I know there are plenty of articles on the internet of how to sneak healthy foods into your kid’s diet, but here are my tricks.
1. Get Perspective – If you talk to adults, you’ll discover that many of them were picky eaters as kids. This is a temporary thing. Sometimes I get so frustrated by what my kids won’t eat, that I forget about all the foods they like. I’ve started to keep a list. Every time I’m surprised by something they like, I make sure to write it down.
2. Dip it, Top it, Build it! – Kids love to feel like they are in charge, so I like to make their meal a bit interactive.
Be warned. Kids make some weird combinations when you give them the option of dipping things, but they also really love it. These are our favorites: honey, ranch, pesto, hummus, and ketchup.
I have a kid who loves bread, but doesn’t love soup. She will however dip the bread into the soup. So I guess, sometimes soup is a dip.
Yay! Just about anything is better with croutons, sprinkles, or cheese on it. Yes, I’ve definitely put sprinkles on yogurt once or twice, but the rule is, they have to eat the yogurt, not just the sprinkles.
Everyone loves options. I make meal where the kids can build their own dish. We’ll do a taco bar, build your own sandwiches, or make a pizza with lots of topping options. I’ve been more than surprised by what my kids will choose to put on their creation and they often eat it.
3. Release the Tension – Mealtimes shouldn’t be stressful. It’s not good for anyone’s appetite. To keep the kids focused on eating, I often read books to them during their dinner. I’ve also been known to make food talk. Anything to add a little goofy.
4. Have a Plan B – While I would rather my kids eat what I cook, our rule is that they need to try it. If they’ve tried or eaten some and declare themselves done, they can then have something else. I will not cook anything else, so their secondary options are usually: bowl of cereal, yogurt, cheese stick, or hummus.
5. Spice Things Up for Yourself – In an effort to make meals that my whole family will eat, I find that I end up making food that doesn’t appeal to me. I now have a stash of spices and hot sauces to add excitement to my own food.