In just about every family, there is always that one kid who wont eat. No matter what you do, getting them to eat is a challenge. “I don’t like that, its too cold, green, hot,squishy,drippy,wet,dry,grainy,stinky. My peas are touching my hotdogs,my french toast touched my bacon. The list goes on and on and on
(trust me I have heard just about every one in the book)
So how do you deal with it? How do you force your child to try new foods and eat at least some of whats on their plate?……you ready for it? ….it’s a big one…….YOU DON’T
That’s right, you don’t, you stop trying to force it, because the more you force, the more you make it YOUR choice, NOT theirs.
Look, we all know that toddlers and kindergartners can be little pains in the asses ( what, it’s true!)
But they are also very very independent, they want to assert themselves and make their own choices.
I promise you that your child will not go hungry or starve.
Check this out, here are some Old Ways vs. New Ways of doing things.
Old Way:”You are not leaving this table until you finish your plate”
New Way: I have never believed in forcing kids to clean their plate, the reason being, most kids know when they are full, forcing them to eat everything creates an unhealthy relationship with food.
Instead, reason with them, sometimes we use my sons age as a barter
“you need to eat 5 green beans/nuggets/hotdogs ect.” Sometimes that works, sometimes not, and we have to barter down to three or two pieces.In my opinion, anything is better than nothing.
Old Way:”you need to try this, eat it, because I said so, eat it now, please??? PLEASE??”
New Way: Offer them the food, put it on their plate….and walk away…see what happens.
I did this recently with Hot chocolate, my son had never tried it and I had honestly never offered it, so I made some, put a tiny bit in a cup and put some whip cream on it, I set it in front of him, and walked away.
Here is what transpired:
Hudson: What is this?? Why did you give me this?
Me: its hot chocolate, I thought you might like some
Hudson: Well i don’t like hot chocolate, i’m not going to drink it.
Me: Oh, ok well whatever, if you want to try it, its there.
I leave the room and two minutes later, here comes Hudson, cup in hand, and he is sipping it.
Hudson: MMMMMMMM I LOVE hot chocolate!!!
Ya see what I did there? I let him make his own decision,or at least made him FEEL like he was making his own decision.
Don’t get me wrong some kids you have to be a bit more stern with especially if they have diabetes and need to eat at certain times and need to eat certain amounts. but if your child is picky but otherwise healthy, why not back off a bit and let them explore the world of food on their own? It may save you alot of hassle down the road and may even help them to discover new tastes and flavors.
And if they STILL wont eat, then you can always supplement with Milk and Peanut butter and Cheese.
(the three foods we use routinely because we KNOW Hudson will eat them.)
Good luck and please feel free to comment on tricks that you have have used to get your little ones to eat.