Saturday, September 1, 2012

Let 'Em Dip!

Got kids who are picky eaters? Me too. It's super annoying and frustrating, isn't it?? After preparing a healthy and delicious meal only to have my kids turn their noses up to it is...disheartening. But lately I think I've gotten to the bottom of it. Here are a few things I've tweaked in our day that seem to have helped and get my kids to eat more:

-First of all, I don't make my kids a separate meal anymore...I did this for waaaay too long before just getting irritated but if they have a willing parent who will make the grilled cheese, chicken nuggets...etc. every night, why not ask for it?? I don't even give them the option. I always serve a little of whatever I'm making that night and add a fruit or veggies with ranch. I give them several different things on their plate, along with something familiar that I know they already eat, and they are more likely to try it.
- Next, I stopped letting them graze all day. My kids would snack too much and not be hungry for the meal. Now, if they are hungry close to dinnertime, I offer fruit or something light to hold them over.
- If dinnertime squabbles arise, I simply suggest they take a couple bites to taste what I've made then back off. If by the end of the meal they still haven't tried it, I  leave it at the table. Later, when they ask for a snack or dessert, I take them back to the plate and offer it again. That's it. My kids would rather get through a couple bites during dinner than have to eat it cold later. The point here is to get your kids to try new things, not join the clean plate club. A couple bites is all we're looking for.
- Lastly, let them dip! I often serve little cups with ranch, BBQ sauce, ketchup...whatever your kids favorite dips are and let them eat their meal while dipping. My son has been known to dip his turkey into peanut butter...strange, but he finished it!! It gives them a little independence and any time there's an opportunity to let them help with a meal or pour on their own sauce, let them. They will be more enthusiastic to eat something they had a hand in. Good luck!!
What are your tricks to get your kids to eat??

          Apples with peanut butter (I also served whole-wheat crackers..) is a typical breakfast
****Disclaimer...if your kids have special nutritional needs or struggle with their weight, speak to their pediatrician before following these tips!

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