Trying to get your kids to eat better???
I HEAR YA!
Despite what you may think because of my profession, my kids would rather eat chocolate over carrots any day! Shocking I know (I’m being sarcastic, in case you didn’t realize!)
But seriously, as parents sometimes we worry way too much and spend too much time forcing a situation which only leaves us and our kids frustrated. Am I right?
As a Mom of 3 young boys (currently 6, 4, & 2.5), I have tried A LOT of tactics to get get my kids to eat better. Before you go through the pain, here are the things that didn’t & did work for me!
Some of the tactics I have tried that DON’T work:
✖️begging – “just have one bite. Pleeease”
✖️bribing – “if you eat the broccoli I’ll buy you a new LEGO set promise”
✖️ coaxing – “don’t you want to be strong like Superman”
✖️force-feeding – “just eat the broccoli it’s good for you”
✖️punishing – “if you don’t eat your broccoli, no TV for you”
Some of the tactics that DO work!
✓ Leading by example – your kids are watching ALL the time, if you eat junk why shouldn’t they? I do my best not to stress if my kids don’t make the “right” food decisions. They are constantly seeing me fill my plate with whole real food, and the best thing I can do is lead by example. As a parent, you are always being watched & mimicked!
✓ Getting them involved – my kids love getting in the kitchen with me, asking what ingredients are and actually wanting to try them! One of my kids’ favorite activities is prepping a salad together.
✓ positive reinforcement– noticing and giving them credit when they deserve it.
✓ Hiding veggies – I know, they don’t know it’s in there but they are eating it, right? Veggie patties and hidden veggie tomato sauce are some of our favorites
✓ Not depriving them – when we are on vacation, at a birthday party, or even out at a restaurant; I let them enjoy. I educate them on their choices as best as possible and at the end of the day, they know it’s a special occasion and not an everyday thing.
✓ Try try again – all our tastes change with time… I personally hated okra, zucchini (and probably a lot of other veggies) as a kid, which now I love!
✓ Don’t compare – seriously, eyes on your own plate (that goes for you and your kid). Every kid is different!
✓ Chill out – the more you stress and freak out, the more likely you are to give up (and the more resistant your kids will be). Just chill and believe that they will eventually come around! Pat yourself on the back for doing the hardest job in the world!!