Thursday, November 20, 2008

How to get kids to eat almost anything

With two little kids I have learned a thing or two about how to get them to eat things that they should but won't, simply because they know its good for them. Here's my fail-safe list:

1. Cheese - kids will eat almost anything when it is covered in cheese, including broccoli, green beans and brussel sprouts
2. Peanut butter - kids will eat things like apples and even celery when you put peanut butter on it. Add raisins and you can almost convince them its dessert!
3. Make faces with their food - arrange their food on their plate like a smiley face and they love it!
4. Let them "help you" make dinner. We let them set the table or pull the broccoli apart so we can steam it, little things like that and then they LIKE to eat what they helped to make.
5. Finger food - the kids favorite dinner is string cheese, grapes, bananas and whole wheat crackers, and only because it does not require the use of silverware to eat.
6. Breakfast for dinner - nothing says fun like whole wheat pancakes, bacon, eggs and fruit for DINNER!!
7. Quesadillas - they love these and mostly because there's cheese in them, but they sound exotic and exciting, not like "chicken" so they are more likely to eat them. I might try calling other foods fun and different names to see if that works.

While this is by no means a perfect list or a complete list, these tips do work for most children, and not surprisingly husbands too (except for the setting the table part).

I will say that one of the challenges of meals with little ones is their propensity to get up and leave the table. Can ADD be diagnosed at an early age? They are like little heat seeking missiles, drawn to their destination: a toy wedged beneath the couch cushion covered by a heaping pile of unfolded laundry. How DO they do it??

Getting them back to the table is very difficult once they leave. It usually involves threats of bodily harm, begging and eventually bribery. But what parent isn't above bribing their children with marshmallows?

Ah, the joys of mealtime....

No comments: