When Bribing Them Isn’t Enough
Unless you’re one of the lucky ones, chances are your kiddos aren’t eating as healthy as they should be. It’s hard to get children to eat certain foods no matter how much we– as parents– beg, plead and bribe them. We’ve gathered a list of 8 tips to help you transform your child’s diet.
Mix It Up
Do you have taco Tuesdays, pizza every Friday, etc..? If so, you’re not doing your kids any favors. Variety is the spice of life, and the same goes for your food. Opening up your children to new foods will make them more likely to try other things as they get older. Buy small amounts of different types of foods for your kids to try. You’ll quickly be surprised by some of the things they discover they like when you change things up.
Prepare Their Food A Different Way
If you always serve mashed potatoes, next time– why not try making a baked potato? If you usually scramble their eggs, try making them sunny side up. Showing your kids that a certain food can taste different, depending on how it’s prepared, will motivate them to re-try foods they might not have liked before.
Let Them Help
Your children are much more likely to eat something that they helped prepare. If they can see and feel the ingredients, and help make it– they get a sense of accomplishment and are more likely to eat it. This is also a great opportunity to spend some quality time with your kiddos.
Only Serve Water With Meals
It’s tempting to serve juice or soda with meals, but by doing this, it can make your kids feel full before they actually are. This prevents them from finishing their meal, and leads to snacking later on. By only serving them water, they’ll be able to eat more of what you give them. If they want juice or soda, they can have it with a snack or on special occasions.
Make Your Kids Eat What You Eat
Are you one of those parents who makes a separate dish for their picky kids? We’re here to tell you to stop it. If you have a picky eater, most likely– you’ve made them that way. If you want to reverse the cycle you’ll have to make them eat what you serve. As with anything worth doing in life, it will be hard at first– but we promise it will pay off down the line. Eventually, your children will learn to eat with the family. How much easier will that make mealtimes for everyone?
Stick To It
Consistency is key. If one night you make your kids eat dinner with the family, and the next night, you make them mac n’ cheese instead– you won’t make any progress. Each time you do this, you take a step backwards. Stay consistent and see how things can change over time.
Choose One Night To Serve Dessert
Who doesn’t love dessert? It’s a wonderful treat but it needs to stay just that: a treat. It shouldn’t be something you have after every meal, or even after dinner every night. Pick a day of the week for your kids to have dessert. You can make it even more special by making it a family outing to an ice cream parlor, or a trip to the candy store. They won’t miss everyday desserts as much if they have this to look forward to.
Make Fruits and Vegetabes Fun
The next time you make pizza, add vegetables. Instead of a milkshake, get a smoothie. Giving kids fruits and veggies in their foods is a lot more effective than just eating them plain. They’ll get the nutritional value either way, so adding it to their foods is the perfect solution for kids who don’t love fruits and veggies.
Keep It Up!
It’s going to be a struggle at first, but use these tips for one month and we guarantee you’ll see a big change. Don’t let tears deter you. You want your kids to eat healthier, so they stay healthy. It’s important to remember to be their parent, and not their friend. You set the example so if your kids see you eating badly, chances are they’ll mimic that. Good Luck!
Dr. Randall Burba is an American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry accredited dentist, practicing in Salem, Massachusetts. He considers himself an artist–with teeth and beyond! He often paints, draws and has a passion for woodworking.