Kids are interesting creatures. They ask for food all day long until dinner time comes along and suddenly, they’re “full” or “don’t like” whatever you put on their plate. As parents, it’s not only frustrating when your children don’t eat what you’ve spent precious time preparing; it’s also concerning. How can you make sure they’re getting the essential vitamins and nutrients they need while ensuring they like what they’re eating (all the while maintaining your sanity at the dinner table)?
Here are five mom-tested, kid-approved tips for picky eaters:
- Get sneaky! One of the greatest things about vegetables is that they can be easily disguised as other foods! Try making “pizza” with cauliflower crust and homemade sauce or opt for roasted sweet potato “fries” instead of french fries to sneak healthy vegetables into your kids’ usual favorites.
- Let them play with their food. It might sound like anti-parenting advice, but trust us on this one. There are tons of great options to allow kids to have a little bit of fun at the dinner table without causing too much ruckus! Make faces out of the food on their plates and cut things into kid-friendly shapes to make it look more appealing.
- Make a game of meal time. Think about it: eating is boring for little ones who would much rather be up running around and playing. Make eating fun to establish lifelong healthy eating habits (force feeding is NEVER a good idea!). For older kids and those learning to count, do math problems with their bites. “If you have four pieces of chicken and you eat one, how many will you have left?” Or, even more basic, “I need you to take 10 more bites. Let’s count them together!” It sounds simple, but trust us — it works.
- Let them help. Children take so much pride in the things they make. (Looking at you, fridge art!) Shake off the fears of food flying throughout the kitchen and let them help you create your family meals! Letting them see what goes into each dish is a great way to show them that it’s not “yucky” after all.
- Explain the benefits. No, we don’t mean to go into a human biology discussion with your four year old. Most kids, however, love the thought of growing bigger and stronger. Dinner time is the perfect opportunity to explain how healthy foods help them achieve those dreams! For example, if they turn their nose up at cooked carrots, explain how carrots make them see better (“like a superhero!”) and have stronger teeth!
Still need help getting your kiddos the vitamins and nutrients they need to grow big and strong? These Gummy Vitamins are always a hit with little ones, and these Chewable Probiotics “candies” are great to help regulate their digestive systems! 😉