This commercial for Life cereal may not be airing these days but the problem remains. Kids do not want to eat anything they associate with good health. Are you struggling to feed your children good healthy food? I do not recommend pushing cereal but you may find a good solution after listening to, “Try It You’ll Like It: Tips For Picky Eaters”, http://www.blogtalkradio.com/betterfoodchoices/2013/10/09/try-it-youll-like-it-tips-for-picky-eaters. It may be just what you need to hear. Shhhh, DO NOT share this information with your child(ren), keep these tips to yourself and use them as your own secret weapon.
There are so many reasons why a child might be a finicky eater. So what!? As adults we all have foods we like and those we dislike. Kids are no different. Is it worth the time, energy or fight to try to force feed children? I think not. But there are things you can do. I’m thinking of 3 things I can share that may be helpful:
1. Do not play into the power struggle. If your child refuses to eat healthy foods do not create a battle. Negative attention will only add fuel to the fire. It is not worth it. If the food on kids plates lack colorful veggies or lack variety, they are not eating well.
Find a multivitamin and omega 3 supplement. Of course, finding a good brand is important. There are a few out there but avoid sugar/syrup laden vitamins. Nature’s plus Gold or Greens Today Children’s (multi) and Nordic Naturals or Carlson’s (Omega 3) are just a few decent brands.
Use these supplements as cross coverage for any lack of nutrients caused by poor food choices. If you start kids off early (the younger the better), it is easier than negotiating later. You may find that if the kids see you taking vitamins yourself, they’ll want to follow your lead. If you are asked, “Can I try?” Just say, “no”. This is all it will take to get them hooked. If they think it is something they can’t have, there will be little to stop them from getting their daily dose.
2. Even if they do not cave in right away, one of the best ways to influence your child is to lead by example. So, set an example:
- eat veggies yourself
- serve two different types of vegetables with meals and eat both of them
- make the meal colorful
- get creative, serve veggies in different ways: stir fried, sautéed, fresh with ranch dressing, mashed…
- a positive experience goes a long way, make sure you do not use “excessive force” (nagging, grounding, threatening).
3. Enlist your children as partners and allow them to decide which vegetables they eat. Once they choose, they commit to eating it. They have to own it. Your job is done.
Getting your kids to make better food choices does not have to be a losing battle. It should NOT be a battle at all. If you compromise, you will be teaching them another valuable lesson. Don’t stress, change takes time and with the right approach both you and your children will eat happily ever after!
If you need more support, find a resource like Kids Kritics, http://www.kidkritics.com/index.cfm?page=aboutus, that can help spark ideas and help ease your concerns.