Saturday, May 28, 2011

Toddler Advice - Getting Your Child to Eat "Growing Foods"

Almost every mom has stressed about getting their child to eat certain foods.  I have a friend whose daughter loves vegetables, but won’t eat fruit!  My son has always loved fruit, but for the longest time, would not eat most veggies and never chicken or beef. 

I talk to a lot of my mom friends when I have a dilemma.  For this issue, I asked all the moms I know to give me good ideas that worked for them.  How do you get your child to eat those dreaded “growing foods?”

  1. Use toothpicks – stack 3 things on a toothpick.  For example, cut up small squares of tortilla, then put a small piece of ham, and then a square of cheese.  Stick a toothpick in it and call it “Tortilla Squares.”
  2. Mini wraps – wrap a square of cheese around an asparagus tip.  Also works with a piece of deli meat.
  3. Ketchup – make a smiley face out of ketchup on child’s plate.  My son loves tilapia with ketchup.  Whatever works!
  4. Smoothies – put frozen veggies in the blender with your favorite smoothie ingredients (frozen yogurt, fresh or frozen strawberries and a banana.)  You really can’t taste the veggies!
  5. Cookie cutters – my son loves when ne make “moon sandwiches.”  I cut the bread and the cheese in a crescent moon shape and then add some ham or turkey.
  6. Don’t ever say your child can have a treat if they eat their veggies (or any growing food.)  BUT, if he wants a second piece of cheese, bread, etc, then tell him he has to eat two bites of broccoli first.
  7. Once in a while, have “same color meals.”  Make omelets with pineapple and yellow squash as your sides.
  8. If you hide pureed veggies in your Sloppy Joes (a la Jessica Seinfeld), make sure to also put a side of the veggie on your child’s plate. 

The tips above easy and fun ideas for you to try.  But the most important tips I can give you, now that my 4 ½ year old eats almost anything (after being INCREDIBLY picky for 2 years or so,) is, don’t give up.  It is true that if your child sees it enough times, they will try it.  And give them plenty of variety every night.  And make sure they see you eating it.  AND, it is OK if they go without dinner a few times a week until they learn that they get what they get and if they don’t eat it, they’ll go hungry!

Do you have a great tip that worked for you?  Let me know and I will add it to this post!

No comments:

Post a Comment