I feel like meal time is one of the most draining times in our days as parents. Actually breakfast and lunch aren’t that bad..dinner time. Now that’s a different story.
I don’t think of my kids as HUGE Picky eaters. They, just like other kids, have their moments.
Sometimes they eat everything. Sometimes we stay at the table longer than I want to.
But now that my son is 6, and my daughter will be 4 soon, I like to think I have some tricks of the trade of getting them to eat what I feed them. Does it always work, Hell no. Does anything really work all the time?
Here are things that have worked for MY children and MY family. Will it work for yours? I don’t know but if you’re reading this then it’s worth a shot right?
Tricks To Get Kids To Eat Their Food
- Offer a small treat if they finish. When my son was about 3 he just wasn’t eating a sandwich or really much of anything I would give him. So I started offering a small treat if he finished his food. It’s always something small. A Hershey Kiss, Dum Dum, a few chocolate chips etc. Now that he’s older they have gotten a little bigger, maybe two Hershey Kisses or a fun size Twix. They both have what we call “their treat bag”. This is where all the treats go. Halloween candy, Christmas Candy, and sweets they receive or get, goes into the treat bag and they can have one after lunch and dinner. BUT only if they finish/or what we tell them.
- Use fun plates and utensils, and let them choose which one they want. I recently made an under utilized drawer our “kid drawer”. Inside I placed dividers for spoons, forks, knives, straws and small snack bowls. Now when it’s dinner time they get to pick which utensil they want to eat with. It gets them involved and their is no fighting at the beginning of meal time because one of them wanted the Batman spoon not the PJ Mask spoon.
- Let them help make the food. Ugh, let’s face it, it takes every inch of me the let them help me make food. I’m just not that person who is patient enough to let them painstakingly try to smear the peanut butter and jelly on a bread. But it does help them eat it. They want to eat what they make so sometimes I just need to let them do it.
- Add Sprinkles. You don’t want to eat your pancakes? How about if we put some sprinkles on them…oh those bananas are a little brown? Let’s make them colorful with sprinkles! Trust me, kids love sprinkles and if they get pick the color or shape, even better.
- Hide The Nutrition. When they were babies and not like eating avacados I used to hide them under a smear of yogurt. These days I hide items in smoothies, in brownies, in pasta sauce etc. I also use Microgreen Powder and put that in their peanut butter and jelly sandwiches! (use code: “Homegirl” for a discount)
- Have Dinner Early. We usually eat around 4:30 – 5pm. Our kids go to bed at 7pm so it doesn’t make sense for us to have dinner earlier. When Henry gets home from school at 4, instead of giving him snacks that might fill him up, we have dinner. I would rather give him a snack before bed and then have him not eat his dinner.
- Add a Dip. If you’re having trouble with kids eating a specific food, find something they can dip it in. Ranch, Ketchup, Mustard, Yogurt etc.
- Make it fun. Sometimes I pack a lunch or dinner and we head to the park or the train station and eat in the trunk of the van and watch the trains go by. You can even have a picnic in your home. Anything out of the ordinary will usually make them eat things out of the ordinary.
What are some of your tricks of the trade that have helped you get your kids to eat their meals? Leave them below in the comments!