Wednesday, December 17, 2008

How To Get Kids To Eat Anything

In honor of Works-For-Me Wednesday, I'm sharing about a trick to get kids to eat anything that you put on the table. It's actually more of a philosophy:

Let them get in the kitchen with you and help prepare the meals!

I've written before and testified about how this has helped Grace to eat more vegetables. Every night that we have a salad at dinner, I let Grace stand on a kitchen chair and share my cutting board. I give her a dull bread knife and let her "cut" her own lettuce, carrots, onions, broccoli, bell peppers, etc. At first, she just proudly told everyone how she made her own salad. Then, after a few times she started tasting her creation. Now, she eats it all. I let her "help" me cook the evening meal almost every night. As a result, she is excited about tasting what she helped prepare.

I usually don't make her taste everything on her plate. I have found that it is not worth the negative feeling that it creates in her towards the particular food that I am "making" her eat. If I introduce a new food, I put it on her plate and then hubby and I talk about how delicious it is. If she doesn't try it the first time, then she usually will the second or third time the food is introduced, especially if I have her help me prepare it.

This isn't a quick fix, but it works in the long run! As a result of effort and patience (and fun!) in the kitchen, Grace will usually eat whatever I choose to put on the table. And be proud of her contribution to the cooking!

Now if I can just make it seem fun to do the dishes.........

For more Works-For-Me Wednesday tips, visit Rocks In My Dryer.


Amy said...

This has the opposite effect on my oldest son. :( But he's older...11 now...His response reminds me of meal prep. while I was pregnant and dealing with morning sickness--by the time I finished preparing the meal, all I'd want to eat would be cereal or something else that was bland. :) I'm so glad his younger sibs will eat anything!! Thanks for sharing your tip!

Rina said...

I've noticed the same thing with my kids... if they help me make it, they're usually really excited about eating it. Another thing my kids get really excited about is baby food. Sounds Crazy? Yep, I think so too. But my older kids love to eat anything my 9 month eats and that includes green beans and peas. So sometimes I'll just mix up a big batch of baby food and feed it to everyone for dinner!

Anonymous said...

Great idea and even if they still don't eat it you are spending quality time with your child and teaching them how to cook, cut, serve, and later CLEANING.

I found my daught would try new foods when she was at a friends house and then come home amazingly in love with something new I could never get her to try.