Famous kid cop-out lines include:
- “I ate already, I’m not hungry.”
Sure they did, four hours ago at school. It’s 7:30 pm and your child is just warming up.
- “I have a stomach ache. If you make me eat that, I’m going to throw-up.”
Who doesn’t love the old, “your food makes me sick,” gimmick?
- “I’m allergic to that. This is child abuse.”
You should count your lucky stars. Somehow, your child was awarded a medical degree and he or she is a civil rights activist.
- “I don’t like that, I won’t eat it.”
Of course, your bicker little one either never tried the food before, or he or she just decided to resign the food item from their list of edibles.
- “I finished eating all my food, can I go outside now?”
The plate is clear of all food, but beware parents. Be sure to check the mountain pile of food on his or her sibling’s plate, evidence of dinner in your dog’s hair, or lastly, check the garbage can. You’d be surprised. I had a full-proof plan at five-years old, until my dear aunt Barbara ratted me out by telling my mother she found potatoes behind the radiator in my bedroom (this was at our Queens apartment in New York).
But before I thought I was off the hook, here comes Tiki, my adorable step-son – who doesn’t eat. This child is never hungry, he actually forgets to eat. When ever dinner time was announced, he would huff and puff his way to the table. This is a well-known dilemma for many parents all over the world. So what do we do with our picky little eaters?
· Re-introduce foods to your child. Their young taste-buds are fickle and change frequently. What they didn’t like last week, might be enjoyed today.
· Children love to be chefs, and they’re more likely to eat their own creations. Try some easy, kid-friendly recipes and have your child cook dinner tonight! This technique got Tiki to remove many food items from the “I never eat that” list to the “I like” food list!
· Dinner doesn’t have to be another chore or interruption of play time. Give your child something to look forward to by creating a theme night (Italian, Greek, Spanish, American, etc.). Include music, pictures, and facts about the chosen cuisine’s national origin. Review them together as a family – while eating dinner!
· If your child does try a new food, reward them with a favorite dessert. You can also turn dessert time into a fun activity as a reward for finishing all their food (Decorate cookies or donuts with frosting, M&M’s or sprinkles).
· Take step-by-step photos of your child cooking their favorite recipes to help with teaching and enhancing their cooking skills. Take photos of the ingredients too, and together, create your own picture recipe book of your child’s favorite recipes. We do many cooking projects together, it’s how we discovered Richie’s love of cooking and baking!
It takes time for children to adapt to new activities and things, so keep trying and be patient.
Here are some great links to picture recipes and other fantastic ideas:
This site doesn’t contain step-by-step pictures, but it does have some easy and fun cooking ideas for the family:
If you have any clever ideas for how to get your child to healthier foods, please share them with us!
© 2015 Sensory Friends