We have all been there. You make a meal and scoop a few veggies onto your child’s plate and you feel in the pit of your stomach the dread you see on their face. Will they actually eat it? Bristol, my 4 year old is never predictable. You could make her the same meal 2 days in a row, the first day she eats it all up and the second day she acts like you poisoned it. The full on tears and gagging make me feel a little insane. Jonas is older so you’d think by now he would have figured this out. He will sit at the table forever with a chewed pile of mixed meat and veggies piled in the side of his cheek. I realized how desperate I have become to make them eat more veggies when I was thinking of the many ways we have gotten through dinner. Here are just a few,
*Please note, I do not recommend any of these ideas. These are desperate attempts from a “winging it Mama” This is an advisory to parents to know what NOT to do! 😀
Eat the same amount of bites as their age.
“Only 4 more bites and you are all done!” (Or 9 if its’s Jonas) This one I remember from my mother. It kind of works but makes dinner last foreverrrrrr. Jonas will also claim he ate all 9 bites when all his food combined was only 5 bites anyway.
“If you finish your food I’ll give you a piece of candy. As I hear the words coming out of my mouth I realize how useless this is. By forcing them to eat that last bit of veggie I am then giving them junk which basically crosses out the fact that they ate that veggie and I may as well just let them not finish and forget the candy!
Just Straight Up Begging
“PLEASE finish your food” starts out nice but soon becomes ” COME ON JONAS JUST PUT IT IN YOUR MOUTH AND CHEW!!” ” You are such a Big Girl Bristol, come on now put your food in your mouth!”
This only works for Jonas. Since he is nearly 9 the idea of us feeding him like a baby actually is one of few tricks that sometimes works.
You Can Dip It In Whatever You’d Like
For Bristol of late it’s been Ranch and for Jonas it’s Sriracha. For the most part Bristol will just lick the Ranch off and maybe take one bite but Jonas will eat just about anything if it’s covered in Sriracha. We are talking some weird combos but whatever just eat it. This tip actually may be one of the only useful tips I can offer.
One of the perks of having more than one child. We can make it a competition! “Okay, however finishes this bite first gets ___!” (yes this goes right with the bribing but there is an added twist) Bristol hasn’t quite figured this “game” out yet but she enjoys me trying to hurry her into eating faster!
Hoping Boredom Kicks In
“Well maybe just maybe he will realize how much time he is wasting if I tell him he cannot get up until his food is done?” Who am I kidding?! This kid doesn’t care if he is there until midnight.
Allowing Them To Also Eat Dessert With Dinner
Okay, I have to admit this was not one of my brighter ideas, but here and there if they have been chewing a piece for a while, I may have allowed them to stuff some dessert into their mouth with the other food. (Insert embarrassed hands over face emoji)
Threatening To Go Vegan
This only works for my oldest but he knows of all the times have I gone on a Vegan cleanse and while Daddy and Him eat whatever, Mommy only eats veggies and fruits. I have tried to let him know if he keeps this up we ALL are going Vegan and that noodle is outta here!! “One day you’ll open your lunch box and have only a salad and fruit with maybe some granola!” I’d like to think he actually believes me but I think he is catching on to the fact that Daddy would never let that happen since he is an extremely picky eater as well.
Looking back on all the ways I have tried keep my children from being picky eaters, I see that maybe it’s because I’m trying so hard to make them eat it, that they decide not to eat it. Either way I’ll keep trying and they will keep resisting I’m sure. As many times as I tell myself ” Do not negotiate with terrorists”, I still end up negotiating … a lot.
Thanks for reading about my crazy kiddos and my desperate parenting. Feel free to comment below and let me know who you get past your picky eater!