This post was inspired by my good friend from high school that shared with me about her daughter turning up her nose at certain foods. I am not a pro at getting my kids to eat weird things, but here’s something I’ve done that has worked with some good success.
I wasn’t going to write about this just yet, but tonight proved to be a perfect time. Yup, this momma cooked something that all four turned up their noses on and would refuse to eat. Jacob took one look at his meal and said “That’s yuck,” got down from the table, and proceed back to the living room. Frustrated, Shawn made him sit back down and try a “no thank you bite.”…with no success.
Usually, with strange meals, I can get at least one child to eat. And honestly, I don’t think tonight’s dinner was that strange. It was a vegetable and bean stir-fry served over rice. It was a very colorful meal and I thought it tasted awesome. I was being challenged in the kitchen by my four food critics.
So, what does any good mom do? …. (“what do the little piggies say?” -’The Christmas Story’)
Me: “Okay kids, lets go on a treasure hunt! Put down your forks and see what you can find on your plate!”
Four blank stares quickly turned into smiles as each one started playing the game of “find the veggies.” The girls were quite the ring-leaders on this game and really helped encourage the boys along. Logan quickly found, and ate, all of his red peppers, then moved on to all the green peppers. Mind you, this boy does NOT even like peppers and tells me frequently they are “very yucky.” I guess he forgot tonight in light of the game.
Jacob found all his “gold coins” (the beans) and ate every last one. By then end of the meal, all four kids had eaten most of their food on their plates. They left the meal happy and even had fun.
I have to admit, this is not the first time I’ve let my children play with their food. I know, turn me in to CPS.
When trying to get them to try asparagus, which all four refused to even have on their plate (on one occasion, Logan actually threw his across the kitchen in protest!), I told them that they could play “Veggie Tales” with their food as long as they ate a bite! Hannah, age 8, was the first to say “no way!” Yeah, she’s too smart for my silly games. But peer pressure made her give in, since everyone else at the table was deep in the story line of “Veggie Tales: Jonah.”
They all still don’t like asparagus, but maybe someday they will. For now, they have all had their “no thank you bites” without argument or control issues. And truly, so what if my kids play with their food!
The thing I have learned with my kids and introducing them to strange new foods is to keep it fun and don’t make a battle out of it. My friend, Amanda, shared that she got her daughter to lick the new foods which was big progress for her. AGREE! When children learn that new foods can be fun, and not a scary battle, trying new things will slowly get easier. (Amanda, I see an ice cream stand in your future dining experience!)