Thursday, October 21, 2010

Trying New Foods

As we all know, kids can be fickle. One week they love green beans and the next week you could not get them to eat a green bean even if you offered cash. It is very hard to cook for someone who’s diet/desires change on a daily basis.

Here are some guidelines when trying to expand the diet of a kid.

Take them with you to the grocery store or farmer’s market and let them choose one new fruit or vegetable for the whole family to try. If they feel like they are not the only ones that have to try new foods they may be willing to compromise.

Let them be involved in the cooking. If they are too young to operate a stove, they can still help by measuring and mixing foods.

Let them go through a healthy cookbook and find new recipes that they will be willing to try.

If you are cooking something new for them to try; be sure you are also fixing an old favorite for them. They may be willing to try a new taste if they know there is something they want also. If the new food is spinach and you know he loves mac and cheese, have both at the table.

Do not threaten them. Don’t tell them that they can not have dessert if they do not eat all of the vegetables. It will just cause hostility.

Do not make them clean their plate. This is just a way to set a child up for obesity. A child needs to learn to eat until they are satisfied, not until the food is gone.

Do not take it personally. Just because he does not like your green beans does not mean that he doesn’t love you or appreciate you. It just means he does not want green beans.

My son does not have to eat what I cook but I also do not cook a separate meal for him. If he does not like what is served for dinner, he can eat something else as long as it does not require me to cook something else. That usually leaves cereal, peanut butter and crackers, cheese and crackers and fruit. He does not turn down dinner every night so the occasional cheese and cracker dinner is not going to harm him. Since enacting this rule in our house, dinner time is much more peaceful.

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