Friday, March 30, 2012

Food Essay Friday: How to Get Your Child to Eat the Foods You Make

So I thought about just leaving this post blank. You know--as a joke. Because I have no idea how to get my child to eat the foods I make.

Oh, sure, I've read all the articles and tried all the ideas that get re-played over and over. I've made food bright and colorful and fun. We've made faces and pictures with our food and I've let my kids pick out the food from the produce section and help me cook it. And for a while I even tried a Kid's Cook day each week where they got to plan a dinner of their choice and then help me prepare it. We ended up eating the same old things every week when it was their turn. I've hidden vegetables and juiced vegetables and made all kinds of smoothies. Some of my ideas work, but frankly, most of them do not.

These kids, they're besting me, especially numero uno. Yesterday we were out of cereal. So for breakfast I made these breakfast cookies, which are wickedly good. And then I made a strawberry smoothie. Only we had a bit of leftover lemonade, so I added that to the frozen strawberries and made a sort of strawberry lemon sorbet. For breakfast. My oldest child would not touch it. Any of it. He told me he didn't like those cookies. (Oh, yes, he did, I argued back. He ate them last time and liked them. But this was to no avail.) And he wouldn't touch the dessert smoothie. He just ended up skipping breakfast and essentially fasting until lunch. It blew my mind. If you had a choice between strawberry lemon sorbet and chocolate cookies for breakfast and fasting, which would you choose? My point, of course, is that I'm a huge failure in the getting kids to eat department (and that I have a very stubborn first child, who has issues with eating a wide (or any) variety of foods which is--yes--troubling to me, but I'm not really sure what to do about that either).

So I thought today that I'd ask you all for your suggestions in getting picky/stubborn children to eat. Especially children among the slightly older set (as in, not your 2-year-olds, although if you've got suggestions there, I'll take them too).

Fire away.


  1. I think you are doing exactly right, Jean: present lots of tasty, legitimate options and be patient. Allow him his right to choose. And then someday let his wife take over. ;)

    1. Oh boy. I like the part about the wife taking over, but I feel a little guilty about it too.

  2. First, I found your blog while doing some blog hopping and I've already, literally, laughed out loud several times :)

    And OMG I have the same issue with my husbands daughter. I've tried EVERYTHING to get her to eat.

    The other night I made pizza. Pizza. Know what she told me? "I don't like pizza". Even though she's eaten pizza about a million times in her short life. But because it was homemade, she wouldn't touch it. Same thing with meatloaf I made a couple of nights later. I told her "its like a hamburger without the bread" but still, no dice. Hubby and I have kind of given up the food battle with her. I cook the meal, and because I'm cooking for 4 other people and not just her, if she chooses not to eat, so be it. I sometimes feel guilty when she doesn't eat, but if she had her way, she would have candy and chips 100% of the time.

    I also love the "Have you ever tried it?" Her: "no" me:"Then how do you know you don't like it?" Her: (shoulder shrug)

    Kids kill me.

    1. Yeah, I get that all the time. One of my kids says, "I hate such and such." And I say, "But you've never ever eaten it; how can you hate it." I'm not sure why I even bother the whole using reason tack.



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