Getting Kids to eat fresh fruit and veggies with a fight

Stop force feeding kids! Getting picky eaters to try foods without being an asshole.

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lGetting Kids to eat fresh fruit and veggies with a fight

 I understand the frustration of having a kid, who claims to be no less than starving to death for the moments leading to dinnertime, then look at the food in front of him and refuse to eat it. I get how frustrating it is be a cause I have a child who, for the better part of toddlerhood subsisted on cheese and cold hot dogs only. One bite of celery or 4 raisins a night were about his variety for a solid 6 months. My inner raging control-mom wanted to shovel whatever leafy green I put on his plate into his little child trap… but I didn’t because, for once, I’m not an asshole.

I need to be clear here – I am, in fact an asshole but not about this.

My kids have tasted a variety of things and have, based on their preferences as small humans, determined they don’t like certain things at this point in their lives. The biggest kidiot won’t eat any vegetables with the exception of carrots, avocado and potatoes. He limits his fruit to apples, raisins, craisins and… nope… that’s it. He has tried other vegetables and fruits and a variety of other meal components and made decisions about his likes and dislikes. Same with the middle kidiot. She has been developing HER own likes. It doesn’t really bother me that I can’t run the gamut of available vegetables, I buy and serve what the people I’m feeding will eat. It doesn’t seem like I am “causing psychological damage by catering”.

It seems that some parents think that simply because my kids isn’t eating asparagus that he must be eating processed, sugar and chemical-laden ‘non-food’. It’s not like I’m feeding them Tide Pods. Instead of asparagus they eat corn. Call protective services, I’m a bad parent.

So here’s some of my tips to calm the food-fight

  • Just one bite. Before kids decide they don’t like something ask them to take at least one bite. Usually I revisit the food again later but I don’t press the issue of they say they don’t like it. We just move on. I never offered my kids avocado after the first time. One day a few weeks ago I was happily enjoying my avocado and my son asked me what it tasted like. He tried again and now he likes avocado.
  • Give choices. I know people abhor allowing their kids to make a decision for themself, but if it saves some sanity, I’m all for it. When the Kid tried broccoli and didn’t like it, I decided to have carrots, corn and celery on hand always because that’s what he will eat. I ask what vegetable they might like with dinner and because the choice is 3 things I know they’ll eat…. I KNOW IT WILL GET EATEN WITHOUT A FIGHT. Weird.
  • Let them serve themselves. Letting the kids be involved in making their plates gives them the freedom to decide they want to try something. I also will let the kids watch or help me cook so they see all the ingredients in something. Maybe something they “don’t like” is composed of all things they do like, they just didnt realize it. Now they’ll give it shot!
  • Drink water. I love water and so do my kids. Water is important and I do make a fuss about drinking water, especially If water intake is low. If a kid doesn’t want to eat soemthingI have them drink a glass of water and go on their way.  I don’t have any good reasoning behind this tip other than drinking water is important. I have no proof this helps them eat better, but I’m satisfied.

Chilling out is my main tip. Nothing is worth fighting to the point of vomit over. My kids know how to decline food politely and express their hunger or lack of with respect. Thats all that I’m really going for! Healthy and happy going hand in hand.

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