We’ve all been there. It’s mealtime and your four year old just doesn’t feel like eating what he/she sees on their plate. Sure, they’ll eat the french fries or the green jello, but what about those veggies? Why is it always such a struggle?
With my kids I’ve learned that sometimes it’s not about the vegetable at all, but rather the power struggle behind it. We want them to eat something that they don’t want to eat. Am I right?
So how do we deal with that at our house? Are you ready for this…It all starts at the grocery store!
So what exactly does that mean? Well, first off, it means that you have to brave the grocery store with your toddler(s)! Second, it means relinquishing a little control of the shopping list over to them! No, I didn’t say you had to let them pick out all the sugar cereals and junk food. Just focus on the produce aisle. That other stuff is up to you!
Here’s how it works with my kids. While shopping for the items on my list I always tell them to be on the lookout for one or two interesting new (or not new) foods that they would like to try. Something that is exciting to them. Chances are, if you have a toddler then you’re familiar with Daniel Tiger’s motto “We need to try new food cuz it might taste good! Goo-ood!!!” We sing this A LOT at our house and even on our shopping trips.
This week Blair picked out these gorgeous carrots with all the greens still on. She jumped with excitment “Look, these carrots are just like what the bunnies eat in my movies. I want those!” Simple as that!
The trick is making sure your child believes that this fruit/vegetable was 100% THEIR choice. They want to buy it so they can bring it home and eat it. Let them be in control.
This trick works about 9 times out of 10 at our house. (You can’t win them all people.) Some of our favorite things we’ve brought home have now become my daughter’s favorite foods: broccoli, spinach, carrots, purple cauliflower, red and yellow peppers, anything that’s colorful!
My daughter is now notoriously known for eating spinach! And LOVING it! She will request a plate of spinach as a bedtime snack. I kid you not! The kid is a lean, mean, raw spinach eating machine!
Now here’s the last part to making sure your kids actually eat what they picked! I like to have my kids not only pick it out, but help prepare it too. If we are making cauliflower rice, they get to help add the spices. If we are having carrots I let them wash while I peel. Peppers? My daughter loves picking the seeds out. Make it fun for them and remember, let them think this whole thing is THEIR IDEA!
Now get to it! I hope it works for you the way it works for us! Don’t be let down if it doesn’t work the first time. They’re bound to find something they like and hey, maybe you’ll get to try something new too!