Hollis, our contributing mom, writes about how she’s gotten her sons to eat more veggies. If you’ve missed our picky eater series, check out our texture issue, color issue, picky eater solutions & dinnertime action plan posts.
2 kids, 2 appetites, 2 meals, TOO much! One has been eating sushi since 3 years of age and the other won’t touch broccoli. Hmmm…the ultimate question, “how to get your kids, whether 2 or 6, to all eat the same meal?” The easy way. To involve them in the process from an early age, and to not give up. I don’t recommend making your kids eat everything on their plate. This, in turn, will just make them more opposed to trying new foods and make meal time full of anxiety.
I think making food fun is one of the easiest ways to get your children involved in trying new foods. The grocery store can be challenging with a toddler, but why not make it an adventure. Ask your little guy or girl to to “find something green that looks like a tree” when your perusing the produce section. It’s like a scavenger hunt. They’ll have fun picking out the tree they think. My tip on picking out broccoli is to make sure you chose one that has green flourets. If the top of the broccoli has a gray or black appearance my grandmother always said to keep looking.When you get home have your child help “give the broccoli a bath”.
Having your child help you in the kitchen is a sure way to perk their interest in the foods they eat. Here’s my hint with making the best broccoli ever. Of course, it’s my Italian grandmother’s recipe so it’s divine. In a pot put about an inch of water, add olive oil, 4 cloves of garlic and a dash of salt. As you steam the broccoli the flavors will enhance the delicious taste. Steamed broccoli is too plain? Make broccoli pesto.
When dinner is ready have your child help you serve the trees (aka broccoli) he or she picked out at the store. It will make your little guy or girl feel important! They can even help serve the broccoli or dish of choice to involve them even more. When serving your child, I recommend not asking what they’d like on their plate. Just serve them up! Of course, if your child has been snacking all day they won’t be very hungry so getting your children to try new foods is always easier when their hungry. If they insist on not trying the broccoli or meal don’t give up. Eventually their interest will peak and maybe take a bit so keep cooking and keep serving.