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How to Get Your Kids to Eat Better

by Jacob P. | February 24th, 2012 | Teen Perspective

Every parent has dealt with a picky child at least once in their life. Even as a teenage boy, I have coerced (or tried to) many children into eating foods they normally despised. It is no mean feat. Many kids are are so stubborn that you have to flat out threaten them to get them to eat something. Because getting a kid to eat certain foods can be such a challenge, figured I would offer up a few tactics in this article.

  • Make sure your kids know that if they don’t eat healthy foods, you won’t let them revert to junk foods. If you have tried to change their diet before, failed, and let them eat junk food, it will take a long time to convince them that you are serious. If you are trying this for the first time, don’t let your kids eat junk food if you fail. This teaches them that they can win through denial.
  • If you child refuses to eat anything you have offered them, don’t feed them. If a kid is truly hungry, they will eat anything you present them, so don’t be conned by “I’m starving.” At the same time, offer more than one item. If a child is so disgusted by a food that they gag every time they eat it, you shouldn’t make them eat an entire meal consisting of it.
  • Try to negotiate with the children. Although you can simply force the kids to eat something, that is not a very productive way to get them to eat something. If you negotiate, the kids will at least feel that they had a say in the situation, even if they got the short end of the stick.
  • Explain why you are making the dietary changes. Many kids are more open to new ideas if they understand the point of them. For example, I am a cerebral person, so I like to know “why.” If I know “why,” I tend to be more open to new ideas, because I understand them.

Getting kids to eat new foods can be tough, so hopefully this article will help! As a hint, the basic concepts in this article can be applied to other situations too…

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