There is nothing more annoying than spending time you don't have or surrounded by your kids whining they are starving while you are cooking dinner; only for them to push their plate away and say they don't like it or not hungry. Arrrggghhh!!!!
Over the last few months I have been tricking my kids into eating dinners that I know they will complain about and I can promise more often than not I am left with empty plates. Here are my top ten tricks to getting your kids to eat the foods you want them to eat.
1. Put it on a stick - I tried cutting up meat small, big, in strips and hidden under other food and it is always left on the plate. Three pieces, I just want you to eat three pieces! Sound familiar? Welcome to the stick or skewer. I put six pieces of chicken on a stick and my children devour it and ask for another, go figure!
2. Make it yourself - Tonight children you get to add whatever vegetables and sauce you like to your pasta but you have to eat what you take. A bowl of steamed veggies and some pasta sauce (also containing puree veggies) with a spoon in it and who cares what it is because its more fun making it even if we have to eat it!
3. Make a shape - Spend some dollars or get creative with a knife and turn sandwiches, schnitzels or whatever you can into the shape of a car or fairy. Suddenly this makes the food edible? Who cares, it works a treat.
4. Help mummy cook - Chopping veggies or fruit, stirring sauce or decorating make eating it at the end much more pleasurable after the kids see all the work they did to get it to the plate.
5. Bribery - Skip this if it's not your thing but when desperation calls, I'm all for an ice cream bribe!
6. Dinner Games - This takes some effort but my gullible children fall for the excitement of dinner games every time and they are completely made up on the spot. We take in turns blindfolding each other and guessing what we put in our mouth off the plate (sneaky hey). We each go around the table and pick one thing off each other's plate to eat (weird? Well it works). Who can eat the fastest, then the slowest, then the noisiest, then the quietest? The focus is so off the food and I get left with lots of awwwwwww because the food is all gone.
7. Eating off platters - No need to do this every dinner time but eating off a big plate instead of individual ones is fun and something different. It involves sharing, lots of chit chat and full tummies. Usually I will do both dinner and dessert and let them eat both at the same time as long as they try everything. I can be a cool mum sometimes.
8. Lies - What they don't know doesn't hurt if it's got good intentions. It's your best friend's favourite meal so I thought you would like it. If you don't eat green vegetables you might get a grey streak in your hair like Anna (see I said might, you never know for sure). You can have a double amount of dessert if you eat it all. This dinner keeps the gastro bug away (after our hit with it, my kids will do anything to not have that again... me too!)
9. Five whole minutes of staying up longer if you eat your dinner - When your children have no concept of time this can sometimes work a treat. To prove that they are staying up later, I set my timer to five minutes. Although they spend that five watching the timer, I have three empty dinner plates. Winner!
10. Prize time - Kids are obsessed with prizes, well mine anyway. I pick three things like lollies or a treat I bought at the shops, put it in a bag and as each of them finish their dinner they get to pick out a prize. Too easy! I warn you though if the prizes aren't interesting enough you will only get to use this idea once. No use putting an apple in or a carrot, keep those on the plate they need to finish.
So here is a good range of tricks to put up your sleeve for when you need them and they suit most age groups.
Happy Friday everyone x
© The Realistic Mum
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