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How to Get Kids to Eat at Mealtime

Do you fight your kids at mealtime? Do they want to eat what you have prepared? After coming up with a meal plan is it disappointing when your children look at the meal and ask for cold cereal instead? How do you make them excited to eat familiar foods when you secretly want to branch out into unfamiliar foods.

picky eater

  1. Get kids involved in the meal planning
  2. If they are asked what they would like to have in the upcoming week they will be seeing the foods they like and requested. They will feel a part of the process.

  3. Let them shop with you
  4. When you have your shopping list let them come with you. Kids can learn a lot from locating foods at the grocery store. They start noticing other foods and the curiosity begins.

  5. Ask for help
  6. When you are starting to prepare the meal ask if anyone wants to help. Start small. Ask if someone wants to help measure or stir. These are very basic tasks even the very young can master.

  7. Get creative in how you serve
  8. If you serve family style try plating for each person and become the waiter. Use different plates, or no plates at all. Take it one step further and eat with the wrong silverware or no silverware at all.

  9. Create the atmosphere
  10. Create a restaurant in your home; dim the lights, eat outside, put a blanket down and have a picnic inside or outside.

  11. Theme night
  12. The possibilities are endless. Pasta night, breakfast for dinner, pizza night. They will come to expect that theme and look forward to it.

  13. Plan for tomorrow
  14. Talk about the next nights meal. Let them know what is coming. Explain the ingredients and what it will look like.

Most importantly, when your child is curious about anything related to food or cooking talk to them about it, let them experiment. When they are involved in their food choices they will start with the familiar but eventually they will break into the unfamiliar territory.

Kimberly Brown

Kim is a mom of 5 Little Chefs (4 girls and a handsome little boy), living in Utah. 5 Little Chefs was a way to document the fun recipes the girls made, but later realized there were quite a few they weren't going to make again. So crafts became part of the blog, making it a whole lot more fun!
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8 comments

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  • Good tips! I just did a post with some tips as well! Some similar things and they definitely help! Heymommies.com/8-tips-and-tricks-to-get-kids-to-eat

  • Great tips! I’ve been trying to get my girls to eat healthier, and my youngest is resisting. Big time! I’ll have to implement some of these tips to get her more interested in dinner time!

  • These are great tips. We use some of them–the kids each get to pick one dinner each week and they help me prepare meals. I like the idea of making it fun by switching up the plates and utensils. The kids also like to write the menu on a chalkboard we keep in the kitchen and sometimes they make up menus on the computer for special meals on the weekend. They more involved they are, the less they fight you!

  • Great tips! When I’m doing my weekly meal plans I try to poll the family for any special requests or favorite meals for the week. They’re definitely less likely to complain about a meal if they’ve been involved in the planning and prep work. I also post the menu for the week on the fridge.

About Author

Kimberly Brown

Kim is a mom of 5 Little Chefs (4 girls and a handsome little boy), living in Utah. 5 Little Chefs was a way to document the fun recipes the girls made, but later realized there were quite a few they weren't going to make again. So crafts became part of the blog, making it a whole lot more fun!
Follow Kim on:
Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Google + | Instagram