Friday, October 13, 2017

Eat This, Don't Say That

By Scott and Andreza E.

Have you ever thought that maybe you're saying the wrong thing to get your kids to try different foods? I remember back in the day when we went to feeding therapy with my son and I was invited into the session to help things along.  At the first try the therapist already corrected me, saying if you give him a choice, the response will very likely be "no".

When trying to get your little ones to eat something new or something they aren’t very excited about, be direct. Rather than give them a choice and ask “do you want broccoli,” say “eat your broccoli” instead. Giving them an opportunity to say “no” and wiggle out certainly dims your chances of success.

Young kids will almost always take the easy way out. If they sense they have a say in the matter and think “ok, maybe I don’t have to eat this after all,” especially when confronted with new, unfamiliar tastes, they will typically take the path of least resistance. We can’t really blame them. Trying strange foods is a whole new experience for them. It’s easy for us to forget that they are getting used to novel sensations all the time and eating is certainly a big part of that.

So dictate the terms. Don’t give them the chance to turn up their noses. Don’t force them to eat anything they flat-out don’t want (a tactic that is guaranteed to fail), especially if you are having a hard time getting over the hump, but don’t be too flexible and make them less likely to try something new. It took many times to get this down, but now it comes out naturally for us. Give it a try, it might not feel natural at first, but a more directive approach might be the change your little one needs to start impressing you at the dinner table.

To reinforce, a more direct approach doesn't mean being mean and yelling at your kids.  It is just how you phrase it more than anything. Still give your kids a nice experience at the dinner table!

Refer back to many of the games we play at the table once everything else fails: The Bites Game, Flip the Coin, Kiss, Lick, Bite, Foods Chart, and if you haven't yes, check out how it all started here.


  1. It is indeed true that kids and generally human beings prefer the path of least resistance most of the time. Hence giving them a choice make them less rebelious.

  2. it is a food for thought but i really dont think that this should not be the way of shoving food down the children's throat. yes as a parent you have the authority and the power of dictating what too do and what to eat but i think this will only make the children more rebellious and the eating their food will only seem as a task. what i suggest that involve you children in the making of the food and think of creative methodsto infuse a balanced diet in the children's life.