Let your kids win

LaDonna asked if I would talk about feeding those stubborn but adorable toddlers, but I really couldn’t remember much of our toddler days.  That’s when I turned to toddler expert, dancer, housewife, primary president, neighbor and friend EMILY!  Here is what she wrote for LaDonna and all those having trouble feeding toddlers.

Girl having breakfast

Feeding my children is one of my biggest challenges as a mother.  It would be so easy to toss a few chicken nuggets in the microwave, (I’ve been there), but as my oldest daughter started school this year, I panicked.  I was sending her to a public school full of germy coughs and snotty sneezes; how could I protect her?   Instead of investing in a gas mask; I realized I could fortify her immune system with two things: healthy foods and adequate sleep.
That was the plan, but my children (ages 1, 2, and 5) don’t always agree with me.  Still, I have a few ideas for feeding babies, toddlers and children that have worked in our family. There is no simple solution for every child, and even when we find one that works, it might only work for a week!   Feeding my two-year-old is the greatest challenge.  She resists me all day long, from getting dressed to getting in the car, and the dinner table is the ultimate war-zone.  I can force her to do most things, but I can’t make her eat.  The best way to convince a two-year-old to do anything is to let them do it their way; let them win on something.  So we let her win:

“Megan, please eat 100 bites of broccoli.”
“No, I’m two!”
(Here’s where you give in, and let her win.)
“Oooo-kay, I guess you can just take two bites.)
“Megan, PLEASE take a bite of this plate!”
“(giggling) MOMMY, you can’t eat PLATES!”
“Oh, sorry!  I forgot!  Okay, how about peas?  Can people eat peas?  I don’t believe you… show me.  Oooh, you really can eat peas? I think I’ll try some too!”
Outrageous suggestions are the best, because they keep the mood silly.  Let them correct you, let them be smarter than you, (and keep them laughing), and you may just be able to get them to eat.

written by
Emily Gurney

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Comments(5)

[…] informative post from Emily for all you parents with toddlers. If you missed her last one, read it here. When I taught 4-year-old dance, I learned to distract the little dancers with games so they […]

Amy says:

I tried this tonight! Ketchup boy was complaining about eating his salad again. So, I told him he needed to eat his salad, and then he could eat his plate! He looked at me like I was crazy, started to laugh, and said, “WHAT? I can’t eat my plate, I can only eat the salad!” It was hilarious that it worked on him. And then he ate it. Humor definitely eases the tension.

cathy says:

Oh yes – humor as a way to coax kids to eat right. I hate to admit it, but I always forget this trick! Thanks for the reminder.

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Join over 100k + subscribers and get family-friendly recipes, picky-eater strategies, lunch-packing tips and more, delivered each week to your inbox.