Taming the toddler in terms of eating is quite the taxing undertaking.
Kids know what they want to eat, and anything less is deemed disgusting in their minds. And there's not much you, as a parent, can do to change their minds.
But remember mom and dad, you are the ultimate teachers and kids typically want to emulate everything you do, whether it is following you around the kitchen or hanging with dad in the garage. Your eating habits offer a distinct direction as to what types of foods your kids will, at the very least, try before discarding. Imagine staring across the table to your son or daughter and watching as not one morsel of food is moving from fork to mouth. It's up to you to start eating your food and telling them just how delicious everything tastes.
That may sound trivial and silly, but kids eventually will timidly take to the plate at some point, even if it is just for a small bite. Just the idea of a nibble is at least a start.
Parents with kids also should pay particular attention to not only what you're serving but how and when you are serving it. The Legacy Companies, makers of fine kitchen products, suggest that the idea of sitting down and eating as a family promotes not only a social bond and increased communication but also a more palatial palate when it comes to kids eating various foods. The Legacy Companies makes it a point to tell mom and dad to include kids when the prep food as well. Parents who cook can make the process fun, and any cook will tell you that they're always tasting their would be dinnertime masterpiece as they go along. If your kids are part of the process, they'll be more inclined to try right alongside of you.
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Making food together, especially healthier alternatives from a snacking standpoint, also expands kids' horizons as far as food goes. The Legacy Companies, among other items, offers an Excalibur food dehydrator. This appliances is appealing in two ways: parents can dry fruit, and kids can help in the process. They'll be anxiously awaiting to try the finished product, which happens to be incredibly healthy.
And when all that doesn't work, parents can hide. No, not from the kids but rather the healthy foods within the confines of kids' favorite meals. Macaroni and cheese and spaghetti rank as some staples that kids love; why not throw a few chopped of vegetables in those delectable dishes as healthy decoys.
Even the pickiest eater probably won't stop to pick out small pieces or finely chopped veggies if they're surrounded by a main course that is a can't skip in their minds.
This same principle applies to parents who send kids to school with brown bagged lunches in the hopes that they're not skipping the meal or swapping with another student for stuff they like better. Kids might not be so stoked about a salad or fruit for lunch, but that doesn't mean mom and dad have to go bland with their presentation and taste.
Laura Pensiero, certified dietician and executive chef at "Just Salad," a renowned restaurant in New York City seems to believe that lunches are lagging, and picky eaters see right through the mundane. Pensiero pieced together plenty of kid friendly options for when noon rolls around, everything from adding a little pit of chocolate to your bag of apples or topping salads with sweet, scrumptious dried fruit.
Feeding kids unwanted items isn't a fun task and certainly could potentially make for some stressful meals. But the trick isn't so much deception as it is to treating kids to the food making process and incorporating a little fun to the meal planning.
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