We’ve all been there. The toddler who Refuses. Everything. Point. Blank. Cat Sims gives us 5 ways to coerce them into consuming.
- Tell them they don’t have to eat it
This may seem counter-productive but remember as the parent you decide when and what to eat. They get to decide whether to eat it and how much. Taking that away from them by telling them they MUST eat it will only annoy them and make them dig their heels in. If they don’t eat anything and you’re worried about getting something in them, especially if they’re young, wait a while and then offer them something else. They won’t associate it with the refused dinner and as they get older you can phase this out.
- Serve it all at once
Holding pudding hostage to the main course is another way of trying to control everything about dinner. They’ll see right through your tactics. If you do puddings, serve it all at once. Chances are they’ll switch between the two or go back to their dinner after they’ve eaten the yoghurt/fruit/ice cream.
- Favourite Meal Nights
Give everyone a chance to have their favourite meal. Make sure they know that the nuggets and chips is especially for them and, just as important, when you cook Dad’s favourite risotto, make sure they know it’s Daddy’s turn to have his favourite meal. It’s a cool way to make food special and to mix it in with a bit of love.
- Make It Fun
Give it a cool name and arrange it on the plate in the shape of a face or a caterpillar or whatever you can think of. Use star-shaped cookie cutters to make mash potato look cool. Give them straws to drink soup with. Call it dragon food, princess pasta…whatever it takes.
- If All Else Fails
Blend it up, add a scoop of ice cream and call it a smoothie. I’ve got away with spinach, broccoli, banana and ice-cream smoothies and then been asked for more. Or cover everything in Petit Filous. Or put whatever they’ve refused in a sandwich. It’s amazing what you can trick them with. Some battles just aren’t worth fighting. You win some, you lose some.