Getting Picky Kids to Eat Healthy

When my sister was really young, just as she was beginning to talk and learn new words, I got her hooked on broccoli. How did I do it? I grabbed a piece of broccoli with my fork and as I was eating exclaimed loudly “Mmmmm! CANDY!” while gobbling it down like I would my halloween stash. Since she had just been learning how to talk, she didn’t know what the word candy meant. I had associated candy with my childhood addictions and was able to eat it very enthusiastically. It caught on. Suddenly she really wanted this ‘candy’. She has been an enthusiastic broccoli eater since.

When she grew older and I could not use the same technique on her (she had already learned her vocabulary), so I devised a different strategy to get her to eat a salad. I would wave a leaf near her face and chimed repeatedly “I’m going to eat ALL the salad, I’m going to eat ALL the salad!” Her immediate response was “NO YOU ARE NOT!”, while we raced to gobble down as much as we could before the other could finish it. We probably looked ridiculous gobbling up foliage like there was no tomorrow. Ahh… good memories.

If you want kids to eat healthy then make it a fun experience. Kids like to play, so if you want them enjoy their meal then give it a good memory. Do you want your kid’s good memories to only wind around dessert or the stuff that’s good for them?

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