Putting the "Munch" in Munchkin
What is a parent to do? Make separate meals? Cram the food down the poor girl's throat?
Thankfully, neither extreme is necessary. Through a little bit of trial and error, we've found a few tricks that have helped us get through many a meal without a struggle.
- Hide the yucky stuff. A little bit of chicken can often go unnoticed in the creamy goodness of mac-n-cheese.
- Do the dip. If our toddler doesn't like what we're offering we'll often try to find something for her to dip it in. Some winners include ketchup, BBQ sauce, honey, and good ol' ranch dressing.
- One bite minimum. We insist that our daughter try at least one bite of everything on her plate. Only then can she decide if she really doesn't want something.
- Play distracting games. We like to play Big Bite Little Bite. This works when your tot starts getting antsy and wants to stop eating because it's just plain boring. Being as dramatic as possible helps in this game (think very big and very little).
- Never surrender. Eggs were our nemesis. Our daughter spit them out every time. But, after many "one bites" and a lot of ketchup, she'll now sit down and enjoy a plate of scrambled eggs for breakfast.
- Put those little fingers to work. We have found that when we allow our toddler to feed herself she is much more interested in eating what we put in front of her.
Of course we've also found that it helps to sweeten things up sometimes, but that only works if your kid has a sweet-tooth!
Tell me what works for you!