8 Tummy-Pleasing Tips
There's plenty you can do to win the food fights at your table. Try out these eight expert tips to make mealtimes the fulfilling -- albeit messy -- experiences they should be.
- Offer a variety of flavors and textures, starting when he's around 9 months. Introduce him to spices and different preparation methods, such as poaching in broth or roasting.
- Eat a varied diet yourself. If you toddler sees you eating a turkey sandwich one day at lunch and vegetable soup the next, she'll want to mimic Mommy.
- Offer new or less-favored foods first. If your carb-lover fills up on pasta, he won't try the chicken and veggies you want him to sample.
- Avoid food fights. Don't make too big a deal when, say, your son throws his beans on the floor. Draw attention to the problem, and sometimes any attention is good attention.
- Get creative and come up with fun names for foods. For example, try calling salad "dessert."
- Work toward repeat exposures. Studies have found that a child may need to taste a new food eight or nine times before truly accepting it.
- Respect your child's appetite. If your daughter doesn't seem interested in eating more than a bite or two of dinner, it's okay. When kids dictate how much they eat meal to meal, they thrive.
- Avoid becoming a short-order cook for your family. If you've made pot roast for dinner, that's what's on the menu -- your kids have to take it or leave it.