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Eating Strategies

I have written before about my 3 yr old son, Ian, who is the pickiest kid I know! Well, we recently found out that there is a medical reason for his pickiness. He has been diagnosed with celiac disease. Now that we know what Ian can and can not eat we are using many different creative techniques to get him to try new things. I thought I would share some of these methods with you ladies and if you have any tricks to getting your kids to try new things please share!!!
Here are my tricks:
1. Making food fun. This picture shows our edible sailboats. Ian love eating these sailboats! Sometime we just put the food in a fun pattern on the plate, cut the cheese in cute shapes, or let him build houses out of the cheese planks.
2. Food races. This is not a race to see how fast you can eat!! Ian will run around the house and has to eat a bite before he can go around again. I usually put my leg up as a barrier and after he takes his bite (chews and swallows it too of course) I lift up the gate and let him go. He never tires of a food race.
3. Animal bites. If he is trying something new and is hesitant to take a bite we try different animal bites. We go smaller and smaller until he agrees to try that size of a bite. Kitty bites, mouse bites, etc.
4. Tea Party Plates. This was my mom's favorite way to get me and my siblings to eat. She would make a little plate with lots of little things and call it a tea party. We do this often for lunch or snack time.
5. Quizzes. This one is our newest trick. Ian is really into words and what they start with. So we quiz him and when he gets the right answer he gets a bite. For example, "what letter does plate begin with?"
6. Hiding the veggie. Ian will NOT eat a veggie to save his life. He says when he is 4 he will eat a carrot. I am counting down the days until his 4th birthday!!! So I try to hide the veggies in things. He will eat muffins (Gluten free ones now) so I make pumpkin muffins or zucchini muffins (pureeing the zucchini). I have also been putting carrot juice in my jello. The big box of jello calls for 4 cups of water (2 hot and 2 cold). I put in 1 cup of carrot juice instead of one of the cold water cups. A few marshmallows on top and it is irresistible!
You may think this is all ridiculous, if you do...then you don't have a problem eater! The rest of you share your own tricks please!
Happy Thanksgiving!


Bridget said...

What cute little sailboats! We've gone through phases of picky eating around our home too, but luckily right now it's not too bad. One thing that has helped us is to always put a little bit of everything on their plates (even if I know they won't like it), just so they're used to seeing the other foods. With our 4-year-old, we make her try a little bite of everything before she's excused and since she knows the routine it's not usually too much of a battle. We definitely like making fun looking foods and one of our favorites is making faces out of things (banana for mouth, raisins for hair, etc.). A lot of the time they like moving things around to make their own pictures. We also like doing "picnics" in the living room on a blanket and if they get up before they're done we have to go back to the kitchen. It seems to work for us and they usually eat more than a normal lunch. Good luck, I think we might try the race idea some time - so fun!

The Perkins Family said...

Love those little sailboats! I am very impressed with your patience and endurance. I would have gotten mad sooooo long ago! Keep up the good work!

Becca Jane said...

This might sound nasty, but my 3 yr old LOVES jarred baby food!!! He eats his little sister's sweet potatoes and bananas allll the time. It's something I never would have guessed that he liked, so maybe it's worth a try?
Also, I like to grate carrots and cook some lentils to mix into my spaghetti sauce.
And lastly, my parents used to tell me that cooked carrots made my eyes sparkle. So I tell my son the same thing. He takes a bite and then we go look in the mirror at his sparkling eyes. It's really cute!

Sarah said...

you are a genius! Why didn't I ever think of any of these ideas? Thanks for sharing!!! :)

Rachel and Chris said...

I also hide the vegggies! I have found that I can put just about anything in a bowl of craft mac and cheese and they gobble it up without thinking twice!