Your Montessori preschool encourages serving well rounded meals to assist with concentration, provide better sleep and help children grow up strong and healthy. But there are times when children balk at eating the healthiest foods, so your job as a parent is to find a way to keep them chowing down even when they aren’t thrilled with the menu.
Helping with the measuring, stirring and cooking provides excellent practical life lessons, and he will be more interested in tasting the fruits of his labor. You can also try letting him help with a sauce he likes, but the sauce must be eaten with food he has been resisting. Cheese and Broccoli are a good example of this, but there are dozens of similar combinations which may help.
One Bite Tonight
Forcing your child to eat a full serving of something he is resisting could drive him farther away from that particular item. Instead, establish a “One bite tonight” rule where she has to eat a least one bite of everything on her plate, but will not be forced to eat more than that if she doesn’t want to.
When you are preparing foods that your son has rejected in the past, make something he is especially fond of as well. When he dives into the food he likes and then asks for more, adhere to a rule that he can only have a second helping if he has eaten everything else on his plate as well.
Spice It Up
Cook those “yucky” tasting foods with other ingredients that alter or enhance their flavor. A pinch of table sugar in the peas, a lump of butter in the corn, or the addition of sauces and cheese are all great ways to help your child get past the idea that he doesn’t like vegetables of all types. For salads, add chunks of pineapple, apple or cut grapes to give the salad a sweeter flavor.
Avoid the temptation to encourage eating unwanted foods by threats, punishments, nor bribery. These tactics may reinforce your child’s dislike, and bribery even gives him a tool to use against you as he grows. Prepare a healthy meal for the whole family and stand by it, requiring everyone to eat some of everything, especially the role models of the household.