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Parenting 101 with Parenting Playbook {Reader Q&A}

February 3, 2014

You asked…..I got you answers! Yes, I am a mother of three and I do have a few tricks up my sleeves, but there are times (many times) when I throw my hands up in the air and think, “What would Super Nanny do???”  Sometimes we all need a little dose of Parenting 101. And now, my prayers, and yours too, can be answered! Meet Lisa!

parenting playbook

Mother to NINE children and founder of the Parenting Playbook, Lisa graciously accepted my plea to answer some of the parenting questions we struggle with on a daily basis. First up….. Food!

Reader Questions:

How do you make a toddler try new foods?
and…
How do you get a 4 year old to eat things other than waffles and buttered noodles? I’m hoping her answer does not include “hiding” the veggies! I really want to know how to get them to EAT REAL FOODS.

coping with picky eaters

Lisa’s Answer:

Presentation, tone of voice, relationship all play a part in meal time. Without knowing the individual dynamics it is hard to know the “why” your child is not eating but here are some general tips:

Let your children participate in the menu for the week. In our house each child has a day of the week that is theirs. On this day they get to pick the radio station in the car; sit in the front seat (if age appropriate); pick the dinner for the night; they have to help me make it and help me clean it up.

Take them to the grocery store and let them participate in seeing the display of yummy fruits and veggies. Ask them to count out the apples and put it in the bag. These activities are bonding opportunities for you both, but they also help the child “own” the eating experience.

NEVER- force a child to eat! This becomes a power struggle and will confuse the purpose of food. It can become a dangerous territory.
I forget the title, but there is a child’s book that describes in a fun and attractive way the benefits of eating different foods. i.e: I tell my children that carrots will make their eyes have night vision like a cat- that is all they need to want to eat carrots.

(I’m not sure I could find that exact book Lisa is referring to, but these might help!):

Serve family style- it creates more dishes but you will be AMAZED at how much more they eat when it is their choice.

Play games: “Let me see you take a tiger bite” with a groul and a huge bite…. in goes the corn.

BE REALISTIC- Childrens taste buds are more sensitive than ours so they like simple foods.

Just keep serving it! I don’t know about you but I wasn’t a big veggie eater as a child but now I crave them- it will come!

And conveniently, Lisa also has a video on mealtime!

Meal Time from Parenting Playbook on Vimeo.

Want more tips from Lisa? You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and check out her videos too! Lisa sends out parenting tips via email as well. Email her at [email protected] to be added to her list.

Up next? How do you get your kids to listen?!?!!! Stay tuned…….

Thanks, Lisa!!

  • Jessica @EatSleepBe
    February 4, 2014 at 8:22 am

    This is great info! As an allergy parent, I also have to add from my own experience that you may not want to force a baby to eat certain new foods because they may be avoiding a food for more reasons than you realize.

    • Sisters to Sons
      February 4, 2014 at 6:58 pm

      Great point, Jessica!…. Might be a bigger issue than just being stubborn….

  • Life with Kaishon
    February 4, 2014 at 9:09 am

    I love the idea of letting them go to the grocery store with you and pick out what they want to try for themselves! Great idea!

  • Heather
    February 4, 2014 at 10:27 am

    Great advice! My kids will usually eat almost anything, and I think that it is because we avoid the power struggle as Lisa suggests. We also aren’t short order cooks and only prepare what we are serving. As a result, my kids are fans of not-typical kids foods, especially the fresh seafoods we get in the Keys – conch, crab, shrimp, fish, etc…

    • Sisters to Sons
      February 4, 2014 at 6:59 pm

      Totallly agree! I only make one meal…..and they have to at least try it!

  • Trish
    February 4, 2014 at 11:07 am

    This is all great advice. Do you think pretending to be a tiger would work with my nearly 8 year old? I would try anything. Including growling.

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