How To Get A Child To Eat

How Do I Get My Child To Eat?

Oh boy! Eating and a toddler don’t go in the same sentence. Remember around the age of 1 when you first started to introduce solids and them pretty much eating anything you put in front of them? Those were the good old days. They didn’t know what was going on #1 and when they see food they eat it. Ya, maybe they would spit out the occasional pureed black beans. Wouldn’t you? They are new to eating real food and are as much excited about it as you are.

I’m going to give you a few tips for getting your child to eat that have helped me along the way with my own and things that I did and didn’t want to do because they were done to me as a child.

#1. Don’t force itWould you like to be forced to eat something? Remember as a child you couldn’t leave the dinner table without finishing all your dinner? That was miserable for everybody. If you haven’t been through it already, you’ll soon go through the stage where your child refuses to eat anything you place in front of them. At this point, they are trying to be in charge. This is where a little negotiation comes in. They don’t have to eat all of it, just a few bites. Even if it’s 3 bites of one item and 2 of another. This way they know they need to eat and you’re not forcing it on them.

#2. Like the books suggest, introduce foods slowly. Yes, the books are right about this one. The real reason behind this is due to allergies. Just because you and your family don’t have a particular food allergy, doesn’t mean your child won’t. Food allergies are so common now, that we really need to pay close attention to any changes when introducing a new food. This goes for babies and toddlers. When you do introduce a food, wait a few days until trying a new one. Many allergies don’t show immediate reactions. It could take a few days and sometimes they won’t have a reaction now, but can in a few years.

#3. Let children eat what they like. Eating Most children don’t like vegetables. There are the occasional ones that will be born loving them and I wish I knew how. Even eating them while pregnant, my children snubbed at the first sight of a vegetable. Now at the ages of 4 and 2, they won’t go near any and that’s ok. I have heard a lot of stories where the parent made their child eat a certain type of food and now they won’t eat it as an adult. Everyone has their own taste and love for certain foods. Please let them decide if they want to eat it or not. More than likely they will try it down the road and love it. If they will only eat fries, let them eat fries. I’d rather my child eat something than nothing. Once you force something on them they won’t forget it. That makes trying new things that more difficult.

#4. Make eating fun. Kids like to laugh and have fun right? They also like to have fun things to eat. Those dinosaur chicken nuggets are a life saver. My kids (being boys) like to make the dinosaurs fight then eat them. They also like different shapes and pictures. It makes dinner more fun for them and more likely for them to eat something they normally wouldn’t. You’ll be finding yourself making an airplane and flying it into your child’s mouth to get them to eat it.

Final Thoughts

Those are a few tips that I can give you about getting your child to eat. There is no guide to this. Kids much like adults, will choose what they like and don’t like. Don’t make it harder than it has to be.

Leave any questions or comments below and share my page with your friends 🙂



12 thoughts on “How To Get A Child To Eat”

  1. Hi Alex, Thanks for commenting. If we only knew then what we know now right? It is not an easy task. I hope your sister finds what works for her. I don’t know how old her daughter is, but just tell her it does get better.

  2. My sister has a daughter and she can be quite the troublemaker when it comes to eating. At times, she be very picky, so my sister, Shannon has to be resourceful and trick her into eating. If she knew your tips, my sister would benefit quite a lot more than she has from trying to do so on her own.

    Thank you for sharing and I hope you make it a great day!

  3. Hi Yemi, I’m so happy I could give you some relief. It is hard watching them reject everything, but they don’t want to be pushed either. She’s healthy and that’s what really matters. They do eventually come around. It might take a while, even years. Just like us when we didn’t like veggies as children and now we do. Sometimes we have to put ourselves in their shoes. Glad I could help 🙂

  4. I love that you said it’s better the child ate something than nothing. I needed to read that.
    My niece has been super picky about food recently and while I know not to force her to eat anything, it’s been hard just overlooking that she won’t even touch certain things.
    What you said helped me look on the bright side – she eats and she’s healthy! Thanks for that 🙂

  5. Hi Jeremy,
    Thanks for your comment. Children love to make up stories and play pretend. That definitely helps when it comes to eating.

  6. Thank you for your comment ShanLo,
    Yes, feeding is not easy especially when it’s not your own. Sometimes children will try things if it’s someone other than a parent, so you might be a great help to them.

  7. Hi Jeff,
    Thanks for your comment. I definitely agree not to feed them fried foods and such on a daily basis. I mentioned fries because that’s what many children like. LOL
    Leading by example is 100% the way to go. My husband and I eat lots of veggies, they just happen to chose not to. I know as a child I hated vegetables and now I love them. They for sure have a mind of their own even at a young age.

  8. Very helpful, I don’t have kids but I do have a neice and nephew Imean always needing to babysit everyother day and they are not easy when it comes to eating, this article has really helped me. Thanks!

  9. Interesting post. I have 4 children, and maybe I am just lucky but all my kids will eat vegetables. I found that the best way to be sure children get the proper nutrition is to not make things like nuggets and fries available. Children will not stave themselves. If vegetables are a big part of the meal consistently, eventually they will warm up to them. I also believe that parents need to lead by example, so you can’t expect your kids to eat veggies while I eat a burger and fries. Just my two cents.

  10. I always used to play with my food as a kid, so to make life interesting it’s a great idea to create fun looking things for them to imagine and eat!

    Thanks for the great article:)

  11. Hi Rhiannon,
    Thanks for your nice comment. You’re lucky to have such great kids willing to try things. My oldest “knows” he doesn’t like something just by looking at it. My youngest, however, will pretty much try anything and is a little easier.

  12. Fantastic Article!
    Man! I wish I had had this problem! I had to monitor how much my kids ate at some points! Sure, there were the occasional “ewwww gross” moments, but overall they loved eating. You have some reaaly great advice here and I know this is going to help out a LOT of parents.

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