Pretend They’re Rabbits

Seriously.  Children eat frequently and in small amounts.  Or at least, my four-year old boy and two-year old girl do!  For the past couple of months, I have been trying new ways to get my firstborn to eat new foods and more vegetables.  The boy would eat fruit all day if I let him!  My daughter eats anything and everything.  What can I say?  She’s a girl after my own heart!

I knew I needed help inspiring my lad, so I went to the online source of infinite wisdom and ideas:  Pinterest!  Parenting, in my humble opinion, is much like teaching:  other parents and teachers always have the BEST ideas.  I cannot take credit for any of the following gems, but did want to pass on these new tricks that have helped tremendously.  The difference is like night and day.

1.  Create fun faces and shapes, etc. with their food.

This evening, our children enjoyed eating Pad Thai with us.
Even the bell peppers and carrots were consumed without a problem!

This was lunch one day when I desperately needed to go grocery
shopping.  I usually try to have three food groups (at least)
represented.  On this day, there was only two:  berries and
sliced turkey (they have no problem eating either).

Something so simple made such a difference.  All of a sudden a typical meal turned into a fun adventure with commentary like, “I’m going to eat the eyes first!” or “There goes the mouth!”  It takes a maximum of two minutes for me to do this when serving the children lunch.  They look forward to the silly face every time!

2.  Serve their food in small containers instead of on traditional plates.

I found these plastic containers (that come with tops) at
Dollar Tree.  I believe they are sold 10 for $1.00.
On the menu for lunch on this particular day:  turkey slices,
mandarins and string cheese.  Easy peasy!
The possibilities are endless!

Each day right before lunch, my son asks, “What surprise are we eating today?!”  Serving their food in separate containers has, for whatever reason, made them more excited about what they will eat.  Since my boy will be attending school all day beginning next year, there is a strong possibility that I will be packing similar meals for him.

3.  Roll the dice…literally.
I also found the jumbo dice at Dollar Tree (2 for $1.00).
It’s probably one of my favorite stores.

Both my children enjoy rolling the jumbo dice on the table, counting the dots, and then taking as many bites from their food as they roll.  Hooray for cross-curricular connections while eating!  I know some people are very strict about what they allow on their tables during meals.  On rare occasions, my son likes to bring toys to the table during lunch.  If he eats his food, I allow it.  I’m not a Nazi about it.

I am happy to report that after trying these three simple strategies, I now have two children that are open to trying new foods and eating more vegetables.  I know this is not the end of the journey and that there will likely be picky phases ahead.  Still, I am excited for the progress we have made!  Here are the links to the sites that gave me these ideas and helped:
And now I want to hear from you all!  What are some tricks that have helped you deal with picky eaters?

Life Interrupted

The abrupt halt of my morning
Came with showers outside
Half the city mourning
Your unannounced, most recent voyage
The calendar on the wall
Mocks me
With no days left
To plan
Forward I travel
Though my soul stays still
Patching together
Our shared history
An unfinished quilt
The underside, messy
My visual prompt
To welcome interruption.