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Food Roulette
  3 Ways to Get Your Child to Eat
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When a child is being defiant it can be difficult to get them to do anything, especially eat. Here are a few easy ways to get your child eating foods they otherwise wouldn't. These methods worked wonders with my own 2-year-old and I hope they achieve the same results for your own child.

The Bait & Switch

One effective method I have found to get my child to eat is what became known in the household as the "Bait and Switch." This maneuver is simple to do and has achieved positive results the majority of the time. For example, while my daughter is in her highchair refusing to eat the tacos and rice that rest on her plate, I sit at the dinner table, adjacent to her chair, and start eating my dinner. She sees that I am enjoying my food, and wants to be a part of the fun. Next, she hands me her plate, like it holds different food than mine. I pretend to put the food from my plate onto hers, however, here is the trick: I do not let her see what I am doing, except my motions of moving and mixing her food around. Then, I give the plate back to her and say, "Here you go, Sweetie." In the end, she thinks she got an entire new set of food from my plate, because the food off of Daddy's or Mommy's plate will always taste better to the child.

Persistent Approach

The "Persistent" approach is not always full-proof, but it works great for snacking or initiating lunchtime. This approach is similar to being hassled into doing something by another. It is normal for us to carry out actions for the sake of acceptance or appraisal. The reality is that this method is just as effective on children. Begin by asking them if they are hungry. If you are denied or turned down, be a little more persistent about it. Before giving up from all the "No's," go get some food or start putting it together. By doing this, it will spark their curiosity and lead them to investigate why you are making food. Once the food is done being prepared, without paying any attention to the child, eat a little piece or portion of it. Kids like to mimic their parents, therefore, if you are eating, they will want to eat, too.


Children respond very well to positive reinforcement and energy. Hereafter, if you say, "It's lunch time," or "Let's make some food" with an upward, happy inflection, or if possible, offer to reward them by taking them to the park or for a drive once done eating as a decent bribe, it can kill two birds with one stone. This gets them to joyfully eat, while enforcing happy emotions and positive mental growth. Connecting food time with cheerful memories will remove your child's fear of eating certain foods socially because of all the interaction you're building with them. The end result of the implementation of this tactic is that you will develop a stronger bond with your child and you will get them eating.

Ultimately, getting your child to eat everything you want them to will be an on going battle. However, a little creativity, persistence and positive reinforcement will contribute greatly to your rate of success.

By: Benjamin A. Browning

What tricks do you use to get your child to eat? Leave a comment and let us know!

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