I have had food struggles with my oldest son for several years now. Instead of making food a battle with him though I have simply started finding ways to make new foods more interesting for him. Instead of dwelling on the fact that the food is something new, I find a way to make it fun or interesting for him and this makes meal times so much better for the whole family.
1. Get your kids involved
- My kids are so much more likely to not only try something new but also enjoy it if they were involved in making it to begin with. They help me with mixing, measuring and all kinds of things.
2. Make shapes with the food.
- I bought a set of hearts, dinosaur and animal cutters for using on sandwiches. My kids love it.
- Make a mickey mouse pancake or other animal shapes. When making blueberry pancakes I make the blueberries look like a smiley face.
- Make meatloaf cupcakes. I use my cupcake pan, frost them with mashed potatoes and the sprinkles are shredded cheese. It was a huge hit. I have also frosted them with ketchup.
3. Get creative
There are countless ways you can bring fun to food and keep your kids interested.
- If they love popcorn try making your own trail mix style popcorn.
- Ants on a log are always a fun and healthy snack. (I have even used dried cherries in place of raisins before, we called it fire ants on a log)
4. Dip it!
- My kids loves dip. My son is pretty picky about his veggies but if dip is involved he is much more likely to eat it and eat more of it. He loved carrot sticks and ranch dressing.
5. Break out the skewers.
- Sandwiches can get boring after awhile but you can put all the basics of a sandwich on a wood skewer. My kids personal favorite is alternating chunks of cheese, turkey, bread and sometimes cherry tomatoes. This is also a fun way to present fruit (you can get dip involved here also)