How can we encourage our children to eat foods they don’t like?

2016.06.30

We want our children to eat a variety of foods.
However, children usually have foods they like and foods they don’t like.
How, can we, as parents, overcome these likes and dislikes and encourage our children to eat everything.

「Encourage them to try at least one bite」

Many parents want their children to eat at least try eating the foods they do not like.
However, forcing children to eat these foods is usually not effective.
The more they are forced to eat the food the less likely it will be that they grow to like it.
If you want your child to eat something, the best way to start is to encourage them to have just one bite.
Let’s praise them for trying the food and not get angry at them for not being able to eat it all.

Put foods that they dislike on their plate.

Some parents decide not to put foods that their children dislike on their plates.
However, putting foods they dislike on their plate on a regular basis sometimes make it easier for them to get over their dislikes.
It is also a good idea for papa and mama to eat these foods in front of their children and show them how yummy they are.
Many children eat foods they dislike at kindergarten and elementary school because their peers are eating them.
Let’s make sure to include a variety of food in meals and encourage our children to at least try everything.

Try using the foods in a variety of recipes

For example, using carrots in carrot juice and carrot cake may make them easier to eat.
Cutting carrots up really small and putting them in hamburgers or salad is also a good idea.
Let’s try various recipes with the foods our children dislike.
Children may be able to eat foods that they dislike if they are cooked the right way.
Also, by trying various recipes you may be able to further your child’s interest in food and cooking.

Try encouraging them to eat more foods by teaching them about food

Growing vegetables in the garden or balcony is one example.
Eggplants, tomatoes and green peppers can be grown on the balcony.
Recently, there are also many places where children can try harvesting their own fruits and vegetables.
If relatives have a garden or rice field helping out with the harvesting can be fun and also educational.
Learning how vegetables grow and harvesting themselves is a great experience for kids to have.
Also, eating vegetables that you harvested yourself often taste better than those bought in the store.

Don’t rush it. Give them some time to get over it.

There are many adults who also dislike certain foods.
Let’s not force our children to eat things they do not like and get angry at them if they don’t.
Forcing them to eat these foods may cause trauma and even lead them to not like eating at all.
As long as these foods are not required for nutritional purposes, it is fine for children to have some foods that they dislike.
As children grow, the foods they like and dislike change and they can eat more things.

  • GYMBO friends