Thursday, November 20, 2014
Is it hard for you to get your child to eat more than one solid meal a day? You’ve cooked everything you could possibly think of and he just doesn’t want anything that has been made. Then dinner time comes and he can’t eat enough! Getting toddlers to eat unless they are extremely hungry can be a struggle, but with these fun ideas, I have noticed that it is so much easier to get my kids to eat.
First, involve your child in picking out and making the food. “Picking out” the food could mean guiding them to the right ingredients, and “making” could be something as small as stirring or putting the measured-out amount of water into a bowl. The point is to get them excited about the food!
After the easier part of the preparation takes place, allow your child to play with safe kitchen items (e.g. plastic bowls, wooden spoons, plastic measuring cups). This will give you time to do all of the things the little one can’t. Right before the food is ready to go in the oven or on the stove, let your child see what it looks like. They can be so amazed by the transformation of food, especially baked items!
Cooking also serves as a great time for learning, listening and following directions! When you turn on the stove or oven, make sure to let your child know. Talk to him/her and let him/her know that the oven is very hot and we need to stay away from it while the food is cooking. Time to set the table! This could include a fun plate, utensil set and special chair for your child. Or it could be just one of those three; something to help signify that it is time to sit and eat. It also takes up a few minutes while the food is cooking to keep them in the mind-set of lunch time!
Ding! Lunch is ready and your child is already excited to see what he/she has made! After much praise and excitement, it’s time to dig in. Now is the perfect time to sit with your child, eat, and talk about what a great meal you have prepared together. This process might seem like it would take 10 times longer than just cooking the food for your child, but after you factor in the time it takes to set up something to entertain them while you cook, the little guy/girl pulling on your leg right as you’re turning on the oven, and trying to get him/her to eat, having your child cook with you actually saves you time and creates a more enjoyable environment!