Saturday, September 26, 2009

Getting a toddler to eat

Mommy Tip of the Day: To get a picky toddler to eat more, turn dinner into a game.

Dinner time with a picky toddler can be a frustrating thing for any parent. I want my kids to eat well, even though I rarely manage to have the best eating habits. Thankfully I have been blessed with 2 beautiful girls who actually like to eat vegetables. (Sorry I don't have any great tips on getting kids to eat broccoli.) My problem is that my older daughter is a grazer. She only wants to eat a couple of bites of food and run off to play with her "friends" . There is just too much playing to be done to sit still and do anything as mundane as eating.

My DD loves to learn, so to get her to stay at the table longer and eat more, we have turned dinner time into game time. Her favorite "game" is to count each bite that she takes. We only start the game after she has stopped eating on her own, and now she can count to 20 in Spanish and English. She also likes us to make up stories about her and her friends which always involve big meals and lots of bites of food. (She has to take a bite of food every time one of the characters in the story takes a bite. )

It keeps her engaged. She doesn't get bored and want to run off to play. Best of all she gets to interact with us. I am sure that is her favorite part.

Don't get me wrong. I would love to have more time to talk to my husband (or any other adult for that matter) over dinner, but for now I will settle for getting my daughter to eat a few more vegetables.

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