Monday, December 6, 2010

Share Your Parenting Secrets and Be Entered To Win a $200 Visa Gift Card!

This is a sponsored post from Chef Boyardee and BlogHer.



Getting kids to do things that are good for them always seem to be a struggle-- brushing their teeth, going to be at a decent time, doing their homework, eating their vegetables. If you asked me to name 2 things that I have a hard time getting my children to do,I would have to say "homework and eating their vegetables."

I deal with each of these dilemmas much differently.

When it comes to homework, there are no choices. Homework has to be done, on time, every single night- NO EXCUSES. I found that making my kids do their homework the minute they got home just didn't work. They'd whine "but I'm hungry! I'm tired! etc!" So, we came to an agreement. They get 30 minutes to unwind from their day at school. They can do whatever they please in that 30 minutes- eat a snack, watch a little TV, go online. But, when those 30 minutes are up- it's electronics, off. Brain, ON. Allowing them some time to unwind has made homework time ALMOST bearable for all of us.

Now, getting my kids to eat healthy is a whole different ballgame.

First of all, I do not force my children to eat vegetables that they absolutely hate. I was traumatized as a child when my parents forced me to eat peas and wouldn't let me up from the table until I had finished every last one. I swore I'd never do that to my children.

So, how do I get my children to eat vegetables?

We have a deal-- they have to try a food/vegetable at least once. If they don't like it, I won't ever ask them to eat it again. It's not always easy getting them to try something, but because they know I will not force them to continue eating something that they don't like, they eventually give in and try it. Surprisingly, they almost always end up saying something like "you're right, it IS good." Or "Not as bad as I thought it would be!" (Not the case with Brussels sprouts. Every single one of my kids hated those with a passion.)

If they try something and they don't like it (but they don't hate it) I try to find a way to make them like it. For example, I'll let them dip carrots in ranch dressing or add a little bit of melted cheese on top of broccoli. Another trick I've used is using rice vinegar for added flavor--chop up some cucumbers, tomatoes and carrots, and put them in a bowl with a little rice vinegar-- they'll eat every last bite.

I imagine you have these kind of struggles with your children as well. I would love to hear how you deal with these type of situations-- share your best parenting secrets here and be entered to win a $200 Visa gift card! Please Visit the Official Rules Also, be sure to visit BlogHer.com exclusive offers page for more chances to win! Sweepstakes run from 12/10/2010-12/23/2010. You MUST include your email address in your comment so we can notify you if you win.

Rules:
No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post

b) Tweet about this promotion and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post

c) Blog about this promotion and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post

d) Visit the official rules for additional forms of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents aged 18 and older.

Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail.

You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

Sweepstakes ends 5 PM PST, December 23, 2010
.


For great tips from moms just like us, sharing experiences, ideas and advice on how to get kids to eat better, visit Club Mum. Club Mum is the perfect resource for moms to learn helpful hints on a variety of topics, which can be applied to their own family. Club Mum is also on Facebook with daily tips, recipes, articles, questions and a terrific and active community!

(Please don't forget to include your email address in your comment. Thank you!)

290 comments:

  1. My daughter is a toddler and loves veggies right now, but as soon as she stops I have every intention of sneaking them in. Somewhere I have a whole file of recipes that sneak pureed veggies into everything from soup to cookies.

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  2. Tweet: http://twitter.com/#!/SkinnySushi/status/13343255248769027

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  3. My son is still really little, but I have him try new things at least twice before I will concede that he just doesn't like them. When he gets older, I won't make him eat something he hates, but he will have to try things and he'll have to be polite about refusing (i.e. no shouting YUCK! at the table).

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  4. It helps when I let my kids pick the veggie for our dinners. They can also choose to eat it cold or raw, or heated/cooked. I don't always give them the choice, but when I can, I do and it does help. It also helps to pit them against each other. haha. "look, your sister ate all her peas"

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  5. Oh, this is a tough one for me as I don't really like my veggies either.

    I have a one bite rule. They need to try just one bite of everything. Like your approach, one bite isn't all that big of a deal, so they'll usually do it and give me a thumbs up or down.

    My daughter often discovers things she likes and will eat more. My son? He's a peanutbutter kid most nights . . . I would love more ideas to get him to like more things.

    I just keep trying. There are a lot of things I didn't like as a kid that I do now! Tastes change, hence my one bite each meal rule, maybe they'll change their mind one year!

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  6. We lie our pants off and find a fun way to present new food items.... ohhh.. Mommy made you special hannah Montana carrots or Princes Peas... that works every time to get a few bites in.

    also adding a dipping sauce works and flavoring with butter and salt.

    we tell her that all the cool kids are eating vegetables

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  7. My kid actually likes her veggies, but I can't get her to eat Mac and cheese to save my life. Annoying.

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  8. I only have a two year old and he prefers chicken nuggets, pizza, and pasta so I usually hide veggies in pasta sauce and on pizza. But recently, I discovered that he will eat peas and green beans with butter if that is the only thing I put in front of him. I don't know how long it will last, but I take it! jessicaoliveto at gmail dot com

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  9. I've substituted the word "next" for all mentions of "share" and "turns." Being next seems to be a happy place for little ones in a way that "share" and "turns" are not. It's cut down on fighting in a way I never expected! I love it. I have the child who's turn it isn't ask the other child if she can be next, and it puts the power of deciding in the hands of the child who has the toy. They tend to be glad to say yes, and then I encourage the other child to find something to do while they wait. So far, so good.

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  10. I always encouraged mine to try one bite of something new and if they honestly did not like it they did not have to eat anymore and quite often they would end up likening whatever it was.

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  11. I have a rule with veggies if they eat them or at the very least try them then they get a snack. I never force them to eat them but I have been known to color some of veggies with food coloring you would be surprised what a kid will eat if is their favorite color.

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  12. I like to sneak in vegetables as ingredients in dishes, add chopped veggies to sauces or soups, as toppings for pizzas, and fruit and veggie juice.

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  13. tweeted...
    http://twitter.com/judes715/status/13399166097035265

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  14. Maggie (mmdmiller@comcast.net)December 10, 2010 at 5:08 PM

    My husband liked to use the rule for eating vegetables that he grew up with...one bite for each year old you were. As far as homework, it just had to be done by the end of the night - around 10 p.m.

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  15. whenever my children start to cry or whine I send them to there room until they can calm down enough to tell us their problem. It has worked wonders on my 2 year old and random tantrums. Of course if he is real reason to cry, like injury, I don't send him to his room...

    mjonaip@yahoo.com

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  16. I took a proactive approach on vegetables. My children never ate Gerber or Beechnut, etc. They ate a mashed or pureed version of whatever veggie my husband and I were eating at dinner from the time they were babies. Never with butter or salt, because that is how we eat them. So from day one they learned to appreciate the actual taste of fresh veggies, not the stuff added to them, or the overcooked liquid mush that comes in the cute little jars.

    Additionally, as soon as they could sit at the table or counter with me, they started helping me cook. Kids will rarely turn down food that they helped prepare. Nowadays, with a 5 and an 8 year old, we spend a wealth of time gardening together and perusing Farmers Markets. They are always excited to eat something they grew from the teeniest seed, and almost as excited to eat the veggies they picked out and bought directly from the farmer that grew them.

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  17. We got lucky out of 4 kids all of them love veggies but fruits are a different story. I have one son who refuses to eat anything thats a fruit. But I do make him at least try it. Same way with salad. He doesnt like salad, but I make him have a small (maybe 4 bites) of salad at meals sometimes. Tastes change overtime and I dont want him to just not try stuff.

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  18. I have been putting pureed veggies into mac and cheese and pasta sauces for now...

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  19. We homeschool, but I still struggle with getting my kids to complete their work in a timely fashion. My kids know they have consequences (no computer, missing out on playing with their friends) if they don't finish by the time I've set for them. I also try to use encouragement when they're staying on track by saying "you're working so hard today! Nice job!".
    As far as vegetables, that's a lot trickier. One of my four children likes them, but the other three give me grief about eating them. I just give them very small portions of vegetables and make sure they eat a lot of fruit.
    Denise (deniselovestom@gmail.com)

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  20. When my son was younger he could choose which item - just one - he skipped at each meal. Giving him the choice worked like a charm.

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  21. Almost anything with a sauce has veggies whipped into it.

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  22. My toddler has trouble with anything 'new', so we have to do a few things: explain what is going on, explain what is acceptable behaviour (refusing to eat: ok, throwing food: no/ being sad: ok, pitching a fit: no) and we try not to take things personally when he does meltdown over stuff, because the fastest way to get him out of one of those is a big hug and a sympathetic ear, which are hard to do when I am pissed off. Generally once he's tried something he likes it, or he is very clear that he doesn't, but he is willing to try again (in general. key lime pie apparently is a no-go)

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  23. We figured out early on what types of vegetables the kids will eat, so we concentrate on those veggies. When we prepare something new or different, they have to eat the amount of bites as their age-4 year old takes a MINIMUM of 4 bites, etc.


    elzatelzabelz at yahoo dot com

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  24. At dinner, there were always two choices: take it or leave it. It didn't take long for them to realize that it's a long time 'till breakfast. (No snacks unless a reasonable attempt was made to eat dinner.) They are glad, now, that they were taught to eat what was put before them and be thankful to get it. And, as long as they tasted something each time, they didn't have to finish it. Ma Ingalls was right, though: Hunger is the best sauce.

    As for homework. . . bedtime was ten thirty (we're all vampires here) whether they were finished or not. Natural consequences of one's own choices and actions are great teachers.

    I learned to like broccoli and cauliflower by requiring that we follow the rules we required our kids to follow, but peas are just nasty. Ironically, both kids love them now.

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  25. I can get my two sons to eat just about anything with one simple trick. I let them "help" make it. Suddenly that dang broccoli is the best freakin thing they have ever eaten because, HEY, they helped stir it, or add the salt or even breathed really close to the final product. Ha. And I mean pretty much anything. My boys are also very competitive, so i like to make things a competition. Who can take a shower the fastest while making sure that absolutely all the stinky spots are cleaned well? Who can pick up their clothes the fastest and earn the privelege of vacuuming? See, it's all about making them feel like they are contributing or getting something out of it. It's pretty fun actually to find out ways to trick them.

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  26. I wish I could add a comment the would be helpful to someone, but with the grace of God I am now 71 and don't realy remember what I did to make my children better. They did turn out great so I must of done something right and are all healthy.
    marybug2@yahoo.com

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  27. I have an app on my iPhone called iRewardChart. It's totally customizable, and I've added all kinds of behaviors and responsibilities that we want our six-year-old-son to work on (no whining about homework, brush your teeth 2xday, speak respectfully, etc). I set the number of stars he gets for completing each item. Each evening, we go through the list and he gets to tap on the stars for the items he completed correctly. It tallies the stars for him, and he can trade them in for rewards (an extra bedtime story, an hour of Wii, stay up an extra 15 minutes, a trip to the library, etc). I set up the number of stars needed to earn each item.

    He LOVES that it's on my iPhone; it's the only time he's allowed to touch it!

    I love that it's positive reinforcement and an opportunity for us to discuss his behavior everyday.

    damselandfamily at gmail dot com

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  28. I tweeted
    http://twitter.com/#!/marybug2/status/13573455865716736

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  29. I used to have problems with my kids getting ready to leave the house at a set time. They lagged and resisted getting dressed and a couple of times we were late. When my oldest was 6 I had had enough and told her we were leaving, even though she was still in her pj's with crazy hair. She realized I was serious when I picked her up and started marching to the car. Never had to repeat it with her and I only had to do it once with my son (in his case it was dressed, but shoeless).
    ape2016(at)aol(dot)com

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  30. Pumpkin bread. Zucchini bread.

    Seriously, this is the only way she gets veggies.

    Unless you count Ketchup. And Reagan isn't President, so we don't count Ketchup, right?

    Right?

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  31. I keep fruits and vegetables around for snacks. I also encourage my children to eat new vegetables during meals. I find they like them in meals like tacos and friend rice. They also like salads so we have those often.

    s2s2 at comcast dot net

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  32. http://twitter.com/susan1215/status/13632950197293056

    s2s2 at comcast dot net

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  33. we try to give them one veggie at dinner we know they will eat and we encourage them to try one they dont think they will like....we have resorted to paying them 50 cents to just try the veggie and most often they end up liking it.

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  34. I am not a short order cook. My kids know there will be at least one thing on their plate that they will absolutely love (or at least tolerate). Will they always eat their veggies? Nope. But there's ways to sneak them into new recipes like cauliflower in mashed spuds, or beets in to make them pink/purpley - without really changing the flavor.

    Honestly I don't expect them to flip over asparagus, but they LOVE brussel sprouts about three times a year. That's good enough for me.

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  35. I ALSO USE ALLOWANCE AS AN AWARD INCENTIVE. IF NOT TAKING AWAY TOYS LOL kytah00@yahoo.com

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  36. 2ND ENTRY TWEET twitter.com/#!/kytah00/status/13699654759743488 kytah00@yahoo.com

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  37. Similar to many comments above, I have a reward system in place for my 3 year old. For every new food she tries, she gets a check mark. Once she reaches 5 checks, she gets to pick out stickers at the store.

    Stickers win 'em over every time.

    sqrlygrrly AT hotmail DOT com

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  38. My kids are now grown but when they were little, life always had it's challenges. You really have to take each day as it comes, love on them a lot and pray they will grow up with a good out look on life and do the next right thing. No one had any experience with kids until they had one and you do the best you can with what you know as long as it is coming from your heart.

    gmissycat at yahoo dot com

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  39. Tweeted here too

    http://twitter.com/gmissycat/status/13740926916628480

    gmissycat at yahoo dot com

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  40. I bought a juicer. My boy will drink veggie/fruit combos all day long if I'd let him. I can sneak in veggies he does not like... and it's HEALTHY. NO added sugar. NOTHING fake. It's very healthy for us all!

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  41. I second the suggestion of dipping veggies in sauce. My kids love to do that.

    mami2jcn at gmail dot com

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  42. tweeted:

    http://twitter.com/mami2jcn/status/13751581522530304

    mami2jcn at gmail dot com

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  43. Usually ask them what they would like for dinner and have fruits and vegetable available.

    MCantu1019@aol.com

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  44. For us, it is NO television, computers, any sort of electronics except a phone during the week. And the phone gets plugged in to charge in my bedroom. I find that the homeowrk gets done in our house a lot faster and my daughter isn't tired from staying up all night texting her friends. It is what works best for us!

    jandssumpter at yahoo dot com

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  45. I have no idea how tot get my kids to eat the veggies or anything else for that matter. It's my biggest failure as a parent, honestly. My best advice is to not stress about it too much. I mean, I was super picky as a kid and I love all kinds of things now.

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  46. I go groceries shopping with the kids to let them pick some food that they would like to eat. And then incorporate those with my pick.

    pham.tkaren AT gmail DOT com

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  47. Tweet

    http://twitter.com/5teapea/status/13799403127046144

    pham.tkaren AT gmail DOT com

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  48. My daughter Jasmine is 4 now and loves any vegetable I give to her. But she has a HUGE problem with any type of meat. I can't get her to eat it. Maybe a vegetarian??

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  49. I don't know what I will do when they get older, but for now, my toddlers will eat anything on MY plate. So after they have declared they don't like something, I make it again but don't give them any. Then they want to know what it is and if they can have some. I swear they will eat anything that way.

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  50. If you puree "yucky" foods, they don't always notice them!
    thanks!
    kmassmanATgmailDOTcom

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  51. We are going to start giving our kids lots of new
    homemade foods right from the very beginning to get them used to new flavors and textures

    gina.m.maddox (at) gmail.com

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  52. http://twitter.com/#!/CrazyItalian0/status/13923469745987584

    gina.m.maddox (at) gmail.com

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  53. I think you need to start really early introducing fruits and veges and limiting the sweet stuff--especially with the childhood obesity rates. Try raw veges with a low fat ranch dip, or apples with a yogurt dip--my grandson loves to dip foods--sneak in veges like broccoli with some cheese.

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  54. http://twitter.com/#!/fostertam/status/13963077154246657

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  55. I have a you-must-try-it-at-least-once approach to new foods. If my girls (ages 6, 5 & 2) really hate something, they are not required to eat it. For the times that they initially claim to like something and yet it remains on their plate, they can choose to eat half of it and can have dessert. If they don't eat any more of it, no dessert, snacks or anything else to eat until the next meal time. I also serve a lot of fresh fruits with every meal :)

    sarahdragongirl@gmail.com

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  56. My five year old doesn't have much homework yet so that's a struggle we'll face in the future. Veggies have been hard all along. Like you, she has to try them once - each time they're fixed. Kids tastes change so just because she didn't like it last night doesn't mean she won't next time it's offered. Bedtime has been an on again/off again struggle. My rule is she can get out of bed once, but after that she has to stay in bed. It's ok if she doesn't sleep right away, she can play with her baby or animals, but she must stay in bed.

    missyz at sprint dot blackberry dot net

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  57. I don't force my kids to eat food they don't care for, but I'll expose them to it (serve it) again and again. At least 5 times on the plate over the course of a few months.

    I don't substitute something else for the food they dislike - my eldest will eat only carrots in her salad, the 12 yr old eats the entire salad (lettuce, carrots, cuke, and tomato); the younger two it all but the lettuce. Little by little they're adding to the list of foods they eat.

    Bottom line for me - I don't have any tricks; I just hope they add more (healthy) food to their diets as they get older.

    p.s. we have a similar approach to yours when it comes to homework --> a little time to unwind, then hit the books!

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  58. I've tried most of the tricks on here. The one that works more often than not is when my husband and I sit down and make a show of enjoying whatever veggie or other food my kids would typically reject. The seduction of "grown-up food" is usually enough for them to want to try something new.

    nicolsonzoo at gmail.

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  59. Above everything, beyond doing homework - making great grades, brushing teeth, eating vegetables, I struggled wanting my kids to know I wanted them both and loved them both very much.

    As a child of 3, let's just say favoritism might have been more rampant in my upbringing. So beyond setting aside time each night where I review with them homework, upcoming tests, etc - which my husband always complains, "no one helped him". Sorry Charlie, I'm there for my kids every night. Beyond, singing the happy birthday song to make sure they brush their teeth long enough. And beyond trying at least one bite to make sure they don't like or surprising do like the food. Beyond all that, I hug and kiss my children each morning and night.

    No matter what.

    No matter if I'm already snuggled in bed, I get up and give them hugs, kisses and those 3 words - I love you. Every morning and every night without fail. My 14 year old rolls his eyes, but I never derail. If I am out of town, I call each one. I don't say give the phone to your brother/sister. I call individually so they know they each matter.

    I want them to know how much they mean to me. Sound like a silly struggle, but with 2 kids - I never wanted one to feel inferior or not good enough.

    -Judy Ford judyjford@yahoo.com

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  60. I agree - ranch dressing helps most veggies be tolerable for my kids. And peanut butter on celery is a big hit here!
    nuthouse(at)centurytel(dot)net

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  61. tweeted: http://twitter.com/KerryBishop/status/14335152809320448
    nuthouse(at)centurytel(dot)net

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  62. We call it a "No Thank You" bite. My daughter must try something, but if she doesn't like it after she tries it she is not required to finish. Overall my kid is pretty awesome so I don't have a hard time getting her to do things.

    Jessie (jstory @ tcco . com)

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  63. Ranch dressing and lots of melted cheddar cheese for the veggies.

    Lots of Maker's Mark for the mommy.

    stellaluna100@hotmail.com

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  64. We also call it a no thank you bite! The other thinking I adopted is that in order to have dessert, my daughter has to eat the vegetables (and I always have something I know she likes - we buy a lot of frozen green beans). No vegetables, no dessert. I don't care if she doesn't eat another bite on her plate as long as the vegetables are eaten. I figure she won't starve herself, so this works for now - but she's only 5, so this will probably have to change when she gets older.

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  65. crap, forgot to leave the email - awwwtrouble [at] gmail dot com

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  66. My 3 year old son loves to play with his food and pretend that certain things are bugs...So we pretend that vegis are bugs and I know its bad but he eats them. Just hope it doesnt do that when it actually comes to the real thing.

    cleaningwoman01@yahoo.com

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  67. the more my child helps prepare all these veggies, the more likely she has been eat them, so she's my helper!

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  68. My two overall rules for parenting... spend enough time with your kid to rub off on them, and pick your battles, but if you're going to pick one, you have to win it.

    As far as veggies, I'm blessed that both my girls (18 and 8)are pretty willing to eat most fruits/veggies (the older one still doesn't like mushrooms, but I can deal with that). It helped tremendously when they were little to grow as many as possible ourselves and let them help with growing and preparing. This also works great with herbs and both my kids LOVE cilantro, basil, etc.

    thinkpink218@live.com

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  69. My best parenting secret has nothing to do with vegetables, sadly. But when I travel for work and leave the three kids home with my husband, I worry about how they're all going to get out the door for school alive and on time every day. So I hit upon the idea of Secret Missions. Before I leave, the kids pack clothes for each day in zip lock bags. The night before, I sneak in an add a secret mission to each-- something to make the morning go more smoothly like 'help dad with lunches' or 'feed dog' or 'get completely dressed and boots on before breakfast'. Then I include a little candy, er, I mean vegetable, in each bag. If they complete their mission they get to eat the candy in the car on the way to school. Usually the kids are in the car before my husband is ready to go... Hmm. Maybe he needs a mission too.

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  70. I am like you, I won't force them. It's frankly not worth the fight. I doubt any kid dies from lack of peas.

    I have a you can't tell me you don't like it, until you take on bite. If then, you don't like it, you can stop eating whatever it happens to be.

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  71. I am lucky and have 3 kids that love their veggies! General rule at our house is, you have to try and if you don't like it, you don't have to eat it. However, unless it is a fend for yourself night, there is nothing else to eat. As far as homework goes, you start when you get home. I am pretty easy going and will allow a snack while doing homework. If there is a lot of homework, I will have the kids start it and after an hour, I will let them take a break and play. However, the reason I do that, is that the kids know that if it doesn't get finished before bed, or if they whine and throw a fit, it will be a LONG time before they will get to break up their homework when there is a lot. (mommyof2coolboys@cox.net)

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  72. Unfortunately, I do not have children yet.

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  73. we have the same battles, and the same solutions. They get a half hour when they get home, then homework needs to get done. And the food rule is a GREAT one. They are so awesome about it, and we make sure to make a big deal about how proud we are of them trying. At first, with my picky-eater of a son, it was a struggle to get him to try things. But now he knows that he thought he hated cucumbers,and now he loves them, so there is always the possibility that he'll discover something else that's good. Another battle we have is over computer time. We've taken to setting the microwave timer to keep things fair and in check, otherwise they'd be on the computer or wii or what have you all night long.

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  74. I usually reason with kids. Let them know the consequences before setting principles.
    tcarolinep at gmail dot com

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  75. http://twitter.com/tcarolinep/status/14552412870156288

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  76. I hide veggies in everything, my box grater is my best friend. Then I make their plates, small portions of everything. When they have eaten everything on the plate they can have seconds of whatever they like. It is their choice to eat as they see fit, and my job to offer them a balanced meal.

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  77. With my 5 year old I have found that almost all tasks go smoothly if he feels he has a choice, even when he doesn't, so I word my instructions that way.

    For vegetables, we also have the try one bite approach but if he doesn't eat at least half of the things i know he likes there are no snacks later that night.

    cara.capps@yum.com

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  78. My best parenting secret? I always give choices (BUT NO MORE THAN 2! It's either *this* or *that*)so the boys feel like they are somewhat in control. But we all know who's reeeeeally in control...heh.

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  79. I guess I'd have to say don't force your kids to eat. It will make them hate you and have a difficult relationship with food. Making them try one bite of new foods is one thing; it's another altogether to force them to repeatedly eat things they don't like.

    Suzy Q
    sumarel@gmail.com

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  80. I tried to make eating fun. I guess I was lucky as both boys like vegetables and most things. The best thing was when I started making them "dips" for their veggies. They would eat just about any veggies that were dipped in ranch, cheese sauce or salsa!
    1prizewinner(at)gmail(dot)com

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  81. Tweeted Here: http://twitter.com/1prizewinner/status/14798592141172736
    Twitter name @1prizewinner
    1prizewinner(at)gmail(dot)com

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  82. My son is very picky with veggies! Mostly in the way they are prepared - peas and green beans must be cold, corn hot, carrots either way- etc. I am just thrilled he eats what he does, so I prepare them the way he likes (even if it seems weird to me)

    ReplyDelete
  83. I tweeted http://twitter.com/jskell911/status/14807473915428864

    ReplyDelete
  84. Tweeted

    http://twitter.com/#!/Jayne_Martin/status/14831541867778049

    jvmwordsmith@comcast.net

    ReplyDelete
  85. When my kids were little, I just really started out, not giving them options. Just teaching them to explore lots of tastes. It seems to have worked. They are NOT picky at all.

    ReplyDelete
  86. My mom made me eat my dinner, even when it was liver and she knew I despised it, every night. I have never done that to my kids. They have to eat one bite of everything, and that's it. So far (and the oldest is about to turn 21) they've turned out to be very healthy eaters.

    ReplyDelete
  87. One of my best parenting secrets is to pray for and pray with your kids.
    hsuperparents[at]gmail[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  88. I am SO SO thankful that I have a good eater. He started out a good eater because all he could eat were fruits and veggies (because of food allergies) He is 2 now and still only eats fruits and veggies. (mostly) There has only ever been one thing he has tried and not eaten.. Ramen noodles! :)

    ReplyDelete
  89. So far, my 22-month old son has done mostly OK with veggies. We have found when he gives us a hard time periodically that dip - ranch or hummus - works well. If we cook veggies, garlic and butter does the trick as well. I may use some of the other ideas posted here in the future, though, if he gets more picky.

    ReplyDelete
  90. Also tweeted at http://twitter.com/#!/AilisAW/status/15077785299058688

    ReplyDelete
  91. Im all about the trickery. I come with fun names for everything....broccoli is tress and my kids are 5 and still think carrots are oranges. Hey, it works.

    ReplyDelete
  92. I always add herbs and spices to make veggies more tasty - works quite well.

    ReplyDelete
  93. I hide them. In spaghetti sauce. Cover them with ranch. My daughter loves veggies and actually requests them. My son? Won't touch them with a ten foot pole. So hide it is! If he had his choice it would be corn dogs with ranch everyday.

    Kaiasmom2003@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  94. I have really good eaters. They just eat too much. They're costing me! haha

    Kids crave certain things...just like adults. I tried to roll with it.

    ReplyDelete
  95. Take plain yogurt and add fresh herbs and spices. It makes a tasty dip or dressing and it is really healthy & delish

    ReplyDelete
  96. I have a chart for the kids with their list of chores/events/schoolwork they need done. They are responsible for checking it each day.

    ReplyDelete
  97. When our son was younger, he would never get up in the morning. I kept going into his room and literally begging him to get up. We finally got him his own alarm clock and set it. If he didn't get up on time, without me having to go into his room and wake him, then he had to go to bed 10 minutes earlier that night. The 10 minutes was cumulative and we added 10 minutes each night til he learned to wake up with the clock, get up and get dressed. It made our mornings so much easier!

    ReplyDelete
  98. This sounds all too familiar. The best trick for my kids is to cover veggies with melted american cheese. They also like ranch dressing, so we also give veggies with ranch dressing.
    Thanks so much.
    rickpeggysmith(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  99. I tweeted:
    http://twitter.com/peg42/status/15556263786061824
    Thanks
    rickpeggysmith(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  100. I generally just ask my kids what they want and since they only have a couple preferences, its eithe corn, green beans, occasionally peas so thats ok as long as they eat one of them I am happy, if I tried something new it doesnt go over to well so we stick to what works so far, Thanks for the giveaway

    debis126 at yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  101. Best thing I did was to introduce new and different kind of foods early. My daughter loved salsa by the time she was a little over a year old. Her taste buds are awesome. My 1st child, we fed him such bland food at first that he doesn't like to experiment at all with food.
    chipdip2010(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  102. tweeted http://twitter.com/chipdip2010/status/15576740575313920
    chipdip2010(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  103. Luckily, my kids will munch on raw veggies anytime, as long as I have a steady supply of honey mustard and ranch dressing on hand. I always have veggies and fruits in bowls along with little packs of peanut butter, honey mustard and ranch to snack on. Works great!
    pauline15_01 at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  104. include them in looking for recipes, shopping and making- they are more willing to try

    ReplyDelete
  105. No tricks, no snacks, no junk only scheduled meals. Eat or don't that is fine, don't make a drama. Try it for 3 days. They will eat their meals, maybe not the things they hate but most everything.
    My fussing, picky granddaugher (only child) comes to visit another daughter and her 6 kids. No snacks no junk, scheduled meal only. By day 3 she is no longer fussy eater, she is hungry. and eats everything.

    ReplyDelete
  106. http://twitter.com/sodahoney/status/15622727834542080

    ReplyDelete
  107. veggie lasagna – kids eat the veggies (spinach, carrots, zucchini) because they can’t taste it
    I'm fighting cancer right now so staying healthy is a priority
    tvollowitz at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete
  108. One of my children is very adamant about only eating soft white food, so I have turned to making him drink his vegetables and fruits. I made a nice big protein shake with veggies or fruit for snacks or with breakfast and he thinks it is a super treat.

    ReplyDelete
  109. have a picky 33 year old (the hubby) as well as a picky 10 year old. I often hide the veggies in foods I know they will eat...Like substituting spaghetti squash for part of the noodles in pasta, or using bean (or other veggie) purees in sauces. Out of sight, out of mind, and they are getting their veggies!! I know...I'm sneaky!

    girlforgotten81@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  110. It wasn't too long ago that most people had large families and you ate what was in front of you. I made the kids sit there until they finished half the plate. They'd get a small snack after school and then go out and play. They were usually pretty hungry no matter what food was before them.
    Dove056 at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete
  111. Tweet - http://twitter.com/Dove056/status/15655268067057664
    Dove056 at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete
  112. Well, we discovered the same trick as you! A LITTLE ketchup, or honey or cheese is enough. Then try weaning them from that, which works some of the time.

    ReplyDelete
  113. I tweeted:
    http://twitter.com/#!/benny8484/status/15671675978784768

    ReplyDelete
  114. http://6littlefaces.blogspot.com/2010/12/come-share-your-advice-with-other-moms.html

    ReplyDelete
  115. http://twitter.com/#!/6littlefaces/status/15685784484978688

    ReplyDelete
  116. My son has lots of food allergies (only nuts that is life threatening), but every meal was a struggle until I realized that he knows what he should eat. Since I quit force feeding him (slight exasgeration) he has gained weight and grown several inches.

    ReplyDelete
  117. We all agree to try one new food each week and then give our honest feedback. My picky one tends to be more agreeable when she feels she has a say too. trinitygsd at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  118. HORTON111@AOL.COM

    FIND A FOOD THAT YOU CHILDREN LIKE AND THEN INCOROPORATE OTHER FOODS INTO THAT

    ReplyDelete
  119. We use the try, try again strategy. If someone doesn't like green beans one night, they can skip them but know that we're going to try again in a few days. We want our kids to give everything a fair shot.

    ReplyDelete
  120. cheerz00@gmail.com

    We grew a garden this year with lots of vegetables. Our kids wanted to eat the vegetables that they helped grow and water everyday. We grew carrots, lettuce,tomatoes, potatoes, and corn.

    ReplyDelete
  121. Whenever I have asked my children to help with dinner, they have ended up eating anything they handled-even brussel sprouts!
    smchester at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  122. My parents would make us at least try the item in question before we were allowed to make a final judgement call on it. If we hated it - they wouldn't make us it eat until the next time they served it.

    Tarah
    tarah716[at]ymail.com

    ReplyDelete
  123. We have them try at least a bite of each veggie so they at least know if they like it. Also, adding cheddar cheese on broccoli etc makes it taste better to some kids. (email in profile)

    ReplyDelete
  124. tweet
    http://twitter.com/buzz8/status/15844624266436608

    ReplyDelete
  125. I feed my daughter the item she's least likely to want FIRST as an "appetizer" while I'm getting ready. At that point she's really hungry so will eat just about anything.
    Jennifer, jennem22 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  126. Sometimes it is just trial and error. Finely chopped vegetables in spices and sauces really helps. msmith572@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  127. Blogged: http://insanityisforthelame.blogspot.com/2010/12/joy-unexpected-reviews-share-your.html

    msmith572@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  128. Tweet: http://twitter.com/samasam/status/15854904207745024

    msmith572@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  129. We have a hard and fast rule about veggies at our house. I try to make veggies that everyone likes. I see no need to make them eat brussels sprouts if they will eat broccoli. They have to try everything once without any complaints. They have to eat a small amount of whatever veggie we are having, even if they don't like it. But after they eat the small amount (one piece of broccoli, three green beans, etc) they are more than welcome to substitute another fresh veggie from the fridge. So if they would rather have a carrot that is fine with me.

    lorieblogs (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  130. Our plates are always filled halfway with vegetables.
    Thanks for the chance.
    mogrill@comcast.net

    ReplyDelete
  131. Having the kids pick out their own veggies, whether from the garden, farmer's market, or grocery - they have more ownership over the veggie and are much more willing to gobble them up! :)

    ReplyDelete
  132. My kids love Mac & Cheese. To fortify it, I add beans to it. Take a can of great white northern bean, drain and wash then grind them into a paste in your food processer adding just a bit of water (or milk), salt and pepper. Freeze in 2-3 tablespoon helpings and add the frozen beans to just about anything ~ Works well in Stouffers Mac & Cheese as well as Kraft.

    hmb@fortaj.com

    ReplyDelete
  133. http://twitter.com/#!/Superfrugalette/status/16019470342422528 topgun34er(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  134. to get them to eat healthy things I make lots of side dishes so they have lots of choices and feel in charge!

    ReplyDelete
  135. I find that they eat lots of veggies with dips. Hummus, eggplant, and low fat dairy make great healthy dips that add nutrition as well.

    ReplyDelete
  136. Tweet:
    http://twitter.com/clc408/status/16158188634120192

    ReplyDelete
  137. I don't have kids, but my parents always cooked good food. They never cooked anything THEY didn't love, so we never had to sit through things like boiled lima beans and liver. LOL. Everything they cooked was flavorful and delicious, and I grew up loving vegetables and healthy food! It's distressing to meet people my age (in their 20's, 30's) who are still scared of veggies because their parents used them as punishment. :(

    krtrumpet [at] aol [dot] com

    ReplyDelete
  138. My son has always had to taste the food before he refuses to eat it. I know there are some foods I do not like, so I am sure there are foods my son doesn't like either. I don't force him to eat after tasting it, but if he wants another meal, he needs to prepare it.

    prizeentry @ wesharewithyou dot com

    ReplyDelete
  139. I tweeted http://twitter.com/rsmstahley/status/16208027971493888

    prizeentry @ wesharewithyou dot com

    ReplyDelete
  140. i never had a problem with my daugter eating her veggies - Thank goodness!

    debbiebellows[at]gmail[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  141. tweeted about the giveaway

    http://twitter.com/bellows22/statuses/16240584318521345

    debbiebellows[at]gmail[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  142. Letting the kiddos choose their own veggies and help in their preparation really helps encourage them to eat them up! :)

    anotherlunch@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  143. I like to buy baby food (pureed squash, mixed veggies, etc.) and I put them in casseroles, soups, hamburger helper type dishes. My husband was surprised to learn this the other day, and i've been doing it for years!

    ReplyDelete
  144. Hi, I am a dad, when my two children were very young under four-five yrs. I did not try to force them to eat veggies. I would just let them skip them and try a different way to present them and see if they liked it. When they were older in school I would let them help with the cooking of all the food but mostly the Veggies. Like most cooks, they usually eat their own food and mistakes. Nevertheless, if you have a wide variety of foods available you should be able to provide a balanced diet without causing a big uproar over veggies. {rufn at verizon dot net}

    ReplyDelete
  145. I am so lucky. My granddaughter is not a picky eater at all. We have lots of salads, pasta, and veggie lasagna. She gets plenty of vegetables in her diet.
    marcia.goss@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  146. Tweet.
    http://twitter.com/#!/mgoss123/status/16290512893906944
    marcia.goss@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  147. I have a tip for the dreaded brussels sprouts! Try cooking them in a variety of different ways. I always hated them as a kid because my mom boiled them, which really brings out their bitterness. Now I roast them and the flavor is much different. So, beyond brussels sprouts, I guess that's my tip--try cooking things differently, with different sauces, etc.
    ohkeeka at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  148. Use your imagination. I tell my daugter chicken is dragon meat to get her to eat it. It works.

    Jeanette Huston
    jeanette_huston@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  149. Tweeted

    http://twitter.com/josephvh1982/status/16300013508370432

    Jeanette Huston
    jeanette_huston@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  150. my son refuses to eat vegetables and fruits..except in juice form...so i buy 100% juice, and vegetable/fruit juice blend...i mix purees into his other foods...
    nannypanpan at sbcglobal.net

    ReplyDelete
  151. I always have a struggle with getting my kids to get ready to leave the house in the morning. My life runs so much more smoothly when I lay out both mine and my kids' outfits the night before, as well as make sure the diaper bag is packed and ready to go. Shoes and coats are set out by the door. It makes it so much easier to get out the door on time in the mornings.
    nbalogh522 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  152. tweet
    http://twitter.com/maybaby522/status/16352164049846272
    nbalogh522 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  153. Fresh & Dried fruit are the perfered snacks in our house

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  154. We stick to a flexible but predictable routine!
    Merry Xmas! Thanks!
    Janna Johnson
    jannajanna@hotmail.com
    janna@feedyourpigblog.com
    www.feedyourpigblog.com

    ReplyDelete
  155. I learned that it is best to have my kids take two bites of a new food before deciding if they like it or not. Typically they dislike the first bite of something new but on the second bite, they realize it isn't so bad and will often eat more.

    ReplyDelete
  156. One of my children loved everything right away but the other was picky picky picky to the point I was worried about him getting enough nutrition. I finally asked his pediatrician who said to leave him alone because he is healthy.

    I still try to introduce new foods to him but it is slow going and I tried alot of different methods. Good luck to all.
    dawns_horizen@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  157. My youngest is eleven now, but when I had four children under age ten I would often introduce a new vegetable by making it as fattening and sweet and delicious as possible. I treated it like dessert, and oohed and aahed and they loved it. Then at each successive time I served it, I reduced the sugar and butter or cheese and bread crumbs, or whatever fattening recipe I was using, bit by bit. By the time the end of the year rolled around, they were all eating things "straight" and only thought good things about them. To this day they all eat all their vegetables and LIKE them. Now they even request them for their favorite birthday dinners.

    ReplyDelete
  158. My daughter loves lots of veggies and fruits so I really don't have a problem. Yes, I'm lucky! She doesn't like cinnamon tho, so I don't use quite as much as some recipes call for. Small adjustment that I can live with.

    sksweeps (at) earthlink (dot) net

    ReplyDelete
  159. I find the best way is start them young with healthy eating , they grow up thinking it is the way they are suppose to eat. For the picky eater, "hide" the good stuff in the food. Pureed Spinach in the spaghetti sauce for instance. They eat it, the love it and have no idea they just ate Spinach too...sometimes you have to be tricky

    ReplyDelete
  160. I tweeted http://twitter.com/#!/eyzofblu63/status/16615796776112128

    ReplyDelete
  161. I'm a grandmother of six and know what kids will be happy eating! Just open a can of Chef Boyardee, any one----they are all delicious--and spoon that into taco shells that have been heated in the oven,with a fork full of chopped lettuce on top--they'll want seconds, maybe even thirds!

    ReplyDelete
  162. sorry no kids here, but for me my mom never fixed an extra meal and made me try everything! scg00387 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  163. http://twitter.com/#!/DesMoinesDealin/status/16702442938830848 scg00387 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  164. My kids are very good eaters. There are very few things that they don't like. Since it is so seldom that they don't like something, I don't force the issue. If we're having something that isn't a hit, they are welcome to find their own substitute, that doesn't make more work for me. For example, if we're having squash, my daughter will get baby carrots from the fridge instead.

    ReplyDelete
  165. I make sure my children eat their fruits and veggies by serving them first, and then waiting until they have finished at least half before serving the rest of the meal.

    ReplyDelete
  166. Something my dad always told me, when I was little. It has stuck with me still. He always said, "Dont knock it, till you tried it." If you dont like it, you dont have to eat it again. So I always made sure I tried something once, before I said YUCK!

    I now do that same thing with my daughter. It works too. :)

    itsjustme62613 at gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  167. tweet

    http://twitter.com/MistySunrise/status/16875359035203584

    itsjustme62613 at gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  168. I cook chicken a lot of various ways. As I cook something I set aside some small portions for "tasting"..my grandkids taste each new item and either adds it to their favorites or not. I freeze individual portions of the various favorites so I always have something on hand when the grandkids come to visit.

    ReplyDelete
  169. Enouraging your child at a young age is so important. I always had my son help me in the kitchen to make his lunch. It gave him a sense of accomplishment and encouraged him to try his "masterpiece". I would tell him to make funny faces out his veggies that he would want to eat and it really helped alot. Also sometimes cutting veggies into different shapes encourrages them to try it . My son loved his rocket ship made out of veggies! and little broccoli aliens that he has to eat lol.
    Now that my son is older he eats all vegetables. Its all about trial and error. Each child is different. I accept my sons differences and learn as I go along. The main thing is the be patient and keep introducing the same vegetables in different ways. Also foods that contain vegetable servings like Chef Boyardee products are a great way to give your child the nutrition they need.

    chichibeans at aol

    ReplyDelete
  170. My three kids are so not picky, people comment on it! I believe whole heartedly the reason is we never did baby food - we took ours and mashed it up for the kiddos. We don't douse our veges in sauces or dips and we love them, and the kids grew up eating them and the kiddos - 9,7,3 all love them. My son thinks dessert is having fruit after the meal instead of with...we just went out to eat last night and the 3 year old wanted chicken strips with green beans and no french fries, only fruit! The first thing he ate was the strawberry, then on to the green beans!

    I believe if we provide them 'real food' from the beginning, they will love it til the end!
    jjs [at] umn.edu

    ReplyDelete
  171. tweet
    http://twitter.com/#!/Grandma3710/status/16907052068634624

    ReplyDelete
  172. My daughter loves all veggies. I think it's because I always include a veggie at dinner and I have a lot on hand, ready to eat, in the fridge. I package individual bags of carrots and ranch dip for her to grab as a snack and many times she'll eat a salad instead of a cookie after school. I never forced her to eat anything she doesn't like, but, like you, she always had to try a bite.

    shel704 at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete
  173. http://twitter.com/auntiethesis/status/16914053284757504

    shel704 at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete
  174. Luckily all of my kids like most veggies. However, there are a few they refuse to eat...unless I put them in with pasta and then poof...they love them :o)

    ReplyDelete
  175. heh, I am reading the comments to learn new tricks--I am the mean mom that says they have to eat everything that I cook and yes, I make them sit at the table until they have done so. Luckily my daughter loves peas, and my son is doing much better (the memory of The Great Carrot Wars is still with him where he ended up grounded for three weeks, which his crappy report card then stretched into an additional nine)

    ReplyDelete
  176. My boys (18 months & 2 1/2 years) have always loved their fruits & veggies. The problem is getting them to eat anything else! I usually try to make their foods into cute little shapes they like, we have a sandwich maker that makes dinosaur shaped grilled cheese, little molds that make pancakes shaped like trains, eggs get cut up and painted with ketchup so they look like spongebob, and hot dogs get cut into little people, horses, or wrapped in biscuit to make mummies! It's worth the extra time to get them to eat a balanced diet!!

    not2beaburden@msn.com

    ReplyDelete
  177. I try to sneak healthy ingredients and veggies into whatever dish I make. It's not always easy, but there are so many inventive ways to do it. It is a whole trial and error process for me, but I love trying new things!
    paigewiley16 AT gmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  178. Pasta can be the great equalizer. If the kid loves pasta, chances are she'll try it will small bits of veggies or meats cut up into it. It has to be mixed in well at first, though, especially if it's mac-n-cheese. With marinara sauce, you can get away with practically anything!

    Suzy Q
    sumarel@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  179. My meal saving strategy is to combine a bag or can of vegetables with spaghetti and red source. It doesn’t change the taste and they eat their veggies.
    THANKS for the AWESOME GIVEAWAY!!!

    Scott Martin
    spmartin122@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  180. my parenting tip is be consisent

    ReplyDelete
  181. tweeted
    http://twitter.com/MelindaJoy926/status/17027900582658048

    ReplyDelete
  182. Tip - always make sure that the consequence directly follows the behavior.

    artisticbaker@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  183. I like cutting my fruit and vegetables into fun shapes. The kids like eating it more this way

    bluegirl1423 (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  184. If I want to get them to eat veggies I dress it up with some ranch and if I want them to eat fruit I dress it up with some peanut butter!!


    --Meagan
    cheercfa07 at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete
  185. Tweeted!
    http://twitter.com/vivalameaganx3/status/17042971736154112

    --Meagan
    cheercfa07 at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete
  186. Fortunately, my kids happily eat well-balanced meals. I think if we hit a roadblock, I'd offer small "rewards" for eating small amounts of fruits and vegetables (e.g., ten peas, two slices of cling peaches). I don't subscribe to The Clean Plate Club, but I do think I can encourage healthy eating as a daily practice.

    Thanks for a generous giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
  187. Tweet-a-tweet-tweet!
    http://twitter.com/Ida_Sessions/status/17051256698699777

    ReplyDelete
  188. Choose your battles. From food, to hairstyles, to clothing choices, just remember--this too will pass!!!

    ReplyDelete
  189. I often resort to bribery, that works most of the time, and my other trick is my "serious voice" - they know I mean business when I talk in my serious voice.

    ReplyDelete
  190. I love to involve my kids in the cooking/preping process so they had fun and get familiar with the food before meal time. My 3 yr old some loves to pick the stems off the sweet peas, and that's also his favorite vegetable. :)

    My email address is:
    amy AT utry DOT it

    ReplyDelete
  191. I puree veggies and put them in my gravies and sauces. Out of sight.... No more fights:-)

    ReplyDelete
  192. My best parenting tip is to be positive (use positive reinforcement, encourage and praise good behavior, etc) and be consistent. When I do those two things regularly, my children feel better, behave better and life all the way around IS better.

    ReplyDelete
  193. Thankfully our kids like their vegetables, most of the time anyway. But for my four year old daughter, if I let her help prepare the meal or prep the vegetables, she much more likely to eat it because she's proud of making it!

    ~Tabitha

    ReplyDelete
  194. I don't really have a secret, I just make sure there is very little junk food in the house, and when they get hungry enough they will eat the healthy stuff.
    ajolly1456 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  195. I tweeted
    http://twitter.com/lunaj1456/status/17276514118664192

    ajolly1456 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  196. http://twitter.com/#!/HappyFamily0115/status/17277327977222144
    merleandtina@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  197. I try to use turkey meat whenever possible instead of hamburger. If seasoned correctly they will not know the difference.

    ReplyDelete
  198. I like the idea someone had of "one bit for how old you are!"

    ReplyDelete
  199. Awesome blog and thanks for the giveaway!
    Would love, love, LOVE to win this!
    Happy holidays!
    =]

    ReplyDelete