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Ways to Encourage Eating in Kids

Start very small.Are you sure you are not giving your child a giant bowl of food? Maybe that’s why he’s scared to eat. According to Keith E. Williams, Ph.D., director of the feeding program at Penn State Hershey Medical Center, in Pennsylvania,start with the small portions, and then increase at subsequent meals.  At home, you can encourage your child to eat by saying something like; “This is easy — you could be done in a second.” Once he eats it, give him a food he likes, then increase the portions at subsequent meals, increase the portion of the new food and phase out the follow-up food.

Stick with it. Once you get your child to taste new foods, it takes on average only six attempts for kids to accept them. So, don’t give up on them at the first try, make sure you giving your child the new foods until he finds it tasty enough to eat them. According to Dr. Williams, “While that sounds daunting to many parents who have a hard time getting their kids to try something once, it does get easier. Still, a lot of parents don’t want to introduce new foods at lunch or dinner because it may ruin the meal for the whole family,” he says. “Instead, offer them during snacktime.”

Cut down on snacks and drinks. It’s normal for kids who resist new foods to take to snacks and drinks all day long. But once you cut down on their snacks and drinks, you’ll find out that they’ll be more willing to try those foods because they are hungry.

Invite an adventurous friend. Children tend to want to eat whenever they see their friends eating. So, invite their friends over and serve them with those new foods. It works like magic!


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