I’ve gotten in the habit of cooking two separate dishes for dinner -- one for the adults and one that I know the kids will eat. How can I get the kids to eat what we do?
Even if you’ve been making multiple meals for years, it’s never too late to break the habit. Patience is key. Don’t expect your children to enjoy eating adult dishes overnight, but don’t worry if they only eat bread for dinner. If children are hungry, they will eat -- if not now, then at the next meal. They won’t starve. And eventually, they will try the family dish that you’ve prepared. Some younger children may be sensitive to new tastes and textures, so offer a variety of foods for them to choose from. Consider offering a food they like along with a new food from the adults’ meal. Keep calm and go with the flow as your child makes the move from kid food to adult fare. And don’t be surprised to learn that your children will eat foods at a friend’s house that they refuse to eat at home. It’s very normal.
Carol Savage is a registered dietitian with a master’s degree in nutrition. Her strong background in infant and pediatric nutrition includes working with the USDA's Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and School Lunch programs. The mother of two is employed as a nutrition consultant for Nestle USA.