How can parents get their kids to eat foods they don’t like?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 16,285
    Parenting expert Dr. Rene Hackney talks about how to get your kids to eat foods they don’t like.

    Rene Hackney

    Originally a full-time preschool teacher, Dr. Rene Hackney now holds a Master?s in school psychology and a PhD. in developmental psychology from George Mason University. She trained at the Developmental Clinic at Children?s National Medical Center and for the public schools, teaching in parenting programs at each. She has also acted as a consultant to several area preschools.

    For the last four years, Dr. Hackney has owned and lectured for Parenting Playgroups, Inc, a parenting resource center and preschool classroom in Alexandria Virginia. She has offered workshops to a wide

    range of parent, teacher and social work groups during this time.

    Workshop topics include eight hours on positive discipline techniques, five hours on early academic issues and common issues such as sibling rivalry and potty training. All workshops provide well researched lecture, in-class practice and open discussion time. Additionally she hosts a monthly parenting focused book club and fun play programs to introduce the preschool setting to young families.

    Dr. Hackney is married and has two young children of her own.

    Host: How can parents get their kids to eat foods they don t like?

    Rene Hackney: To get kids to eat foods that they don t like, you don t want it to be a lot of pressure. You can encourage them, we have had lots of families say, Oh, well we just have them take a taste. We had a family at class about a week ago say, We let them lick it. Meaning, they do not have to eat the new food, they just have to put it on their tongue. It lessens the pressure on kids if they don t have to actually swallow it. But the idea is just continue to make it available, continue to put those foods on their plate. There are some guidelines that say you have to present a new food some 15 times before children will try it or like it, but the idea is let us say you have presented broccoli 15 times and you say, Oh, whatever, they are never going to like this and you take it out of rotation.

    If it is not there, they never get the opportunity. So, a month or two later, you need to at least bring it back once or twice and try it out again here and there. Getting kids to try a new food just by letting them plan the menu or letting them contribute to making the broccoli or decorating the pizza with the broccoli. You can also hide those ingredients, shave the broccoli real thin, put it under the cheese on the pizza or I have literally scooped casserole out on to my kids plates and they will see and go, Oh, what is in there? I go, I do not know, just eat it. I am not going to get into a big battle about picking out piece; it just doesn t make any sense.

    So, the idea is you do with less emotion and you allow them to help.