Ever heard of chicken pork? No? Really?
Okay, well, technically I’m not sure it exists either, but when one of my daughters proclaimed that she only liked chicken, I felt like my only choice was to pretend that everything was pork. It sort of worked, sometimes at least. But what I realised was that the strategy was not only backfiring (my daughter grew stronger in her belief that she only liked chicken, even though it wasn’t true), I was also manipulating her into eating foods that I wanted her to eat.
What I could have done instead:
I started doing these things, and my daughter will now taste a lot of different things. She might still prefer chicken, but that’s okay, too. That’s also part of growing a natural and healthy relationship with food.
How about you? Ever tried being creative and masking up food as something else or sneaking ingredients into your child’s favourite dishes - like spinach in their smoothie or mushrooms in the lasagne?
If you have, you’re not the first parent to have done this, but the problem with sneaking, masking, and cheating with food is that it will rob our kids of the chance to realise that they actually maybe did like mushrooms or spinach (because you’re not telling them the truth), but if / when they find out (which they often will) their trust in you and new foods might be damaged.
Instead, let’s give our kids a chance to know what’s in the food we serve, so they can appreciate that sometimes giving new foods a chance will result in a good experience.
For more info on how to introduce new foods to your kids without manipulating them, check out my online course “Real Food Hero in 4 Weeks”. Just click Food Hero in main menu.