Diet Diva
Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

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He Likes It! Mickey Likes It!

Remember that old Life cereal commercial? Mickey is trying Life cereal and his brothers can't believe he is actually eating it? He Likes It! Mickey Likes It!

How do we get our kids to eat healthy food---and actually enjoy it? My 2 year old Basil loves broccoli and we actually have to limit how much broccoli he eats because he will eat broccoli and nothing else for dinner! Good problem to have, right?

I often hear parents tell me that their kids will "only eat hot dogs, chicken nuggets, pizza, and mac and cheese." So their kids will starve unless they get these 4 foods? What happens if the only option for dinner is salmon, asparagus and wild rice? Will their kids choose to not eat anything? Sometimes that is the case and it is really hard to be willing to let your kids go to bed hungry, but it is a battle of wills.

If you give in and become a short order cook and cook one thing for every member of the family based on their preferences, your kids will never learn to eat a variety of foods. Basil eats the exact same things my husband and I eat for dinner. We don't make special meals for him--he eats what is served or he doesn't eat. He has only gone to bed hungry once because he refused the meal.

Raise healthy eaters

  • Involve kids in meal planning. Ask them to find a recipe in a cookbook or online that looks interesting to them.
  • Go grocery shopping with your kids. If they can be a part of shopping and picking out the cereal they want or the fruit they want they are more likely to eat it.
  • Offer healthy foods. This sounds like a no-brainer, but often we assume kids won't like certain foods and we don't even try to offer it to them. They may surprise you!
  • Get them into the kitchen with you and explain what you are doing. Learning to cook is an important life skill for boys AND girls!
  • Eat your veggies with a smile. If they see you turn up your nose, they will also have a bad attitude and not want want to eat certain foods. Smile while you chew those yummy brussel sprouts!
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About the Author


Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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