44 Things We’ve Said to Our Kids to Get Them to Eat

Liz Sagaser honestly

I recently read 44 Things We’ve Said to Our Kids to Get Them to Eat on the verbal sparring we undertake in order to get our little people to eat something – anything – please?!? And it’s just too good not to share.

I still roll my eyes when I remember the pediatrician – not our regular doctor – who questioned what, and how much, we were feeding our 18 month old son. Truett was in the 30th percentile or so for weight and average height. This boy was – and still is – s-k-i-n-n-y. At the time he was drinking plenty of whole milk and there was nothing “habitual” about his eating habits. Sometimes he licked an empty spoon and proclaimed the meal finished, other times he ate more than either his father or me at mealtime. He is our second child, so this was not our first time at the family table. I shake my head that this woman was suggesting we might be underfeeding our child. Who still, by the way, has no butt whatsoever and a waist too small for any of his 3T pants, although they’re starting to be too short for our growing boy.

I must confess. That on more than one occasion, I have used items on this list in an attempt to help his pants fit proportionally. Especially numbers 27, 38, and, of course, 15. (I did avoid number 17, thanks to said pediatrician.)

Hello, Darling, I said, pretty please.

Mealtime mayhem is something every mom I know has struggled with at one time or another. Sometimes more food ends up on the walls or floor or in your child’s hair than down the hatch. (I just love those moments.) And by the way I heartily endorse getting a dog to accompany your children’s mealtimes. (We adopted our doxie mix, Skippy, ten months ago and our kitchen floors haven’t been this clean since B.C. (That’s Before Children.)

One thing I’ve learned over the course of my five + years of parenting experience is that the dinner table can be a nutritional battlefield, or it can be a peaceful meeting place at the end of the day. I’ve learned to give myself, and my little people, grace at mealtime. We do our best to present nutritious options and hope they eat them, and I sleep just fine at night whether they’ve eaten the ideal blend of protein-veggies-fruits-dairy-whole grains or not, thank you very much.

*I’d like to take a moment to brag on my children’s fondness for the following super foods: broccoli, blueberries, green beans, avocado, whole wheat bread, spinach, and plain water. Those kids are nothing if not well hydrated.

**Full disclosure: Today was a long day and my offspring enjoyed a dinner of Valentine candy in front of the television. Please don’t tell the aforementioned pediatrician, but as for me, I’m going to sleep just fine tonight.


What is your best trick for getting a persnickety eater to eat something healthy (or anything at all)? Share your Mealtime Wisdom in the comments or confess to that time you gave them ice cream for breakfast. We promise, we won’t judge!