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Parents Panel: What have you tried to get your kids to eat?

Blitzing vegetables, toys at the table and rainbow pancakes.
Jul 26th 2017, 5:00 PM 1,892 2


AS PART OF’s weekly Family Magazine, we wanted to create a space for parents to share their views. A place where mums and dads could share their experiences, lessons learned, and even mistakes along the way. With that in mind, we’ve launched Parents Panel.

This week, we’re asking our panel: What have you tried to get your kids to eat?

We caught up with some of them at home – and read on below the video for more responses.

Source: Journal Media Studio/YouTube

Books at the table

My three-year-old gets to choose a book to read together at dinnertime which helps to keep her seated for the meal. It works well for us but I do end up spoon feeding her at times!

- Denise

A hands-off approach

Toddlers don’t make great dinner party guests. By that I mean, if they want to get up and run around, leave them be. Learning to eat at the table will come in time.

- Susannah O’Brien

Boxshall2 Source: Ross Boxshall

Making faces… literally

We try to make meals and food fun. At breakfast, we have ‘Weetabuddies’ – Weetabix with fruit pieces on top to make funny faces. Last weekend we had red, blue, yellow and green pancakes for lunch. Once we even put their mashed potatoes and roasted pork into an ice cream cone, with gravy on top as ‘chocolate sauce.’ It sounds horrid, but they loved it!

- Ross Boxshall

Who says you need to try anything?

My sons love their food. It’s almost impossible to keep food in the house. I’ve often been left red-faced at the checkout with the boys begging me for food, despite having just eaten! They’ll eat anything and everything, from fish and carrots to chicken curry.

- Suzie Kelly

Boxshall Source: Ross Boxshall

Sneaky burgers 

Daniel refuses to eat chicken or turkey, but we’ve found that turkey rashers or turkey burgers are a good way to get some into him. He doesn’t notice the difference… yet.

- Ken Hyland

Real cutlery

I don’t force him to eat anything he doesn’t want. I just keep offering it over and over until one time he just eats it. Sometimes it takes several weeks, but it’s worth it at the end. I’ve also noticed that he eats better off a real plate and with real cutlery – well, with a teaspoon and a dessert fork!

- Marta Liesicka

Liesicka Source: Marta Liesicka

Lots of toys

We usually give my eight-month-old a few toys to play with to keep his hands occupied while eating. That way more food ends up in his mouth than on the floor…

- Kait Quinn

Blitzing veggies

Our eldest has always been picky about certain things. Vegetables as a whole are on his ‘no’ list, but we use a food processor to make most of our sauces with plenty of veggies. So although he doesn’t see them, he gets vegetables in his diet.

- Alan Dooley

No baby food

My three-year-old had ‘proper’ food from the start.  Just more puréed versions of what we would eat.  We batch-cook and freeze big portions, and we make all his food and snacks for creche too. He knows what he likes and what he doesn’t, but that can change from day to day.

- Olly Keegan

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More from our Parents Panel: Which ‘must-have’ parenting purchase turned out to be a waste of money?

And even more: What’s one thing you tried to get your little one off to sleep?

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Paula Lyne


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