Got a kid who is a picky eater or just a handful at mealtimes? Here’s are 51 easy steps to help get your child to eat at your next dinner:
1. Start cooking a healthy dinner for your family.
2. Remember your child refuses to come within five feet of one ingredient you used in the dinner and child will use their special abilities to sense that ingredient.
3. Throw chicken nuggets in the microwave for your child to eat instead.
4. Call your family to dinner.
5. Call your child to dinner.
6. Put food on the table.
7. Call your child to dinner.
8. Ask your child where his pants are and tell him he can’t come to the dinner table with no pants on.
9. Tell your child to go wash his hands.
10. Dish up plates being careful not to let any food even give the appearance as if it has touched any other food.
11. Bite your tongue when your child says he doesn’t like dinner before he actually know what it is.
12. Sit down with your family to eat.
13. Tell your child to go wash his hands with soap this time.
14. Tell your child to sit down and eat.
15. Go get your child the “correct” superhero cup to drink out of.
16. Say a silent prayer begging for your child to actually eat dinner this time.
17. Think about taking your first bite of food.
18. Tell your child to sit down and eat.
19. Go get washcloth to clean up spill on the table.
20. Tell your child he can’t have seconds until he eats his vegetables.
21. Go get dog to clean up vegetables on the floor.
22. Think about taking your first bite of food again.
23. Tell your children to stop touching each other.
24. Remind your child that he ate the same vegetable two days ago and loved it.
25. Threaten to show your child video evidence of him eating the same vegetable two days ago and loving it.
26. Take first bite of lukewarm food.
27. Tell your child that he isn’t done with dinner after three bites and may not be excused.
28. Tell your child to sit down and eat.
29. Ask your family what their favorite part of the day was.
30. Tell your child that stealing the toy from his sister doesn’t count.
31. Reassure your child that the microscopic spot on the vegetables is not poisonous.
32. Go heat up your food in the microwave.
33. Tell your child that he won’t get dessert if he doesn’t finish his dinner.
34. When your child asks what is for dessert, respond that it’s a surprise.
35. Search around for something resembling a dessert that you hadn’t planned on serving.
36. Find hidden stash of leftover Halloween candy from 2012 for dessert.
37. Tell yourself that your dinner is just as good cold as it would have been hot.
38. Open vegetable negotiations with your child.
39. Make mental note to Google “how to register for debate classes at local college.”
40. Wipe away tears on face from intense negotiations.
41. Wipe child’s face as well.
42. Decide your child must eat four out of seven pieces of vegetables.
43. Go get candy and put it on a plate by your child as motivation.
44. Go to mental happy place when child starts gagging.
45. Resort to feeding your child like a baby with airplane noises included.
46. After three pieces of vegetables, realize it will take approximately 2 hours and 47 minutes for them to eat the last bite.
47. Let your child have half the dessert, convince yourself it’s a victory for you, and have him get ready for bed.
48. Eat the other half of dessert yourself.
49. Tell yourself you will have more willpower tomorrow.
50. Open up a bottle of wine and pour yourself a glass.
51. Put glass aside and drink straight from the bottle instead.
There you have it. Dinnertime is so much easier now, right? Just remember, “This too shall pass.” Or so people who don’t have small children at meals like to tell you. Which steps did I forget? Let me know in the comments below!
A version of this first appeared on Lunchbox Dad.
Photo credit: PublicDomainPictures.net