Monday, February 22, 2016

6 Alternatives to Forcing your Child to Eat

Forcing children to eat is common my grandparents did it, I know family and friends who do it, I read blog post about it. However, the link between obesity and forcing children to eat is there. Here are some tips instead of forcing children to eat.

Eating, Child, food, Forcing, tips

Smaller portions: the fact is children who are given bigger portions stretch their stomachs. If you have to fight with a child often drop the portion size down.

Stop making what they are not eating. If your child is not into spaghetti don’t make it and then force them to eat it. This really gets under my skin, on nights like that make an alternative meal. Do not force a child to eat something you know they hate. If you have older children let them help prep the meal so that they can see how much work goes into the meal.

Dessert. If your child does not want to eat what you cook give them a reason to. Dessert is a reason to eat the broccoli. *

Do NOT hide what your child eats. I have said this in another post hiding veggies is the reason later on your child won't eat them.

If they get hungry later give them the food they did not eat. Sometimes Noah's issues with dinner is he is just not in the mood for eating. 80% of the time Noah will eat his dinner about an hour later. Children are human if they are not ready to eat they are not ready to eat. 

Make sure the reason they are not eating is physiological or psychological. I find a lot of people over look how children may perceive or take in food. A child can like a food and not be able to eat, Noah likes asparagus, green beans, and honey and all three will make him throw up.

Fact of the matter is if you force a child to eat you make them feel guilty about not cleaning their plate, this can lead to overeating. Getting in the habit of feeling bad about not cleaning their plate it can be unhealthy. It is just as bad as not eating enough.

* Do not make the mistake of making food a reward this also leads to obesity. It is one thing to give your child dessert it is another to give them candy or something when they behave. Food is not a reward. *

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Shakirah is a single mom to a 5 year old. She is a blogger, teacher, and graduate student. Her goal is to bring a more positive and realistic look into the lives of single mothers.


  1. This is a great post. I have always loved my veggies and it's definitely due to the way my parents raised me. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Being the mommy to a kiddo who has sensory issues surrounding food is very stressful. People do not understand why we just can't 'make him eat it'

    1. I 100% understand that, seems like people often forget sensory issues when it comes to food.