Tip: Give them a Choice

When trying to get Little Boy G to eat, sometimes I know in advance that I will have to resort to giving him a choice. As a parent, never underestimate the power of choice with your child. This goes for just about anything: what they are going to wear to school; which toys they want to pick up first; what coat they’re going to wear; etc.

Life is very hard for little kids–especially the three and four year olds who realize they now have the power to choose, but are more often told what they’re going to eat, when they’re going to eat it, and that they better like it or they’re going to go hungry. That tactic just doesn’t work and it’s not really fair. 

Understand that kids’ taste buds are no where close to adults’ when it comes to sophistication. You have to gradually ease them into the world of adult foods. It takes years. Until then, offer them a choice for dinner and see what happens. “Tonight, do you want spaghetti and green beans? Or Meat loaf and peas?” You’ll be surprised at their answer and they’ll be more inclined to eat since they played a part in the choice.

Give your kids a break and give them a choice. You’ll both be happier for it.


Happy Kids
Happy Kids


  1. Nessie said,

    July 21, 2008 at 3:00 pm

    I have found this really successful too. Also important is to limit the choices. Too many to choose from is overwhelming.
    I also confess to stacking the deck a bit. Now that S is 6, I will frequently ask him to choose a vegetable for dinner. This has had the result of no objections to what vegetable he finds on his plate. But, I have found that I have to stock the kitchen freezer with only one of each vegetable each week or we end up eating corn 3 times a week.

  2. FoodyMom said,

    July 21, 2008 at 6:10 pm

    Right! Limiting is a must. I stick to two.

  3. kweenmama said,

    July 21, 2008 at 8:23 pm

    This is a great tip! And you are right, it applies to all parts of their lives. If kids feel that they have some choices in life they don’t fight you so much on times you have to say no.

  4. FoodyMom said,

    July 21, 2008 at 9:20 pm

    Yes. It’s really amazing that this little act–giving them options–makes such a huge difference in their outlook.

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