How to force children to eat dinner

Dec 20, 2010 by

Many cards and letters have come in asking whether or not children should be forced to eat their dinner.

The short answer is that of course children should be forced to eat their dinner.

The long answer is that they should be forced indirectly, not directly. We need to gently and in all cheerfulness block off all other means of eating and therefore, of survival, so that a child is forced to eat dinner in order to survive. It sounds more brutal than it need be.

The examples of two different little girls will illustrate:

When little Meredith, who is human and growing and therefore tends to find herself hungry every day, wants to eat, she eats. She…

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How to get kids to do what you want: Good deed its own reward

Dec 14, 2009 by

I hope the kids of San Antonio don’t hear that they might win an award if they do something nice in the next 60 days.

The San Antonio Police Department with the sponsorship of Valero Energy are handing out the first of 5,000 coupons for free drinks at local Valero convenience stores to kids they catch doing a good deed.

These rewards will be less detrimental if they come as a surprise after the fact than if dangled in front of kids’ noses like a carrot on a string.

It’s a saving grace also that the pay off for a selfless act is so low. The bigger the carrot offered, the more…

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The Tempting Apple: How to make raw fruits and vegetables appealing to kids

Nov 21, 2009 by

This post was featured on Food Renegade’s Fight Back Friday on Feb. 5, 2010

Let me just say right off the bat that the best ways to make raw fruits (and vegetables) or anything else that’s healthy more appealing to kids are:

1. Avoid giving them junk food. Ever. Kids who eat junk food develop a taste mostly for junk food.

2. Also: catch them when they’re hungry. Food plus hunger and nothing else equals kids eating.

3. Perhaps most important: do not push them to eat whatever it is. At all. Ever. Kids who are never pushed to eat will naturally like raw fruit. Kids who aren’t pushed do not develop food resistance.

Other posts here expound upon those topics at length. But here is a bit more on the topic of making raw fruit appealing.

The other night, I went to…

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Grease and tighten: How to Get Kids to the Dinner Table

Nov 2, 2009 by

It’s one thing to cook dinner regularly and sit down to it together at the table daily from the start of your life as a family. It’s another to come under the conviction that it’s something you should have been doing all along, when the children are five, ten or 15 years old.

How can we get kids used to sitting down and eating regular meals at the table when they’ve become accustomed to doing things altogether otherwise? Where do we begin?

There’s a Spanish expression, “engrasa y aprieta,” meaning “to grease and tighten,” that describes the proper attitude for the parent undertaking such a major family overhaul. While you restrict and require, you also make it enjoyable. Both parts are needed.

It’s similar to the way logic and emotion work…

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Top 8 things to cut expenses on so you can spend more on quality groceries

Oct 23, 2009 by

  1. Restaurant meals
  2. Soda
  3. Junky snacks
  4. Cable TV
  5. Movies in the theater
  6. Electronic gadgets and video games
  7. New cars
  8. New clothes

Related post: “Reaching the Promised Land: Home Style or Restaurant” Style? http://www.sacredappetite.com/2009/09/28/reaching-the-promised-land-home-style-or-restaurant-style/

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