Six ways to orchestrate kids’ desire to eat what you want them to eat, Part I

Aug 2, 2010 by

Forcing kids to eat never works, as you may have noticed. It works only slightly better than trying to force sheep, for example, to eat.  As with sheep, trying desperately to force children to do anything only scares them off.  They get resistant and suspicious.

Instead, we need only set the situation: a safe, fenced pasture of good grass, and bring them in gently. If you let them run around in the woods they’re likely to eat or be eaten by something bad. Placed in a pasture, their hunger comes naturally if they aren’t alarmed.  Waving your arms and shouting is not effective. The atmosphere need only be maintained and proper limits set, where they are free to eat because they’re hungry for what you want them…

read more

How to Motivate Kids to Eat

Jun 25, 2010 by

How can we motivate kids to eat? As revealed in this fascinating, brief video, children, like the rest of us, are less motivated by bribes than by having:

  • Autonomy
  • Mastery
  • Purpose

How can we leverage these natural appetites of children to get them to eat what we want them to eat? And how and where we want them to eat?

They want mastery, so

  • Let them feed themselves as they are capable.
  • Let them learn to be civilized, acquire manners and use silverware.
  • Expect the best from them.
  • Let them try “grown-up” foods.
  • Let them–do not make them–try new foods.
  • Let them cook.
  • Let them help you in the kitchen, the grocery store, the garden.

They want autonomy, so:

  • Let them fill their own plates.
  • Let them decided how many bites of everything they want or don’t want.
  • Give them only good choices, and free reign among them.
  • Take the attitude, as in the video, that  “You probably want to eat  this healthy, delicious food, so just…
    read more