By Samantha Wassel of Between the Monkey Bars
Kids are picky. It’s a fact of (parenting) life, much like the annoying and illogical inevitability that if you put a child to bed later than usual, the little heathen will actually wake up earlier than usual the next day.
We, as mothers, know these things.
But the certain knowledge that toddlers are notorious for turning their (both literally and figuratively) snotty noses up at the healthy and balanced meals we so lovingly prepare for them doesn’t make it any more pleasant to deal with come dinner time.
Fear not, though, fellow mama, because I GOT YOU. Here, I present eight tried and true* methods to get your toddler to eat whatever the fuck you put in front of them.
*This statement has not been proven and is actually total horse shit.
1. Stab it with a chopstick and present it as a sucker. Kids love candy (another well-known fact of parenting life). They live for those dum-dums at the doctor’s office and the bank drive-thru. How can you use this to your advantage? I say GIVE THE CHILDREN WHAT THEY WANT. You can stab practically anything with a chopstick and call it a sucker. Hell, you can stab me with a chopstick and call me a sucker for allowing my kids to play with chopsticks.
Next time you cook your kid up some nutritious veggies, try the sucker approach: Spear that cruciferous green glob on the end of a stick and call it a broccolollipop. BOOM.
2. Make them sneeze on it. Kids love to eat their own boogers. If you want your picky little brats to eat what you make them, just tickle the underside of their nose with a feather until they snot rocket all over that shit. What kid could resist some gourmet chicken à la mucous? They’ll be begging you for seconds. Just pray they didn’t completely empty their nasal passages on that first course.
3. Shove it deep in the crevices of their car seat and allow it to fester for a good month or so. I would go for something that molds easily if you’re looking for maximum effectiveness. Make sure you say something along the lines of, “That’s disgusting. Don’t eat that shit. It’ll make you sick,” when you give it to them. Your toddler won’t be able to wolf it down fast enough.
4. Just call it a snack. Kids hate meals. But snacks? Oh, they are all about the snacks. Hey honey, that veggie-ridden stir fry on your plate? Yeah, Mommy just pulled it from the snack bin. It came out of a little plastic bag with a cute cartoon character on it and everything.
5. Put it on your own plate and make sure they know how much you want to eat it. Those little bastards are always trying to steal your food.
6. Tell them it’s a Happy Meal. Chances are, if they think it came from McDonald’s, they’ll eat it. And calm down, Karen, because technically you won’t even be lying: If your kid finally eats what’s in front of them without complaint, it will—in all senses of the word—be a truly happy meal for all parties involved.
7. Brush their teeth and tuck them into bed first. Experts have found that this is the precise hour during which children become inexplicably ravenous. I think it’s, like, Newton’s Fourth Law of Bullshit or something. Don’t quote me on that.
8. Put nothing on their plate. At least then you can say they literally ate everything you made them.
And remember, Mama, at the end of the day, you run this shitshow. You have no obligation to cater to the unreasonable demands of the peanut gallery that you yourself created.
Oh, peanuts. . . yeah, they’d probably eat peanuts. But only if they’re allergic and not allowed to.
About the Author
Samantha Wassel is a sarcastic and slightly unhinged SAHM to three energetic boys and three lazy AF cats. She enjoys running, writing, kettlebelling, reading, nerding out, and eating exorbitant amounts of goat cheese and Peanut Butter Halo Top ice cream (but not together, because barf). You can find more of her work at Between the Monkey Bars.