This is such a common question. I understand. Here’s been my experience with feeding my children.
I don’t get them to do anything. I make choices for them as their parent on many things. Because they’re incapable of making some of those choices themselves yet. ✨I choose what we eat and when. They choose IF they will eat it and how much they will eat.✨ They have control over the situation and that is empowering to them.
I also model expectations around food. I truly view food as fuel. As medicine. As the most delicious and fun fuel possible, and fuel nevertheless. They see my personal relationship with food and I believe we are their greatest role models in all the things and this matters.
I try to involve them. You see them in my counter regularly. They enjoy being involved and they feel like they have control when they are the choppers, mashers, and mixers.
Also, mine have always known this way. They don’t know much of the alternative. When at parties or other people’s homes they are not restricted. I may cringe (hopefully internally!) when they eat a cupcake loaded with dyes and if there is an alternative I do offer that. I am doing my best to educate them about their bodies and how important food is for their health. I do not want to instill fear. I try to educate, empower, and equip them. So that they might continue to love many foods and continue to learn how to keep their bodies strong with what we have been so blessed to fuel them with. If you’re just starting out, no matter how old you or your kids are, that’s OKAY. Just keep at it. Little bits at a time. Start wherever you are and with whatever you know and have access to. It’s okay. It’s good you’re starting now and not tomorrow. It’s okay. Yay, you!
I don’t hide. I don’t manipulate. I don’t beg. I don’t barter. This is how we fuel in our home and we make it yummy and fun. I have a highlight where I’ve shared more thoughts on this called “kids eating.”