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Hey Mom and Dad, How Do You Convince Picky Kids to Eat Healthy Meals?

Parents, Patch wants to hear from you on the questions that get families talking.

Welcome to "Hey, Mom and Dad"—a weekly feature in which we ask our Facebook fans to share their views on parenting. Every week, we get the conversation started by taking a look back at a question we asked parents the week before on Patch Facebook pages from around the area.

Many families have resolved to try to eat better in the new year. However, this can often be easier said than done, with picky kids prone to pushing vegetables around on their plate and each dinner turning into a battle of willpower between you and your child. That brings us to this week's question.

How do you deal with kids who are picky eaters and just don't want to follow the program?

Take a look at what people had to say and join the conversation in the comments section.

Melissa T. My son hates onions and green peppers.. But I load my meatloaf up with onion, green pepper and other veggies and he has nothing but compliments and smiles. So, lie and hide the veggies. Lol. via Plainfield Patch

Lisa H. We did 'new food night' once a week, where I put out 2 new things and they had to choose one and eat it. Took years, but it worked. via Oswego Patch

Michelle B. My kids have to take 3 "no thank-you" bites. After that if they don't like it, they don't have to finish it. However, they don't get another meal prepared. Mom isn't a short order cook! via Montgomery Patch

Laura M. Do like my parents did. Don't like it-don't eat it-go hungry. Makes you appreciate what you do have. via Yorkville Patch

Jacki M. We are starting a healthier eating style. Starting today. I have to say, my husband and I eat WAY worse then the kids do. They often choose fruit over candy. Looks like I've done good by them. Now to get us on track. via Joliet Patch

Bree G. I still make one thing on there plates that they will eat/like I'm just making it a smaller portion. Hopefully they are hungry enough to eat/try the healthy food. via Shorewood Patch

Patti A. Two things- 1. Realistic expectations. If she doesn't like asparagus when I serve it with dinner, she can have her raw carrots or fruit cup in its place, but she's got to have something healthy. 2. To get the kids to try new things, I allow them to spit it out if they don't like it. They have to at least try a bite. We also have a three - six month rule. Even if she tried it months ago and didn't like it, I make her try it again every few months or so since taste buds can change. via Romeoville Patch

Mistly M. Yeah... thankfully my "picky" eater likes his veggies. However .. I wouldn't say he is the healthiest of eaters.. it is a constant challenge. I swore I wouldn't ever have a child tell me what they would and wouldn't eat...however, they are their own people .. they too have some right at least to choose. Letting them go hungry really doesn't work. So overall... it's learning when and how to choose your battles. via Channahon-Minooka Patch

So what's your take? Tell us in the comments. 

betsy k January 08, 2013 at 01:56 PM
Start from day one! Our kids have always had we eat! Also, saute LOTS if veggies and puree and stir into spaghetti sauce! They have no clue!
Despiser of Obama January 08, 2013 at 03:52 PM
They don't leave he kitchen table until they are done eating!

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