This article shares 10 mealtime conversation ideas to help picky eaters eat better.
Last week, one of the moms in the Eating with Ease Program shared a big win: her son ate a meatball!
It was the last thing she was expecting.
They were having a particularly fun night – the vibe was light and fun. They were eating, of course, but food wasn’t a focus.
Then, out of nowhere, between laughs and chats about their day, her son picked up the meatball and plopped it in his mouth.
Sharing this exciting development with me, we both began to wonder: did that casual, low-pressure, fun meal where she had NO expectations about her son’s eating create space for him to try something new?
While there is so much that goes into if and when a picky eater will try a new food, we know that when kids feel pressured to eat – when they are responding to a request, feel they’re being watched, or are aware of expectations – they are less likely to eat.
So a key component to helping picky eaters try new foods is casual, low-pressure, fun meals….but how can you make this happen? Especially when you’re stressed about your child’s eating.
The Key To Fun Low-Pressure Mealtimes With Kids
Ideally, meals should be a light-hearted, enjoyable pause from the day and a chance for the family to come together. When your child is relaxed, eating is easier, more interesting, and potentially even pleasurable.
It’s hard to know just what to do that isn’t talking about food or focusing on eating when you’re sharing a meal with a young child. Especially when you’re stressed and exhausted (i.e. daily).
One way you can bring levity and even silliness to your meal is through conversation. Talking is a simple way to engage your child, and, luckily for you, it doesn’t require a ton of creative energy or time on your end.
Try using the conversation starters below. Take turns talking and listening…instead of counting bites – and see what happens!
Fun Mealtime Conversation Ideas To Help Your Picky Child Eat Better At Mealtimes
- Play “Would you rather”
- Play Rose, Bud, and Thorn – share a daily highlight, something exciting that’s coming up and something challenging
- Play Rhyme Words – someone says a word and then take turns as the next person has to think of a rhyming word or list as many rhyming words as they can
- Play the Alphabet Game – take turns thinking of a word that starts with A, then B, then C, etc
- Play iSpy
- Take turns sharing the favorite part of the day
- Engage their imagination: If you could have one super power, what would it be? If you could live anywhere, where would it be? Which TV character would you be and why?
- Play a game of broken telephone
- Which is better- Pick 2 things, any two things and see what they think!
- Talk about what you’re hearing, seeing, smelling, feeling, and tasting
Ready for more tips to help your child with their eating?
Sign up for my FREE 5-day class where you’ll learn 5 simple steps that you can take to help your child comfortably try new foods and add variety to their diet.
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