Below are a few tips from Jack Maypole, M.D. to parents and caregivers that may need help with encouraging their child to have a power-packed meal without disappointing their tastebuds.
- Sneak it in. - Cut broccoli in mashed potatoes, for example, or subbing in sweet potato fries as a healthier side dish can work.
- Play the dip card. Kids — especially toddlers and preschoolers—love to dip stuff. You may be able to get more passed their lips if you offer small dishes for dipping, such as ranch dressing, ketchup, guacamole or a savory sauce.
- Hide it plain sight. I urge parents to portion plates thusly: Place two servings on a plate of a child’s known favorites, such as chicken and rice. Strategically, put a “new,” less-often consumed food on the plate — e.g. peas, or say, kale chips— that should at least be tried. If a child refuses, take it out of the rotation, and re-offer it a week or two later. This exposure may help wear them down or win them over in time.