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.
Eddie Komrska: I'll let you know after I grill salmon tonight how it goes 2 of the 3 are excited the other said he's going to die — Downers Grove Patch Facebook
Don Kirchenberg: When I was a kid (and I can barely remember because it was so long ago) if there were carrots to eat you ate the carrots. Now I would not eat the liver and onions (still don't) and I got something else for dinner. But why not make the kids eat what is offered? Maybe that is too tough and the new thinking has made that a bad idea but it seemed to work for us. — Downers Grove Patch Facebook
Matt Baron: Start early with a wide spectrum of foods....and, of course, I've become more adventurous and open-minded as a "role model." So it helps to walk the walk (or chew the chew, I suppose). — Oak Park Patch Facebook
Anthony Joseph: I got my kid to eat fruits n veggies by buying a juicer and having them help me prep it and push it thru the hopper....I made it a fun thing...she ate the fruits n veggies when prepping and drank the juice combos we made when done. Got to the point where she wanted to make juice all the time...a bit demanding but hey, my kid loves fruits AND veggies! — Oak Park Patch Facebook
Teri Kate: I'm not a diner. If they don't like meal they will be hungry But with that being said, I did have my 12 year old join me at the grocery store and gave her options of healthier foods to pick from. I was surprised and some of her choices, things that I never though she would like? — La Grange Patch Facebook
Erika Petzold Larson: In our house, eating and trying new things are not negotiable. Start young, be consistent (and remember you're the parent). Kids are expected to try everything on their plate and house rule is age = number of bites. So, the four year old has to eat four bites of each thing on the plate. It has worked very well for us, but consistency is key. — Darien Patch Facebook
Cathy Fischer: Our kids always have to have a small "no thank you" helping on their plate. As long as they had that, they can eat something different as well. I never ever liked fish foods and I completely stay away from ALL sea food because I was forced to eat it as a child when my parents made it. I was not allowed dessert if I didn't eat, so I missed plenty of desserts, LOL. If my kids still don't like it after the no thank you helping, the next time they could pass. My kids have had no thank you helpings of seafood and other foods they thought they wouldn't like and now they like some of it. OK if they don't. As an adult, I'm a very picky eater now..My kids have tried and liked more things than I ever could imagine and I feel it's because they're not forced to eat things I know they won't/don't like. I don't eat things I hate, so why should it be different for kids? Trust me, after they've tried it, they know if they like it or not. As long as they eat something healthy, let them enjoy foods they like as well. — Darien Patch Facebook
Wendy Johnson Filip: Our daughter always had to eat what we ate. We didn't make anything special for her. She had to at least try things. If she didn't finish her food, that was fine - but she didn't get anything else. I've always felt kids should learn to eat what their parents eat. Parents that often make something separate/different for their kids just because they don't want to try something new - raise picky eaters. — Woodridge Patch Facebook