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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.

Amy Landi-Bragiel: In our home we call it a "thank you bite". They have to take one bite of everything made. It has worked wonders. I had one daughter that would not eat salad and now loves it. And they don't complain about the one bite. They just do it:-) —on Palos Patch Facebook

Geoff Amann: I'm in my 50's and "had to eat what was provided on my plate" or I went hungry. Not that I agree with it but I wonder when this way of thinking went by the wayside. —on Homewood-Flossmoor Patch Facebook

Jennifer Gniadecki: I have no idea. My kids eat what they're served 98% of the time. I just believe kids love healthy food if you feed it to them from the beginning. (Food allergies not witstanding, of course!) —on Homewood-Flossmoor Patch Facebook

Susan Kautzer: I find offering 2 choices works. That way they are picking what they eat, but both choices you offered are healthy.  —on Homewood-Flossmoor Patch Facebook

Amber Keska-Medina: Make then eat what you eat. They will eventually get hungry enough. —on Oak Lawn Patch Facebook

Carrie Yapp-Grafrath: My kitchen= my rules. —on New Lenox Patch Facebook

Blair Malloy: I just don't buy the junk and don't offer alternatives. My 2 yr old is stubborn but found out he likes a lot of fruits and veggies. I also hide veggies an fruits and got a yonanas machine and make 'ice cream' out of frozen fruit. —on Oak Forest Patch Facebook

Jen Torres-Krause: He wasn't given a choice when he was little and we didn't make him "clean his plate". He is allowed pop/junk food once in a while. If he doesn't want to eat what is served he has to wait until his next meal. As a result he eats lots of different veggies and fruits. —on Oak Forest Patch Facebook

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

martha linderborg January 08, 2013 at 06:21 PM
We had our girls "helping" prepare and "cooking" the family meals as early as possible. They were always more interested in eating the dishes they made, and with a little guidance to healthy choices they turned out to know good food AND be good cooks! Here at the bakery we have lots of little hands introduced to whole grains by making rolls on a visit, and invariably the kids come back with their family and ask for the "whole grain" bread! Marty Linderborg, mom and baker at Great Harvest Bread Co.

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