It’s dinnertime with your toddler—do any of these phrases sound familiar? “Have two more bites of chicken and then you can have dessert” or “finish what’s on your plate first and then you can have some ice cream.” What happens next is likely a total meltdown (or your child deciding to only eat two peas and one bite of spaghetti for dinner). Even if you get lucky and your kid does indeed finish their food and gets their promised reward, you know you’re in for another mealtime battle tomorrow.
The good news is that most children are picky eaters at some point (it’s part of how they assert their independence), although that’s perhaps not much comfort when you’re looking at an untouched plate of chicken pad thai. Well, here’s some more good news—one small change might make mealtime drama a thing of the past.
Serve dessert with dinner.
We know, it’s kind of a mind-blowing concept. But per nutritionist Jennifer Anderson, using dessert as a bribe can actually make your child not eat their food.