Our Four Rules For The Dinner Table


As our kids grow, their tastes change, just like ours. Food that they used to like, they don’t anymore and foods that they couldn’t stand are suddenly not so bad.

I remember going through the same thing as I grew up. I went back and forth with shrimp; I liked it, then didn’t, then I did again…Must have drove my mother insane. Stella now does the same thing.

She used to like spicy food, I mean we were so impressed with how much heat she could

Rules For Our Dinner Table

actually handle. Not anymore. And produce is hit or miss. If grapes were popular last week, there’s no guarantee they’re going down the hatchet this week. Makes grocery shopping fun, let me tell ya.

But there’s a few things we are absolute about when it comes to tasting and trying new food.

  1. She’s not allowed to say she doesn’t like something if she’s never tried it. This happens more than one would think. If there’s something in front of her that she’s never seen (especially if it’s leafy or green) she immediately says she doesn’t like it. Which then we reply with, “But you’ve never tried it.” She knows by now that she has to actually try it before forming an opinion. And no, smelling isn’t good enough.  And she has to swallow it. She can down a bunch of water directly after that, but she has to finish it. By now, she’s used to this and doesn’t put up much of a fight.
  2. We don’t really share our opinions about what we don’t like. This will quickly become something she doesn’t like.There’s nothing worse than trying to keep your child’s mind open when their parent is constantly stating what they don’t like eating. Just because you don’t love carrots does that mean your kid shouldn’t either? We keep our mouth’s shut UNLESS we’re talking about junk food, then I’ll definitely state all kinds of negatives about that! Some call it reverse psychology, but call it what you will, I stand firm on that one!
  3. We eat a variety of foods. We make all kinds of different dinners. From eggplant parm, to rice noodles with veggies, we eat almost anything that’s healthy. By exposing her to different cultural foods, her palette will expand.
  4. We practice what we preach. On a daily basis at home, we eat ‘clean’ so she’s no stranger to healthy foods. She has seen me make anything from kale chips to cacao shakes. But trust me, I know it’s not easy to get kids to eat healthy. For things that are a little more difficult, like salad, I just make sure we have a dressing she likes. A healthy Ranch (Annie’s makes a decent one) is always a safe bet, but lately she is really loving what she sees us put on our salad: oil and balsamic. In fact, she is starting to ask balsamic vinegar on a variety of things now (like noodles). Also like us, she usually has pineapple or frozen grapes as her night-time snack. Seeing her crave healthy food is something that puts a big ol’ smile on my face. For more on what food we like to keep stocked in our pantry, read this helpful article. 

Next week I’ll be writing an article on how to sneak healthy things in your kid’s meals, stay tuned!

These things keep us from making separate dinners for everyone. And more importantly, it has helped her appreciate all kinds of food!

Follow my Healthy Recipes board on Pinterest for great dinner and dessert ideas (always clean, mostly vegan!).

Tell me, how do you get your kids to eat healthy?



About Rana Mancini Cavanaugh

Rana is a Chic Mama dedicated to helping other Mama's live a fuller, happier, healthier life through this blog. She is proud to announce she just finished an eBook on how to travel with kids and is finishing up her first novel. She is a happy wife to her sweetheart since the fourth grade and Mama to a lovely little girl. Happy Travels! xo

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