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Feeding the Strong Willed Child

by bkhoury on March 21, 2010

Our son, although brilliant (or course), is not the most articulate child for his age.  So we had him evaluated to make sure that nothing was developmentally wrong.  He is ok, but the speech therapist determined that “I think he is extremely strong-willed.” So basically, the bigger deal we make out of him not talking, the more he digs in his heals.  It started me thinking how this can affect many behaviors including eating.

How many times have I served Will something, and he refuses it.  I step away and come back to see him inhaling it.  This is such a reminder to me to keep meal time breezy and fun, and not to force a food on our strong-willed little boy.  So how do I get him to try all these “fantastic” foods his mommy makes?

First I make sure we don’t get into a rut.  Yes, like any child he could eat macaroni and cheese EVERY day.  But,  if he expects a lot of variety, then he is more open to it.  Much like sleep begets sleep.  Variety of food, begets openness to try more food. 

If I’m going to encourage him to eat something, I make darn sure it tastes good so he’ll want to eat more of it.  It’s really that simple.  Make the vegetables, for example, taste good.  This doesn’t necessarily mean smothering them with cheese (although I’m not opposed to this tactic).  I’m talking about yummy fresh or frozen vegetables.  Try sautéing them, roasting them or grilling them.  Remember just because it is baby or toddler food, doesn’t mean it has to be tasteless. 

Now, if I can just learn to step back from the talking issue and let him express himself in his own time.  Easier said than done for a “strong-willed” parent as well! 

See many more of Small Helping’s feeding tips or add your own!

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