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  • 5 Hacks From Parents Of Picky Eaters: 'Pretend It's Their K-Pop Idol's Favorite Food!'

    Get kids to love vegetables with these tips from Pinoy moms and dads.
    by Kitty Elicay .
5 Hacks From Parents Of Picky Eaters: 'Pretend It's Their K-Pop Idol's Favorite Food!'
PHOTO BY courtesy of Arlyn Corpuz and Rein Gumasing
  • Trying to get your kid to eat healthily — and failing — can be frustrating for moms and dads. It’s especially confusing if your child, who used to love vegetables and whatever you serve him, suddenly refuse to eat even his most favorite dish.

    5 hacks for picky eaters

    There are ways to train your baby to develop healthy eating habits. Fortunately, Pinoy parents are creative and so involved with food preparation that they’ve discovered different food hacks that will convince toddlers to love vegetables and other healthy food!

    If you’re looking for a different approach to get your kids to change their picky eating ways, here are the best hacks from parents we learned in 2019.

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    1. Connect the food to their hobbies and interests.

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    Dad Rein Gumasing tried a very clever trick to get his three kids to enjoy whatever’s on the table: he made them think the dish he cooked is the favorite meal of their K-pop idol!

    After cooking paksiw na isda, he printed out random Korean words and invented a new name for the dish — “PAK-SEE-WON” — to convince his children that it’s a Korean dish. Hilariously, it worked and his kids now ask for paksiw from time to time.

    “Instead of punishing my kids for not eating their food, I use some tricks to help them enjoy what’s on the table,” Rein told SmartParenting.com.ph. “My kids love K-pop groups so I used that to motivate them.”

    Read more about Rein’s hack here.

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    2. Serve vegetables as snacks.

    Infants and toddlers are more open to discovering new tastes and flavors so this is the perfect time to introduce vegetables into their diets. Eira Alagan, a stay-at-home-mom of one, suggests serving veggies differently.

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    “Sometimes children do not like vegetables because of the texture they have once cooked. Serving fresh and crunchy carrots, cucumbers, or bell peppers might help them see that veggies can be delicious,” Eira tells Smart Parenting.

    3. Incorporate vegetables in their favorite food.

    Mitch Lastrilla, a mom of three boys, says her kids like it when she comes up with yummy recipes where she adds all kinds of vegetables to the mix. This includes Eggplant Moussaka with a sauce loaded with carrots, spinach, tomatoes, celery, and zucchini; Chicken Pot Pie with mushrooms, celery, and asparagus; and soups made with pumpkin, sweet potato, and roasted bell peppers as well as broccoli, cauliflower, and ricotta cheese.

    You can also add leafy greens to Filipino food like Sinigang or Kare-Kare to encourage kids to add it to their plate. Serving vegetables during every meal helps them understand that it should be included in their daily diet.

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    Read more tips from Pinay moms here.

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    4. Keep the healthy food interesting.

    It turns out, even chefs can struggle with getting their kids to eat healthily. But Namee J. Sunico, mom of two and author of the first Filipino baby food cookbook Whole + Natural: Baby Food also has a few tricks up her sleeve.

    If you keep offering healthy food repeatedly, toddlers will eat them eventually. She also advises to keep food interesting for kids by challenging their five senses. “Give them purees or oranges na may balat,” she tells Smart Parenting. This way, they will learn how to eat because after all, eating is a life skill.

    Read more about Namee’s tips here.

     5. Serve him smoothies!

    "Titus looks forward to his daily serving of fruit-and-vegetable smoothie," dad Eric says.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Arlyn Corpuz
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    Dad Eric Corpuz got worried when his toddler’s eating habits changed. "When he turned 2, he started being picky — making use of all his senses and carefully looking and checking, touching and feeling, and smelling before taking that bite," Eric shares. "And when he does, sometimes he would spit out the food because the taste didn’t sit well with him."

    To convince his son to eat more healthy food, Eric tapped into his inner foodie. He discovered that his son enjoyed vegetables smoothies after letting him drink boiled ampalaya mixed with fresh oranges.

    “I show him what’s in it — I tell him it will make him stronger — and now he looks forward to having his serving of fruit-and-vegetable shakes,” the dad says.

    Read Eric’s toddler-approved healthy recipes here.

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