“Then don’t eat it” and other things I say to get my kids to eat, but not too much.
• Don’t eat it, eat more of something else.
• You can’t have more Cheerios, but if your belly is still hungry, you can have broccoli.
• If you don’t like it, just push it to the side.
• If you’re still hungry, I can get some carrots for you.
• You’ve had your milk, if you’re thirsty, you can have water.
• It’s not time for cookies right now, but you can have one with your snack.
• If you’re hungry, you can eat as much as you want at lunch.
• We just ate dinner, but if you think you’re still hungry you can have sliced peppers.
And my most common one,
“You don’t have to eat it,…
• …but you have to sit at the table with us.
• …but you have to leave it on your plate.
• …but this is dinner.
• …but you’re not getting anything else.
Taken out of context, some of these might seem harsh, but they’re not. There is always something on the menu that the kids like and routinely eat. There is always more than one option too, so if they truly don’t like “A” then they can eat “B”.
What are the phrases that you find yourself saying to your kids at mealtime?