It's almost impossible to get kids to eat healthy and yet parents keep finding ingenious ways to trick them into eating their greens.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on December 1, 2022. It has since been updated.
Getting kids to eat their food and primarily greens is a humongous task, as any parent will tell you. Kids love to do the very opposite of what you ask them to do. You pick up early on as a parent that you need to deceive your kid to get them to eat their food. It still isn't easy. Theoretically, reverse psychology should work like a charm but the reality is far from it. Kids catch on to your tactics pretty fast and adapt. They might not be able to string two words together but these devious little creatures can read you like a book. Parents are forced to resort to all kinds of tactics to get them to eat food and some of them are sharing their own, on Twitter, letting other parents onto secrets to take down these scheming bunch of babies.
My son was provoking me by repeatedly shoving a dirty leaf into his mouth so I offered him “special eating leaves” and now he’s a 4yo enjoying a bowl of salad for dinner— Emily Adrian (@adremily) September 27, 2021
It all started after Emily Adrian, the author of 'Everything Here Is Under Control and The Second Season took to Twitter and shared what worked on her 4-year-old son. Many parents lauded Adrian for her ingenuity and some shared their own tricks and tips to get their children to eat food. Here are some of the top tips parents shared.
My mom got us to eat lettuce by playing “bunny rabbit” and putting little bowls on the living room floor for us to snack on while we hopped around.— Many Footsteps, RN (@Footstepsmany) September 28, 2021
Brilliant! My daughter first ate lettuce when she was pretending to be a giraffe. Then she asked for “leaves” allll the time. 😂— Kathleen Moore (@ByKathleenMoore) September 28, 2021
😆 This reminds me of the “white broccoli” (aka cauliflower) that we sometimes have for dinner here. My youngest loves broccoli, but all other vegetables were suspicious 😉— La Visch (@VischLa) September 28, 2021
Straight up when I was kid I got tricked into eating something by being told it was magic because 'it disappears when you taste it'— Simon Shawarma (@bbkoresh) September 28, 2021
😂😂. My girl used to ‘conduct ‘xperinents’. So she told us. Leaves from the garden swilled in an old cup with muddy water. With some good doggie saliva. 😵💫So when spinach & broccoli soup / green mash (with potatoes) were declared ‘xperinents’ by me, she happily guzzled them!— Born free, feminist, #enoughofsexistsinpower (@VSTMMJJ) September 28, 2021
We were eating an adult dinner one night, and my two-year-old was very insistent that he got to eat the “monster” ravioli too. It was lobster ravioli, which he never would’ve eaten otherwise, but he’s been a fan of ever since.— Amy Stuart, PT, MPT (@AmyKStuart) September 28, 2021
My mother, when my older sisters were very small, worried about how to get them to eat broccoli. She put the dish of broccoli down and was called away. She returned to find them arguing over who would get to eat the last "baby tree". She ate it. They've loved broccoli ever since.— 💜Joan masked and vaxxed (@cosmyra64) September 28, 2021
I got the "you are painting a picture in your tummy" dinner story. Had to have different colors and objects in the picture. Garbanzo beans were snowballs, broccoli was trees, etc.— nurseK (@nursekaylea) September 29, 2021
I was told that as a 2 or 3 year old in playgroup I didn't like the milk they gave us. So they said it was power rangers milk. It worked at the time but I'm still not a fan on milk on its own idc which power ranger got milked for it.— King Dong (@GodDamnitLopori) September 29, 2021
I convinced my sons that Brussels sprouts are dinosaur eggs and that they were savage beasts by eating them. Now they get excited for dinosaur eggs with dinner— Elle MSN, APRN, PHN, FNP-C (@ellesanto) September 28, 2021
My 3yo nephew refused to eat anything but cat food after he saw the kitty being fed cat treats, so my husband handed him human food and said "Here, this is cat food for humans!" and then he was happy.— AdrianAnna 💖 (@RubyMoon7196) September 28, 2021
When we were little we were obsessed with The Land Before Time and how the dinosaurs ate “tree stars” and my mom let us take lettuce leaves out of the dinner salad and put them around the living room so we could crawl around and eat them like dinosaurs. 😂 pic.twitter.com/aiPD1Xqoeo— Melissa Jay (@MelRebels) September 28, 2021
my baby brother use to eat rocks so Mom gave him a bowl of frozen peas instead- he had a bowl every night before dinner until he was 10— firechild (@firechild) September 28, 2021
When I was nannying, my toddler went through a “only wants yogurt” phase. Her dad had left samosas for dinner, toddler did not want samosas, she wanted yogurt. I mixed the filling with some cottage cheese and said “here, it’s meat yogurt” and she loved it and ate it all.— Jori Claire (@valuemeal2) September 28, 2021
My 3 y.o. is super morbid and started eating roasted broccoli because I call it baby tree bones. This delicacy is reserved for dinosaurs only so she picks it up with t-rex arms and just destroys it, and it's all so worth it.— Jake D Sauls (@jakedsauls) September 28, 2021
I got my baby sister to eat olives by telling her they were Mickey noses. Which put the rest of us off green olives for a couple years. But she sure went for the black Mickey noses.— Katie (@look_to_god) September 28, 2021
The Very Hungry Caterpillar is the best for getting kids to eat leafy greens. My son won't eat spinach, but he will have a "nice green leaf."— Zelmel (@Zelmel) September 28, 2021
When my son was little & at his grandparents, my dad cut apples in the shape of fries & called them apple fries...he has loved apples ever since 🍎— mindy szoke🦄 (@mindyrae29) September 28, 2021
until my brother was like 8 my parents and grandma would tell him any meat on his plate was chicken because he wouldn’t eat it otherwise. pork chops, cube steak, roast beef. no matter what it was if he was told it was chicken he’d eat it no questions asked lmao— kat⁷ 𐀔 🧚♀️ 1K Days With Naye 👑 ♡ stream SAMMY (@joahsgf) September 29, 2021
reminds me of my #lifehack fir getting my little sister to eat as a kid... it was whatever protagonist she was projecting onto's favorite food you see! Scrambled eggs on toast? Hermioninny's gayngers favorite breakfast, the cats from warriors LOVE tuna salad and sure hands only— System of a Disorder (@GENDERHAWK) September 28, 2021