Should I make my kids eat foods they don't like?

Kristy Lee Wilson - Sharecare Fitness Expert
Kristy Lee Wilson - Sharecare Fitness Expert on behalf of Sharecare Fitness
Fitness Specialist

You always want to try to avoid a power struggle at the dinner table with your children. Studies show that children who are forced to eat foods they don't like, or try new foods they don't want to, they are less likely to eat these foods then children who are left to decide for themselves. Remember, as a parent you are responsible for providing your child with healthy foods and appropriate portion sizes, but your child is then responsible for deciding how much and even whether they want to eat.

If your child does not like a certain food, keep offering the food to them, but never force them to eat it. Studies also show that it may take offering a child a certain food numerous times before they will even decide to try it. However, if you force your child to eat foods they don't like you will most likely turn them away from ever eating these foods again.

Lead by example. Children are very "monkey see, monkey do" and like to model the behaviors of their parents. Keep offering your child foods they don't like, show them that you enjoy eating these foods, but then let your child decide for themselves whether they want to eat the food or not.

Continue Learning about Healthy Eating For Children & Teens

Why should teenagers eat snacks?
Rapid growth spurts, intense sports workouts, and staying up later at night leave teens ravenous, so...
More Answers
How can I help my child eat more whole grains?
To get more whole grains, start the day with a bowl of hot oatmeal or whole grain cereal with sliced...
More Answers
Why is good nutrition important for my child?
Proper nutrition influences brain development, behavior, and attention span. Learn more from our exp...
More Answers
6 Healthy Party Snacks for Kids
6 Healthy Party Snacks for Kids6 Healthy Party Snacks for Kids6 Healthy Party Snacks for Kids6 Healthy Party Snacks for Kids
These creative and nutritious bites will be a huge hit with the little ones.  Whether you’re throwing a birthday party, cheering on your favorite foot...
Start Slideshow

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.