make mealtime fun!

Tips on how to make mealtime fun-- even for the pickiest eaters!

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The dinner table is no battleground for you and your preschoolers. Here are eight helpful tips on how to make mealtime a fun, delicious, and nutritious part of the day for the whole family. Bon appétit!
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1. Let Kids Help.

Empower your preschoolers by involving them in the meal-planning process, such as taking them to the grocery store. While you are there, teach them about the five primary food groups. When they get to eat the food they help pick out, they might want to finish everything on the plate!
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2. Look at the Bigger Picture.

Don't stress out about feeding your preschoolers the exact daily servings of each food group with every meal as recommended by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Take a step back and look at the bigger picture instead. As long as your preschoolers are having a balanced and nutritional diet on average, it is all right to let loose a bit.
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3. Put kids' favorite food on the menu.

Want a clean-plate kid without all the fuss? Include at least one of their favorite foods on the menu, such as all natural chicken nuggets or organic macaroni and cheese. Look for minimally processed with no artificial ingredients; they'll be delicious for your kids--and you!
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4. Dinner Vacations.

Get everyone in on the action! Travel to various parts of the country or the world by serving up international or regional flavors at dinnertime. Make it a do-together activity by customizing and printing your own placemats with interesting factoids for the chosen locale.
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5. Theme Nights.

By the same token, have each family member take turns and come up with a theme for lunch or dinner. It can apply to the menu only, or together with the mealtime games and activities. Be creative and let your imagination run wild!
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6. Grow Your Own Vegetables.

The most common battle at dinner table is getting your little ones to eat their veggies. Make eating veggies fun by letting your preschoolers grow veggies they like to eat. Our First Lady, Mrs. Michelle Obama, has planted a vegetable garden at the South Lawn of the White House. Your little ones can have their own version of the White House vegetable garden in their very own backyard or patio!
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7. Serve Breakfast as Dinner!

Why not? As a special treat, serve your little ones' favorite breakfast foods as dinner. Think waffle night or pancake night so that everyone--even the big kid in you--will have something fun to look forward to at the dinner table.
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8. Lead by Example.

Most important of all, lead by example, such as turning off the TV and being attentive to each and every family member at the table. Make mealtime a positive experience for the kids. After all, mealtime is family time.
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