15 Lies Parents Tell to Convince Kids to Eat Food

girl broccoli

Few things are more frustrating than slaving away in the kitchen to prepare a healthy meal for your kids ... which they refuse to eat. But rather than engaging in a battle of wills during dinnertime or begging them to try "just one bite," there's another option to consider: just lie to your kids about the food on their plate.


Not sure a fib will cause your kids to pick up a fork and dig in? Well, parents swear by these white lies below, and we've gotta say, they're pretty genius. If you're stuck in a dinnertime stalemate, try them all and see what sticks.

  1. Change the Color
    "My son hates any kind of pasta, so I boil it in water colored with food coloring and tell him it's superhero pasta and if he eats it, he will have powers. It works every time!"
  2. Call All Protein "Chicken"
    "In our house, every protein is called chicken because chicken is the only thing my daughter will eat. I tell her that salmon, tuna and beef are just different colors of chicken."
  3. Try Reverse Psychology
    "When my son was between 2 and 4, he was a really fussy eater. So I'd use a bit of reverse psychology on him and say things like, 'Oh, honey, I'm so sorry, I only made enough for daddy and me so you can't have any of this broccoli. Maybe next time I'll make more.' Then he'd insist he had to have some. If he thought he wasn't allowed to have something or I didn't have enough for him, he had to have it!"
  4. If It's Round, Call It a Cookie
    "Recently I had to tell my son the round sausage was a cookie in order for him to eat it. He bit into it and said 'Yum, cookie.' I couldn't help but give him the side eye, but what ever works, right?"
  5. Invoke a Favorite Role Model
    "My daughter had low iron levels, so I had to get her to eat spinach. I told her that spinach would help her hair grow longer like Elsa from the movie Frozen. Worked like a charm!"
  6. Say You Invented It
    "I told my son I invented 'omelette pie' to get him to eat quiche. It's now his favorite!"
  7. Get Superheroes On Your Side
    "My 3-year-old son is obsessed with superheroes, so in order to get him to eat dinner, we often tell him, 'If you eat your carrots, you'll be as strong as The Hulk' or 'The Flash always eats his dinner. It's what makes him so fast!'"
  8. Mention It Came From Their Favorite Place
    "We say 'that's the same stuff you love so much at grandma's!' or their favorite restaurant."
  9. Turn Your Kids Into Giants
    "We used to tell our son that broccoli were trees, cauliflower clouds, and carrots suns."
  10. Get Gross
    "Our son loves ravioli and lasagna but has always hated spaghetti. But if I say it's bloody worms and Do NOT EAT it, he would sometimes be humored enough to eat it."
  11. Say You Got It From the Garden
    "My brother was the pickiest kid growing up, and at one point we had a garden and he was fascinated with it. My dad would tell him anything and everything was 'from our garden' so he'd try different foods."
  12. Conceal the Ingredients
    "Our daughter is so picky and won't eat most things. So I lie about what most of it is. Nope, there are no onions (yes, there sure are). That's just brown gravy (it's cream of mushroom soup)."
  13. Say They Loved it Before
    "'Last time you tried it you loved it!' usually works, even if they've never eaten it in their life!"
  14. Warn They'll Never Grow Up
    "I say, 'If you don't eat that, you will never be as tall as daddy.'" It had to be done."
  15. Fabricate a New Food Name
    "When we were little, my brother would refuse to eat pork chops. The rest of the family liked them, so their inclusion in meals wasn't about to change. So my parents got around this by telling him one day that the pork chops were 'Tennessee Turkey.' We lived in Tennessee at the time. This new food was good enough for him, and he ate it no problem, and never complained about the taste or its resemblance to pork."

Do you have any tricks to get your kids to eat certain foods?


Image via Angela Waye/shutterstock

Read More >