Our Say: Should we force kids to eat food they hate?

One of the biggest stresses parents face is what to feed their children.

Parents are constantly judged by lunch boxes and restricted by what they can bring to school.

And deciding what to make for dinner often requires as much thought as writing the entire Game of Thrones series based on the likes and dislikes of each child.

Hours are spent coaxing and bribing kids to eat one more mouthful of vegetables or to try the dish that mum has just made.

But let’s face it, kids are stubborn and they know what they hate.

If they’ve made up their minds, and you do somehow successfully get a food they hate into their mouths, chances are that it’s coming back out again.

There’s now a big push to bring children into a new era with their eating habits by encouraging them to try new foods and new experiences.

Children should be exposed to a range of cuisines and encouraged to eat healthy.

But are we ready for kids menus to do away with chicken nuggets in favour of quinoa, salmon roe and sea vegetables?

There’s a difference between eating healthy and instilling the eating habits of adults into children.

The fussy habits of children are often broken by adulthood with a little determination and exposure to different foods.

But there’s always going to be that kid who wants the nuggets over vegetables. 

Don’t take that option away.

And the beauty of being a child is that you can get away with eating nothing but chicken nuggets and chips for a week.

You look back at that time in your life and laugh because as an adult, you know it’s unacceptable.

Eating habits are built up over time and are usually able to be broken.

We are all for making dining out fun for children. No one likes a grumpy toddler at dinner time.

A fun environment might also be the trick to expanding their minds into trying different foods.

Inviting kids into the kitchen to help instead of screaming at them to get out will also make them want to eat what they helped create.

And if your child doesn’t like certain foods, there are other ways to ensure they are still getting the vitamins and nutrients they require.

It’s about getting children to eat foods that are healthy, not fancy.