Don’t break out the chicken nuggets! David Burtka has a strict rule when it comes to getting your kids to eat healthy: “Don’t placate [them]. You’re in charge.” The celebrity chef, 45, sat down with Moms Like Us host Christina Garibaldi and Stroller in the City’s Brianne Manz to share what he’s learned about getting picky eaters to break their poor eating habits. Watch the latest episode of Moms Like Us above to see what The Life of the Party author’s solution is.
The dad, who shares 9-year-old twins, Harper and Gideon, with husband Neil Patrick Harris, says that healthy eating should start when your kids are babies.
“Parents do a lot of jarred baby food, and I know it’s really hard to make your own baby food. I think a lot of baby food is cooked down and there’s no flavor,” he explained. “You want your kids to be eating bold flavors as they’re growing up. You want to develop their pallets because if you’re giving them bland food, all they’re going to want later in life is bland food. My mom growing up would take a little food processor and blend up all the food she was eating, and I would eat that with my parents.”
The lifestyle expert also advised that it’s almost never too young to start seasoning your kid’s food.
“At six months, kids can have a little bit of salt,” Burtka told Us. “People don’t know that salt brings out flavor. That’s super important to train your kids to eat better.”
Finally, he explained, your kids won’t go hungry if you show them some tough love: “They’re gonna eat. It’s OK if they go to bed without having dinner, they’re not gonna starve. They will eventually eat. They might kick and they might scream, but it’s better for them in the long run because once you start implementing those healthier foods, they’ll eat that.”
Burtka recently teamed up with House Foods, the top tofu brand in the U.S., to launch The Tales of Tofu, a children’s book complete with kid-friendly recipes to help families eat healthier. For more info on his partnership, click here.
Also in this episode, Garibaldi and Manz break down the latest celebrity parenting news — from the Vanderpump Rules baby boom to Khloé Kardashian’s best parenting advice for Malika Haqq.
Catch Moms Like Us every Thursday on Us Weekly’s YouTube channel at 3 p.m. ET.
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