Trick Your Kids into Eating Meals by Calling Them ‘Big Snacks’

Trick Your Kids into Eating Meals by Calling Them ‘Big Snacks’
Photo: Photographee.eu, Shutterstock

My son is a person down to eat dinner basically at any point. It’s just before 10 a.m. as I write these words, and I bet he’d be game to eat dinner right now if I asked him. (He’d be surprised at the offer, but I’m almost certain that surprise would quickly be replaced by excitement.) This isn’t the case for all kids, though. I see you parents out there with the kids who just don’t seem to have the time or interest to consume a full meal in one sitting — and yet, these same kids will ask for a snack five minutes after leaving the dinner table.

A recent post on the Honest Toddler’s Facebook page paid homage to this common — and infuriating — inconsistency, and parents came with the perfect solution: a simple reframing may be all that’s needed. Consider this suggestion from a commenter named Mary:

I asked my son if he wanted a corn dog for dinner in an hour. He said no. I asked if he wanted a corn dog for a snack in an hour and yes got this huge smile and said yes and now I’m the coolest mum ever.

And then Laura tied it up nicely with a bow for us:

We call meals “big snacks” and it works like magic.

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You can use whatever variation on this language most appeals to your kids. One commenter says she makes her kids a “snack lunch” everyday with finger foods; another kid prefers to call lunch a “snack plate.”

You can keep the lunch food itself the same; maybe just cut it up into bite-sized pieces or serve it in a bento box to make it look more snacky, and the kids will be fooled.

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