Not every mealtime battle is won by saying, “But you can’t eat that! It’s dangerous!” Here are a couple tricks to keep up your sleeve:
Smile: A child’s interest in a particular food is influenced by the expressions of other people eating it, reports a French study. Kids who saw photos of people happily eating a food—cookies or kale—were more likely to want to eat it themselves, while unhappy-looking eaters made the same food appear less appetizing. So when you serve up safe foods for an allergic kid, eat it yourself, too—with a smile.
Experiment with flavors: Allergy-friendly food doesn’t have to be boring. Ketchup can turn a no-go food into a thumbs-up recipe for some kids. Others will eat anything if it has enough lemon juice, soy sauce, herbs, or garlic.