Tips for Picky Eaters—from Matt Damon
The Oscar-winning father of four knows a thing or two about getting kids to eat their veggies
In a recent interview with People magazine, Damon spills the beans on how he gets his daughters—Isabella, 6, Gia, 4, Stella, 23 months, and even Alexia, 14—to down foods like broccoli. Keep it simple. According to Damon, his kids’ favorite dish only contains three ingredients.
“I cook pasta with butter and steam broccoli,” says Damon. “It’s all about getting enough healthy food in front of them every three hours.”
His other trick to raising good eaters? Start early.
“My wife [Luciana] and I introduced it to them at a very young age and they just don’t know any different,” he admits. “Luckily, I found out all three of my youngest girls love broccoli. There are times where I can’t get them to eat protein or a little piece of fish because they are going crazy over the broccoli. Sometimes they’re the ones bribing me to eat more of my vegetables.”
Even non-Hollywood dads agree with Damon’s pragmatic approach—and have a few tips of their own to add.
“We present our kids with different options at least weekly and have them put it in their mouth to taste it and hopefully chew it up and eat it,” says Scott Olson, a Minneapolis, Minnesota dad of two who contributes to the healthy living blog Jen and Company.
Dad and California-based parenting coach Tom Limbert is a little more philosophical. “Give your child some choice in the matter,” he suggests. “Come up with a list together of things he will try. Take it one step at a time and acknowledge and thank his effort.”
When it comes to choices like brussels sprouts, however, even celeb dad Damon admits to being just as picky as his kids. He says it’s OK if children (and grown-ups) have certain likes and dislikes—as long as their overall diet is healthy and nutritious.
“I was never crazy about cauliflower either, but I grew up eating a lot of salad. My mother made a salad with every single meal we had, so I was raised thinking that’s how you eat. It’s a good balance that I’m trying to teach to my own kids,” Damon tells People.
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