The New Rules of Happy Family Dinners

By Leslie Goldman

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mother serving food to family

Don't Be a Short-Order Cook

Supermodel Heidi Klum won't do it for her children -- "They eat whatever is cooked and if they don't like it, the kitchen is closed!" she has said -- and neither should you. "Don't make 17 different things," agrees American Dietetic Association Spokesperson Keri M. Gans, RD, author of The Small Change Diet. "You're not running a restaurant." Her advice: Provide a nutritious meal and encourage everyone at the table to be adventurous and try the tilapia or the beets, rather than whipping up an extra pot of mac and cheese. Giving in to a picky eater will only fuel the fickleness -- and a diva attitude.

Worried about your children going hungry? Good news: They won't. Still, you can ease starvation guilt with this tip from Annie Bourgeois, a mom of six from Waltham, Massachusetts. "We've always served some sort of salad every night. When my kids were young, there was no one pickier than my daughter Mikaila. She'd refuse eggs, beans, cheese, tomatoes, to name a few, and I would simply have her load up on the salad!"

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