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How to Help Your Child Try New Foods

family eating at the table

Do you have a picky eater on your hands? Are you stuck making more than 1 cuisine for the same dinner table? Many families face these same struggles and find it a challenge to prepare a meal that the whole family will love! Finding ways to get your child to try new foods can be difficult and overwhelming, but it is very important and worth the effort. Increasing your child’s diet may be important for the grocery bill (or the cook’s sanity), but it could also be important for your child’s health. Below are some ideas on how to introduce new foods and things to keep in mind along the way.

  • Trying a new food can be hard, even tasting just a tablespoons worth should be seen as a SUCCESS!
  • Remember to introduce the new food you are targeting on multiple days. Trying a new food once is not often enough to know if it is truely liked or disliked!
  • Involve your children in planning and cooking family meals. Look for recipes together and ask them to help when you are preparing that meal!
  • Ask for suggestions when making your grocery list.
  • Don’t be afraid to make the new food taste even better at first! Add extra seasonings, butter, or dressings to the applicable new foods you want your child to like. Focus on decreasing the ‘extras’ as time goes on.
  • Create a weekly routine, such as ‘taco Tuesday,’ where you can switch up the ingredients while allowing some predictability for your children.
  • Try new foods as a family and take turns picking what the new food should be. You can even give your child a list of possible new foods that they can pick from.
  • Talk about how good the new food is! Let your child know that you love trying new food.
  • Try to keep mealtimes positive. Be supportive, yet firm in the things you are asking your child to do. Remember, adults should always strive to be more patient than children. Take a few deep breaths when your child is not happy about a new food and try not to play into their display of distaste with your choice.
  • DO NOT GIVE UP! Most children complain when they are told to try something new and need multiple tastings before they really enjoy a new food. Stay calm and do not focus on the negative comments they are making.

Remember, kids, just like adults, want to have at least some control of their own life! Providing them some choice and encouragement could help make them more willing to follow your mealtime expectations and suggestions. Do not rush your child into trying new foods all at once, and ALWAYS celebrate each tasting.