Fun Ways to Get Picky Eaters to Try New Foods
Breaking a picky eater is no easy feat. My daughter isn’t a terribly picky eater, but I have to take time to introduce her to new foods. She doesn’t just grab things on her own and gobble them up without question — kids rarely do! Here are a few suggestions for helping your picky eater (or should we just say your child?) explore new foods. I’ve read about or tried all of these techniques myself over time. If you have tips of your own, please share!
— thenaptimechef, Babble
Try new foods as a family
Meals become much more pleasant when families eat together at the table. Turn off the TV and let the telephone ring so you can concentrate on dinnertime conversation. When the entire family's eating the same meal, kids are more likely to try something new. It also provides a calm, happy atmosphere to discuss the tastes and textures of a new dish. Start with something easy and family-friendly, like this recipe.
Introduce new flavors in a healthy dessert
Just as a spoon full of sugar makes the medicine go down, kids are more open to trying new foods if they're sweet. These frozen ice pops are made with fresh fruits and herbs. Have your kids pick out new fruit to try, pluck herbs, and make popsicles together.
Give foods a new form
Sometimes regular foods in a new shape can make all the difference. My daughter was always wary of lasagna, so I made them in individual cups. She went crazy for the cute shape! It also made it easier for her to try; one little cup was much less intimidating than a large slice of lasagna.
Add something new to something they love
Even the pickiest eater has some food he or she loves. Add new ingredients to the familiar. For example, try putting some greens in your kid's mac and cheese. Be upfront about what you've added and include something new each time you make it. They'll eventually come to accept new flavors and maybe even be curious what will turn up in their mac and cheese next!
Make the texture appealing
Along with new flavors, kids need to learn to appreciate new textures. Kids who are not good chewers should start with simple purées. This way, they'll taste the food without having to chew thick vegetables or cope with an unusual texture. Once they come to enjoy the flavors, you can make the purées chunkier and eventually introduce a full-textured piece of the new food.
Click here for more Fun Ways to Get Picky Eaters to Try New Food.
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