Convincing kids to try new foods can be a serious challenge, especially if you have picky eaters on your hands! Children often want to eat the same foods, which can lead to a boring diet that lacks key nutrients.
The good news is, you can help your children eat a more varied diet and avoid frustration at mealtimes. Here are five ways to encourage kids to try new foods:
1. Make trying new foods fun
One of the best ways to encourage your children to try new foods is by turning them into fun food games. For instance, put the names of different ingredients into a box and pick one out for each family member to try. Make a chart where your children can rate each new food that they try. Creating colorful food faces out of ingredients is another fun way to encourage your kids to try new fruit and vegetables.
2. Buy a colorful weaning set
If you are in the process of weaning your baby or toddler, then buying a colorful weaning set can make the weaning process much easier. For example, bibado handi cutlery offers a weaning fork and spoon set in several colors and patterns. These are designed to encourage your little one to explore different foods and practice eating without frustration.
3. Get them in the kitchen
Getting your kids involved in the kitchen is a great way to get them interested in cooking and nutrition. It will also encourage them to take control of their diet and become more experimental with their food choices. Ask your children to help you with weighing, mixing, and other food prep tasks in the kitchen. They can have more responsibilities as they get older e.g. using the oven and knives. You can also ask your kids to choose exciting new recipes to try. Look for inspiration in cooking books or online.
4. Never force or bribe
You should never force or bride your kids into trying new foods. This is likely to have a negative long-term effect and may discourage them from trying new ingredients in the future.
5. Be patient
According to theecologycenter.org, “studies have shown that the average child needs to see a new food between 10 and 15 times before they will be willing to try it.” The most important part of getting children to try new foods is being patient and not giving up on the first hurdle. If your child refuses to try a new ingredient, then try again tomorrow or in a few days.
Many parents become frustrated by their child’s lack of willingness to try new foods. It is natural for children to be hesitant about eating new ingredients, and it might take them a while to adjust to new tastes. These tips will encourage your kids to eat a more diverse range of foods. Remember to be persistent and don’t give up if your child won’t try new foods straight away.