Overcast   66.0F  |  Forecast »

Tips to Get Your Picky Eater Kid to Try New Foods

Got a child whose favorite mealtime phrase is "NO"? Metro Detroit experts and parents offer 10 ways to ease children into new eating experiences.

Getting your child to try new foods is no easy task. You might hear words like "Eww" or "Yuck!" on a daily basis from your child. But it is important not to get discouraged when introducing kids to new food. The following tips and advice from southeast Michigan experts and parent-savvy sites are sure to be valuable to both you and your child.

1. Let them try it on their own

Nobody likes to be "made" to do anything. Forcing your child to try new foods is not only unproductive, but it could also hurt their perception of food in general. Amie, a mom from Ypsilanti, says she let her 14-month-old decide what foods he wanted to try. That's how he wound up trying new vegetables on his own. While not every parent might have the same matched success, parents are encouraged to control the options available to the child, but ultimately leaving it up to the child to decide what he or she wants to try.

2. Have kids pick off your plate

Children are more prone to try new foods if they see their parents eating it first – and a good way to get your child to try new food is letting them graze off your plate. This is a great method of sharing and experimenting with your child.

3. Don't expect your child to eat what you don't

Being a good role model extends to eating habits, as well. It's extremely important not to be hypocritical when getting your child to try new foods. If you don't eat it, they won't it. Amie says, "The most important thing is that kids will eat what is prepared. You can't eat McDonalds while you make your child eat sliced apples … it just won't work."

4. Amp up the fun factor

Children are often turned off by the looks of new food. This obstacle can be overcome by simply adding new colors and shapes to the food, notes Kaboose.com. It's amazing what you can do with a cookie cutter! Shapes like dinosaurs and stars will be more appealing to your child – and they will be more likely to try the food.

5. Veggies incognito

This little trick is easier than most parents think. Rachel Wischow, a nurse at Medical Center Pediatrics in Bingham Farms, weighed in on the topic: "Generally, when you can fit in veggies it's a good idea. This can be done with a food processor to anything and the veggies won't be discovered. You can end up making a hamburger that's half hamburger."

6. Five bites; "No, thank you"

Theresa Rea, a health professional at Pediatric Specialists of Bloomfield Hills, says simply have your child take five bites – and, if they don't like it, have them politely say, "No, thank you." It's important to give the food at least a couple bites, because children often rule out the food after one bite. Every food deserves a fair chance.

7. Blend the new with the old

Mix up your child's favorite dish by adding something new to it, suggests Kaboose.com. Kids are more tempted to try new food when it's next to their familiar favorite.

8. Have kids involved in cooking

It's been proven that if kids know what is going into their meal, they will be more likely to eat it. What better way to test this out then to get kids in the kitchen? Small tasks can have big payoffs, a dietician told ABC News – even if it's simply picking leaves off herbs or doing a little chopping. This can be a time to bond and have fun in the kitchen, too.

9. Don't make special kids meals

If your kids are constantly given "special" meals, they will never try new foods. It's important to prepare the same meal for every family member, experts say. Parents can customize the child's plate, but essentially, the meal should be the same. This presents a good example – as well as putting everyone on the same level.

10. Take them to the supermarket

Kids like to have options – and, better yet, they like to make decisions. Take them to the grocery store the next time you go and let them look around and see all the options available to them. By asking questions and becoming familiar with what's available, kids will be more likely to try and see something new that sparks their interest.

Add your comment:
Advertisement

More »Latest Articles & Blog Posts

Single Mom and Her Son Take Vine by Storm

Single Mom and Her Son Take Vine by Storm

The duo's silly shenanigans give you a glimpse of modern single parenting through these short videos on the popular social networking site – and people love them.

Simple Halloween Projects Feature Candy, Milk Bottles, More

Simple Halloween Projects Feature Candy, Milk Bottles, More

These DIY October projects by eighteen25, tatertots & jello, Handmade Charlotte and Let's Eat Grandpa are so fun for parents and kids to make, it's frightening!

Meet Asher, Metro Parent October 2014 CoverKid – VIDEO

Meet Asher, Metro Parent October 2014 CoverKid – VIDEO

He's a prankster who loves archery and looks pretty at home on the farm. Meet this Ann Arbor 10-year-old.

Repairing Cleft Palates in Kids

Repairing Cleft Palates in Kids

Since John Paul Orlosky was diagnosed with cleft palate, he's had surgeries and setbacks but now can speak clearly – an outcome that's more common in the many kids who have this condition.

Halloween Picture Frame for Parties: Craft Idea

Halloween Picture Frame for Parties: Craft Idea

It's time for costumes and creepy decorations – Halloween is right around the corner! Capture some spooky moments at your party with this photo booth-ready frame

Local Puzzle Company Plymouth Puzzles

Local Puzzle Company Plymouth Puzzles

Parents Jeff and Karen Sisolaks founded the company Plymouth Puzzles, which makes wooden puzzles in unique shapes. They pose a fun challenge for families.

Animals and Family Farm Fun in Fall in Southeast Michigan

Animals and Family Farm Fun in Fall in Southeast Michigan

October brings a harvest of corn mazes and hayrides, autumn colors and barnyard critters. Sample the simple life with your kids at these agricultural havens.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement