Hazy   30.0F  |  Forecast »
Edit Module

Five Quick Tricks to Help Fussy Kid Eaters Try New Foods

Ready to say goodbye to mealtime battles? Use this quick tip sheet to help diffuse the situation at the table, and get your picky eater to try new tastes.

It's dinnertime and you place an unfamiliar dish in front of your child. He or she says, "It smells bad, it looks funny and I don't want it." Sound familiar? For some kids, trying something new is the equivalent of getting a shot at the doctor's office: painful and totally unwanted. So when it comes to getting your child to broaden those food horizons, follow these five guidelines.

1. Be a nutrition role model.

Apply the "lead by example" method here. Remember that your children look up to you, and if they see you eating nutritious food, they'll want to try it, too. Show your kids that it's important to eat healthy and that they shouldn't shy away from it because they're afraid to try something new. Plus, by making the effort to eat a food you dislike, you're showing that even if you don't like something the first time you eat it, it's important to try again.

2. Take it one bite at a time.

If you stick a huge portion of broccoli in front of your children and expect them to eat it, you've made a bad decision. For one thing, serving large portions may lead to unhealthy eating habits – especially when you force your child to eat the entire plate. Start with letting them try one bite. If they like it, give them a small portion. If they don't, try again next time. It might take 10 to 15 tries before kids start to like a particular food!

3. Pair new foods with old favorites.

If your kids like pizza, try adding broccoli as a topping – or let them put peanut butter on celery. By combining new things with foods that your children are already familiar with, it might be easier to sneak some healthy additions in.

4. Recruit their help in the kitchen.

By making your children a part of the cooking experience, they can become more familiar with new foods, their textures and smells. Giving them the chance to assist in preparing their dish is almost like letting them build something: They'll always be curious as to how it turned out, and as a result, they'll want to eat their culinary creation.

5. Make food fun.

Still stumped? Encourage your child to play with his or her food using a clever device like Food Face plates. Reminiscent of those old "Wooly Willy" magnet-facial-hair novelties, your picky eater will have fun moving the green beans or carrots around to make different faces. If kids are entertained by their meals – in addition to feeling different food textures – they might be more interested in how the food tastes.

Apr 21, 2010 12:04 pm
 Posted by  picture me cooking

I agree about recruiting their help. If they make it they are more apt to try it. Check out www.picturemecooking.com for a kid friendly cookbook with photo pockets for you to capture memories of them in the kitchen.

Add your comment:
Edit Module
Edit Module
Advertisement
Edit Module

More »Latest Articles & Blog Posts

Holiday Ham Recipes

Holiday Ham Recipes

Still looking for some ideas for your big holiday dinner? This year, try a new recipe for your Christmas ham – thanks to these ideas from Taste of Home, Pillsbury and more.

Hanukkah Crafts for Kids: Holiday Picture Frame

Hanukkah Crafts for Kids: Holiday Picture Frame

If you're celebrating the holiday and looking for quick and easy crafts for kids, this fun and affordable little keepsake is a great way to display family memories.

Dad Gets Unexpected Reaction to Terrible Christmas Gifts

Dad Gets Unexpected Reaction to Terrible Christmas Gifts

British dad pranks his kids with bad Christmas presents, but didn't get the reaction he was expecting – and it's pretty sweet.

Simple Holiday Family Crafts to Make with On-Hand Material

Simple Holiday Family Crafts to Make with On-Hand Material

Does your family have paper cups, Legos, plastic spoons or toilet-paper rolls lying around? Transform them into angels, snowmen and even a chimney for Santa!

Bath Time Safety Tips for Babies and Toddlers

Bath Time Safety Tips for Babies and Toddlers

What's the best way to bathe your child? How can you keep them safe in the tub? A pediatric doctor at St. John Hospital and Medical Center in Detroit has tips.

Snowman Dessert Recipes: Tasty and Cute Ideas

Snowman Dessert Recipes: Tasty and Cute Ideas

Who doesn't love Frosty the Snowman? Kids will enjoy making – and eating! – some of these adorable and delicious snowman recipes.

Holiday Stamping Favorite Supplies from Stampin' Up

Holiday Stamping Favorite Supplies from Stampin' Up

Crafty company Stampin' Up offers a variety of fun stampers, punches and paper that transform into cool gift tags, cards and other fun DIY projects.

Edit Module
Advertisement
Edit Module
Advertisement
Edit Module
Advertisement