10 Tricks to Get Picky Kids to Try New Foods
As a parent, one of the most challenging problems that you have to face is to feed picky kids. Be prepared to deal with kids who would look away from a plate of food because it does not look yummy, those who only prefer eating hotdogs or a particular type of food, or those who are scared of anything vegetable.
No matter what kind of picky eater you’ve got, there are a few tactics that can help you get picky kids to try new foods. These tricks do not involve concealing food in a more appealing one, blending, or disguising them.
1. Enlist the Help of Your Picky Kids in Growing Food
Imagine how much fun they would have working with soil, gardening tools, and seedlings as you prepare your small garden at home. Keep motivating them to watch over your plants by showing them photos of what they can expect during harvest time. And when harvesting comes, give them a central role in picking out the food that they helped grow and put on the table. This is an adventurous way to get picky kids to try new foods.
2. Roast Vegetables
You can roast all kinds of veggies. This is a rather pleasant surprise for the parents of picky eaters. The vegetables get caramelized over high heat, letting their natural flavor surface and making them tastier than ever. As long as you’ve set up the roasting area safely, you can even let the kids take part in the preparation before roasting the veggies.
3. Try Almond Butter
If no one’s allergic to nuts within the family, peanut butter is undoubtedly a must-have at home. But you don’t have to stick to this single kind of butter when you can also experiment with almond butter and surprise your kids. It does not only taste good; it’s also rich in vitamin E, fiber, and minerals.
4. Let Your Picky Kids Dip Their Food
Kids love dipping sauces, helping you encourage them to eat more. Just choose the ones made with real ingredients and don’t contain questionable substances. Pair these with the vegetables that they tend to say no to.
5. Start Small
Don’t force your kids to fall in love with new dishes right away. Introduce new foods to them in small quantities first. Try putting a small piece of broccoli on your kids’ plates, a few strands of noodles, or a tiny cut of cheese. Keep telling them that they could finish the food in just a few seconds. Gradually increase the serving of the new food until your kids get used to it.
6. Make Your Food Look Good
Let your creative side out by preparing attractive meals for your picky eaters. A study showed that kids love colorful meals. Try shaping a strip of bacon into a huge smile or arrange vegetables to form fun shapes.
7. Bust Out the Cookie Cutters
Invest in as many cookie cutters as you can find. The more shapes you can come up with, the more curious your kids will be about how your new dishes taste. Look for cookie cutters in the shape of a star, heart, Christmas tree, dinosaur, letter, number, and more.
8. Add a New Dish to Your Regular Meals
Prepare a new food along with your usual meals at least once a week, but don’t force your kids to try the latest addition to the menu. Instead, let them see you, the adults, enjoy the dish until they get curious enough to try it themselves.
9. Let Your Picky Kids Participate in the Food Prep
The more role they play in the food preparation, the more they will likely be encouraged to try what they help make.
10. Stick with the New Food
It takes time to get picky kids to try new foods, and it takes even more time for them to like it. A study shows that you need to make around six attempts to persuade your kids to try something new. Parents who also introduce new food often do it during snack time to avoid ruining the kids’ appetite during regular meals.
Like with other new things that you let your kids try, you need lots of patience when introducing new food to picky eaters. For all of your efforts, your sole motivation would be that you can give them more healthy foods instead of that single food that they are obsessed with.