Parenting isn’t always easy. In fact, it can sometimes be downright challenging. Even simple things like getting your child to eat healthy foods can require a lot of effort and strategy.
However, doing so is important. Getting the right vitamins and nutrients is vital for the physical development of growing children. Trying new foods is also important for normal social development as well. Still, some kids just seem absolutely obstinate about eating anything but their favorites. Read on for a few tips for getting picky eaters to try new foods.
Cut Down on Snacks
While it may seem mean to some parents, taking away some of your child’s sugary snacks can help them to be more healthy eaters when it counts. One reason why children can refuse to eat the foods they are given is because they simply are not hungry and have the choice to not eat. If they aren’t eating as many snacks during the day, however, this risk is removed.
Branch off from Their Favorites
Another strategy you can deploy is to introduce them to foods that are similar but not the same as their favorites. This way you can ease them away from only eating certain foods in a more gradual way. If your child likes spaghetti, try serving them fettuccine alfredo. If your child likes garlic bread, try serving that child a French baguette loaf with Nutella and bananas. If it’s similar enough but sweet. They may make the connection in their head that it’s the same and try eating it.
Unless your child is lactose intolerant, there’s a very great chance they like cheese. There’s an even better chance the like melted cheese. If there’s a food your child won’t eat, topping it with gooey melted cheese might do the trick. This is a common strategy for vegetables. It’s pretty clear that even adults like eating broccoli more when there is cheese melted on top.
Make It Fun
Children like having fun. If you make your meals more fun, your children may enjoy it enough to try new foods. Many food companies know this. This is why you can buy chicken nuggets shaped like dinosaurs at your grocery store. Use this strategy in your own kitchen, with cookie cutters for cutting new foods into fun shapes. Try to incorporate what your child likes into their food in a way so they won’t focus so much on how different a new food is.
Have Family Mealtime
Make it a habit to have sit-down family meals so that children learn to eat and socialize. They will likely eat the same food as their parents if healthy habits are modeled at the dinner table. For family-friendly meals, consult a few sources and choose your favorites so that everyone is happy and gets a healthy balanced meal at dinner time with a chance to sample a wide variety of options.
It’s important that kids try new foods. It allows them to get the vitamins and nutrients they need, and it allows them to grow into well-adjusted adults. However, getting your kids to try new foods can be a bit difficult. Try the tips above as well as other ideas you may have to expand your child’s horizons regarding cuisine.
By Kara Masterson
Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from Utah. She enjoys Tennis and spending time with her family.