12 Tips to Get Your Kids to Try New Foods

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Isn’t it exciting to try out new foods?

For adults, it can be a fun and thrilling experience to eat dishes you’ve never seen or heard of. Unfortunately, we can’t say the same for kids. 

Getting them to eat anything that isn’t candy, chocolates, or chicken can seem impossible. The human body naturally dislikes vegetables since it’s bitter and this could signal dangerous toxins. This sensation is even stronger in kids.

The good news is there are many ways to motivate children to try foods outside their comfort zone. We’ve got 12 listed right here. Read our guide below and learn how to get kids to try new foods:

1. Mix New Food With Old Favorites

Add new foods with classic favorites. If your toddler loves fried chicken but you want to introduce carrots or potatoes, mix them. Instead of giving separate carrot pieces, mix them in with tiny chicken bits.

Doing this gives kids the chance to try something new while still having the food they already know and love. If they reject the new food, they still get to eat the portions they like and still feel full. 

2. Small Portions

When introducing new dishes, give them in small portions. There’s always the possibility your kid might reject it, for no reason at all. Shoving a whole plate of something new can seem intimidating and it’ll be a waste if your kid chooses not to eat it.

Giving new food in small portions also help convince kids to give them a try. It’s a small piece, easy to eat and decide whether they like it or not. Giving them a bigger portion might make them feel like they have to finish it all, which could scare them away.

3. Make It Fun

Trying new food shouldn’t feel like a punishment. Instead, aim to make experimenting with new foods a fun and exciting ordeal. Make your next Crab Dynasty meal an adventure.

There are a lot of ways to make experimenting with new food fun. You can make it into a game, like the first one to clean their plate wins a prize. You can also promise a positive reward, like an extra 30 minutes of playtime.

Why is this important?

Making eating time fun helps your kids get excited. They’ll want to try it because it’s fun. They won’t realize you’re altering their menu and getting them used to new types of food groups.

4. Give Enthusiastic Descriptions

Take time to describe new foods to try. Instead of calling something bitter or different, try to paint it in a positive light. Describe the new food to make it similar to things your toddler already likes.

For example, if your kid loves fried chicken but not fish, you can say fish is somewhat like chicken. You can say fish is like the chicken of the sea and that it even tastes a bit the same. This gets even better if you fry the fish to make it look like traditional fried chicken.

Use enthusiastic descriptions to help your kids associate the flavor with the food they love. This association helps them get excited instead of dreading their next meal. 

5. Moderate Expectations

Keep in mind that all these tips could fail or take time to produce noticeable results. Lower your expectations and you might be in for a pleasant surprise.

It’s rare for young kids and toddlers to adapt to trying new foods on their first go. It might take some convincing and this could stretch to a few days or weeks. Don’t get mad when they don’t meet your expectations — let it slide and observe how much closer you are to the goal.

Setting moderate expectations isn’t necessarily for the kids. It’s for you. This ensures you don’t get too angry or frustrated when your kids don’t immediately eat the new dish.

6. Avoid Likes and Dislikes

A common mistake parents make is to ask their kids whether they liked or disliked the new food they had. Avoid doing this at all costs because it dumps food into “good” and “bad” categories with no space in between. 

Instead, ask your kids to describe the food and what their experience was eating it.

What do they think of the flavor? Was it crunchy or did it feel slimy and gooey in their mouths? Ask whether it reminded them of something they like or food they tried before and didn’t cling to.

This ensures you can identify the flavors they’re not fond of. You can then mix these dishes with the ones they do appreciate, ensuring they’ll still eat it. 

7. Different Flavors

Pickles are bitter. If you’re going to try and get your kids to eat it, don’t mix it with other bitter choices. Blend in a few other options, like something salty or something sour.

This enables your child to explore their taste palate. Let them explore their preferences and give them a different flavor in case they don’t like the one initially given to them. 

It’s also a method of comforting them. They have the reassurance that if it tastes bad, they can immediately chow down on something else to get rid of the lingering taste.

8. Rotate Meals

A common practice is to never serve the same type of food two days in a row.

If you served something sour or bitter in the morning, make sure you give something salty in the evening. If you gave broccoli and carrots today, don’t serve it tomorrow. Give your kids chicken or fish instead to keep the experience fresh and enjoyable.

This can seem difficult to accomplish, especially if you’ve fallen into a comfortable routine. It’s hard to mix things up.

Fortunately, there are a ton of readymade weekly schedules you can find online. Follow the suggestions and alter things as you go. Make slight adjustments according to personal preferences.

9. Don’t Force It

Kids are irritable, inconsistent, and uncertain. This makes it more difficult to introduce a new food. They might hate leafy vegetables one day, only to enjoy it the week after. 

To avoid getting too frustrated, simply don’t force it.

Follow a three-tries rule. If your kid still doesn’t want to taste something or finish their plate of new ingredients after three good tries, don’t push it further. Give them something else to ensure they won’t go hungry and remind them that they should try the previous dish in the future.

Also, don’t give foods they rejected every day. If they didn’t like it yesterday, why give it today and tomorrow? Pace things out and give it again a few days later, ensuring your kids have had enough time to enjoy other choices.

10. Discuss Goals

This won’t work for young babies and toddlers but if your kid is four years and older, they might understand your goals. They might understand why you’re introducing different kinds of food to them. Take a moment to sit down and discuss your goals with them.

Explain how eating vegetables can help them stay fit and healthy. Tell them you want to see them enjoy other kinds of food so they don’t get tired of eating the same steak or fried chicken every meal.

When kids understand what you’re trying to achieve, they might go with the program. It’s all about proper communication!

11. Show You Enjoy It

Ever seen old Pop-Eye episodes? That cartoon’s main character grew incredibly strong after eating spinach. This excites children — if their hero ate vegetables and grew strong, they should too!

Letting your kids watch their favorite shows where the characters eat healthy food is a good start. But don’t stop there. You’re their biggest hero, after all, so show your kids that you love eating these foods too.

Are you trying to get your kids to eat curry with rice? It might look foreign and weird to them. However, if they see you enjoying it and eating lots of it, they might get the idea it isn’t as bad as they initially assume and may give it a try.

12. Keep Trying

Last, but certainly not least, is to keep trying. Don’t give up simply because your kids kept on rejecting or hating on new foods. This is common and it’s not a sign that they’ll only eat one dish for the rest of their life.

Remain patient, switch things up a bit, and don’t treat rejection as a failure. It simply means you need to try again and with a new approach. Keep on trying and eventually, you’ll find a rhythm and method that works.

Get Your Kids to Try New Foods Now!

Discovering new foods is fun and with these 12 tips, your kids can get into the habit too! Practice these 12 steps to ensure your kids have a well-rounded diet. This helps them stay fit and healthy too.

But getting the most out of your diet doesn’t end here. We have a rich library of other guides to help you improve further. Why not check out our other posts today and learn more amazing tips and tricks?

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