Getting My Picky Eaters to Try New Foods
Wednesday January 8, 2014see more by christy
Does anyone else have super picky eaters? I have been blessed with two little angels who think they can survive on chicken nuggets, peanut butter and apples. After much frustration – and making multiple main dishes for one meal to keep everyone happy – my husband and I decided enough was enough. So, here are my tips on how to get get picky eaters to try new foods.
Please help moms everywhere out if you happen to have any of your own tricks up your sleeve.
At first, this was a little overwhelming for me.
My kids always eat things from different food groups, they just haven’t been eating the “fancier” dishes my husband and I cook. Knowing that our kids needed to transition to eating what the whole family was eating, we did our research (Google, polled our parent friends, read articles, and asked our pediatrician), decided what was reasonable, and have been implementing the “you get what you get and you don’t throw a fit” plan.
Here’s what’s been working for us…I hope these tips are helpful for you, too!
Family Style Serving
Instead of making their plate in the kitchen and setting it in front of them, we now put plates of food on the table (usually represented from all food groups) and let the kids take turns putting food on their own plate.
We find this works to our advantage in two ways -
1. The kids take ownership in picking their own food. They can take as much or as little as they want…as long as they try one bite of each dish.
2. We always make sure there is at least one item that we know they like. Carrots, apple slices, hummus…that way they have some of their comfort food to fall back on once they try at least one bite of the new stuff. This has been a consistent piece of advice we’ve received from our parent friends…and it works!
Setting a Good Example
Kids are little sponges – I know mine watch me like a hawk. For the most part, they want to be just like my husband and I…and my little one wants to be just like his big sister. This means that setting a good example has been very important to our family in this process. When I ask my kids to try something, that means that my husband and I are also eating it. We also sit down together as a family to eat. Or whoever is home…we all sit down and make the meal a family event.
As with anything, being consistent has been our saving grace. Every meal. Same rules every time. Now, we still believe in special treats and special meals on occasion…of course! But on a daily basis, we are making good nutrition and consistent family meals a priority.
The kids usually come grocery shopping with me anyways, so now I let them help me pick new foods when we’re out. They love to shop, so this is kind of a big deal that they get to pick new things to try.
My husband is constantly asking our kiddos, “Is this super healthy, medium healthy, or not healthy at all?” Then he explains why the particular food in question is healthy or not. He also tells the kids that they have to train their tongues to like new foods…and makes funny little jokes out of it. Like, “Your tongue just don’t remember this food. See if it can remember what it tastes like?” The kids think he’s hilarious…Whatever works!
I’d love to hear your tips. What’s worked for you and your family? Please do share below!