How Can I Get my Child to Try New Foods?
To all my Mom's out there -- getting your littles to eat try new foods is a STRUGGLE for EVERYONE! Did you know that it can take 20-30 exposures (or more) for a child to accept a new food? Exposures include looking at a food, or playing with it, or even just maybe taking a bite! The process can be grueling, but check out these tips to lighten the burden.
Start small: This means, start with small goals, as well as small portions. Example: if you want your child to try blueberries, give them 1 blueberry on the plate. Let them look at it, smell it, squish it between their fingers, or whatever else they want to do to explore the food. Praise them along the way for being so adventurous!
Make it fun: I recently helped a friend of mine to get her child to eat strawberries. What did they do? They set up an awesome taste test to try strawberries dipped in all sorts of yummy things! I'm talking chocolate, whipped cream, nutella, and all the good stuff they could think of. Guess what? It worked! Her child LOVES strawberries now after years of refusing to try them.
Encourage the 3 bite rule: First, take the time to count to 3 with your little one. Show them how quick and easy it is to get to 3. Then encourage 3 small bites of a new food. Remind them how easy it is to get to 3. Explain that it takes at least 3 bites of a food for our taste buds to decide whether we like it or not. After their 3 bites, they are in charge. If they want to be finished, praise them for their willingness to try the food, and if they keep eating continue to praise them for each bite. Remember to them this was a HUGE deal so celebrate! Try not to use food as a reward or punishment. You can reward your child for trying new foods with something else, like stickers, or small toys, or an extra story at bedtime instead of dessert.
When at first you don't succeed try, and try again: So you tried raspberries 5 times and your kiddo is still refusing them, should we just conclude they don't like them? NO WAY, JOSE! Remember 20-30 (or more) exposures is completely normal! Just keep putting it on the plate, and one day they might surprise you!
Finally, get creative with the form: Maybe your little hates steamed broccoli, but what if they like broccoli if it's roasted or some other form? The key here is don't limit yourself to only serving a food 1 way. Here are 5 ways to serve broccoli that your little one might like: