Do you have a child who doesn’t eat a certain food? That is actually a pretty common event. What should you do? Keep offering the food often as they can change their mind pretty quickly. Trying new foods helps a child develop their taste preferences. Parents shouldn’t force children to eat all of a new food, or to clean their plate. A small taste this time may lead to a bigger taste next time.
Here are some tips to get children to try new foods:
· Have a positive attitude. Serve new foods to your child and expect that they will eventually learn to like them.
· Don’t force your child to eat. Children sometimes do not like to eat food they have never seen before. Keep serving the food to your child. As they become more familiar with it, they may decide to taste it.
· Let your child help prepare the food. This can be something simple like tearing lettuce for a salad or stirring pancake batter. This will help your child become familiar with the new food. As you prepare it together, you and they can talk about the color, shape, and texture of the food.
· Serve new foods when your child is hungry. Let the new food be the first thing your child eats. He might not want to try something new if he has already filled up on his favorites.
· Serve one new food at a time. Don’t overwhelm your child by serving a plate full of new foods. Instead, try offering one new food on the plate with familiar foods.
· Respect your child’s food preferences. There may be some foods that your child doesn’t like no matter what you try. That’s okay. Just be sure to offer your child other foods from the same food group at other meals and snacks.
· Be a good role model. Eat a new food in front of your child and let them see how much you are enjoying it.
Source: Illinois Extension Service