You want your children to have the best nutrition possible—but let’s be real, when it comes to eating new or healthy foods, kids can be stubborn. Don’t despair! These tips from our Dietitians, coupled with some patience and perseverance, will help expand the palettes of even your most finicky eaters.
10. Change it up: Introduce previously rejected foods in new ways. Use different spices, flavors, or cooking methods.
9. Go all in: Cook the same meal for the whole family instead of separate meals for individual preferences.
8. Encourage autonomy: Allow kids to be involved in the shopping or cooking. Offer choices of new foods and let them pick one to try.
7. Foster exploration: Frame trying new foods as an “experiment” and let kids try small samples.
6. Make it fun: Kids like eating with their hands. Offer finger foods and dips or cut foods into cool shapes. Talk about the colors, shapes, taste, texture, and smell of the food.
5. Relax: If you child refuses a meal or doesn’t clean their plate, don’t worry. It’s good for them to learn to listen to their hunger and fullness signals.
4. Avoid bribery: Resist the urge to treat your child for eating new foods.
3. Model good behavior: Set a good example by eating a variety of foods yourself.
2. Set the stage: Eat at the table as a family in an enjoyable, distraction-free environment.
1. Take a slow and steady approach: Offer just one new food at a time and introduce alongside familiar foods. Once a food is accepted, introduce other foods with similar colors, flavors, and textures.