If your kids are anything like my kids, their tastes change constantly. It’s so difficult to make meals kids will actually eat when every day is different, and as much as you try to help them eat healthy, they turn up their noses at anything new. So how can you make meals that will please such picky eaters on a daily basis?
How to get your child to eat new things
- Make a list of your child or children’s “standby” foods. These are the foods they gravitate towards when everything else seems uninteresting. For mine, this includes pizza, smoothies, and rice dishes, though I can usually also get them to eat a myriad of sandwich options as long as I make it interesting… For instance, any of these brilliant ways to spice up your PBJ.
- Besides the typical renditions of these foods, try a few alternative versions. Add a bit of frozen spinach or carrot to smoothies, try different pizza toppings. Sometimes kids can surprise us with things they DO like—I really could care less for sweet peppers, for instance, but my kids eat them like candy.
- Even if your kiddos turn up their noses at things initially, encourage them to try at least one bite. Trial and error is part of the process, so don’t be discouraged if they don’t go for new takes on old favorites right away—start with small quantities, and teach them the names of new things, so they can ask for what they like again.
The key thing here is to gradually branch out from standby foods rather than serving something completely new. Eventually, of course, the goal is for your kids to eat almost anything, but you can’t expect them to do that from day one. Keep something they already know and like on their plate each time a meal is served, and you’ll be far more likely to have success introducing new things.
For more encouragment for your littles, check out this episode of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood (a favorite here). My kids are always telling each other, “you gotta try new foods cause they might taste go-od!”