Children are fussy when it comes to trying new foods. They don’t quite have the refined palette that many adults do and so it’s useful to introduce them to all types of food possible from an early age. The more they’re exposed to and try out, the more they’re likely to grow up being less fussy as a result.
With that being said, here are some tips for helping encourage children to try new dishes.
Get them to help in the kitchen
First and foremost, get the kids in the kitchen. This is the best way of helping inspire their love and excitement for cooking. Cooking, after all, is one of those skills that everyone needs as an adult and can benefit from in improving their relationship with food.
Consider introducing them into the kitchen from a young age, even if it’s to make Betty Crocker cakes. There are plenty of opportunities to help introduce them to new food types and cuisines by allowing them to help out in the kitchen when the parents are cooking.
Start off with small bites
Small bites are always better than encouraging them to eat larger portions. This is particularly the case when the food is quite unique and might not be embraced if it’s taking up a larger portion of the plate.
Try to make the food available in smaller bite-sized pieces and where possible, incorporate the food type into a different dish each time. Everyone’s a little bit different when it comes to trying new foods. Some have difficulty with texture and others have problems with flavors.
Don’t force them to eat it
One of the biggest issues that can cause problems with children avoiding foods is that they’re forced to try and eat them. While sometimes it’s important to encourage them to eat their food at the dinner table, not everything they try is something they’ll enjoy. It’s important to set some boundaries with your children and to allow them to refuse to eat it once they’ve tried it.
Once they’ve tried it, they can make their own decision on whether they enjoy it or not. Forcing them doesn’t help.
Discover new recipes online
There is a treasure trove of opportunities online when it comes to recipe ideas. Whenever you’re stuck for ideas, just take a look at what’s available online. For example, a vegetable soup recipe is a worthwhile pick for those that want to incorporate a healthy dish into a child’s diet.
Follow up new foods with old favorites
There are plenty of new foods to try but a good way to help encourage them to try them is often through rewards. Kids love to receive rewards, especially if it’s an old favorite food like ice cream for example. When trying out new foods, convince them to try them and they’ll get to eat a favorite food straight after.
Encouraging children to try new dishes is a challenge but can be helpful in providing a well-balanced palette as they get older!