Getting picky eaters to try new things can be a challenge that many parents simply do not have the energy for. You need to pick your battles, and sometimes letting them eat chicken nuggets for the fourth time that week is easier when you have already had to fight to get them to sit down and do their homework or get off their video game.
It’s totally understandable, but it is not unavoidable. With these top tips you can get even the pickiest of eaters to try new foods, learn about what goes into a healthy diet first hand, and most importantly be able to make healthy meals for themselves in the future:
Start As Early As Possible
Though it’s never too late to get people to try new things, to avoid a picky eater you will want to start as early as possible. For example, when they are just starting to move on to solid foods, don’t puree healthy foods like broccoli with apple sauce to mask the taste. Your baby might turn away the first few times, but they will get used to the taste, and you will thank yourself for it later.
You will want to:
- Get them used to new tastes
- Get them familiar with a host of textures
Get Your Children Involved With The Cooking Process
As they grow up, you will want to get them increasingly involved with the cooking process. While young children might just be able to mix, older children will be able to cut and fry. Getting them involved in the cooking process like this has many benefits:
A Sense of Pride
Children will be proud of the food they made, and therefore will be far more willing to eat it no matter what it is.
Teach Them How to Cook
Teaching your children how to properly cook is an essential life skill that will benefit them throughout their life.
Family Bonding Time
Life can be busy, and by taking the time to cook together, you can give yourself quality family bonding time. As a bonus, cooking is also easier and faster.
Use Different Recipes
Have one night a week be the time when you try new recipes. By making it part of routine your children can get used to the fact that they will be trying something new. Another tip is to get your children involved with the recipe choosing process. You can set parameters for them (must have vegetables, for example) but if the meal is of their choosing, they will be far more likely to eat it.
Be Excited About Meals
Last but not least, be excited about your meals. Make them a big event in your family where you get together and eat delicious foods. For younger children, exclaim how good food is, and how yummy, and how much you like it. They will likely want to copy you and will enjoy it too.