Ways To Encourage a Picky Eater To Try New Things
Getting a picky eater to try new foods is no easy task. Sometimes, mealtime is a battle because your little one doesn’t like the food you’ve prepared. Don’t stress! There are many fun ways to encourage a picky eater to try new things without feeling nervous!
Cook Meals Together
Invite your child to cook with you. Young children can help with simple tasks, such as handing you food, and an older child can assist with food preparation. When you make the experience hands-on, they better understand the food they’ll put into their bodies, and they may feel more inclined to try something new if they helped cook the meal.
Make Eating Fun
One fun and educational way to encourage a picky eater to try new things is to connect eating with your child’s interests. If they love animals, find out what various animals eat to grow strong and talk to your child about it. That way, your child will learn fun facts and explore new foods.
For instance, if your picky eater hates eating vegetables but loves dinosaurs, research everything about dino diets. When your child refuses to eat their vegetables, remind them that the biggest and strongest dinosaurs were plant-eaters! Eating vegetables will ensure that they grow up strong.
Go Shopping Together
Take your picky eater grocery shopping with you and have them help with creating the menu for the week. The two of you could look online or go through cookbooks for inspiration. You want to get your child involved in the cooking process. If you encourage them to try something yummy and new, you’ll gently push your child out of their comfort zone on their terms.
Likewise, when you shop together, they may see interesting food that captures their attention. If this happens and it’s a healthy treat, buy it under the condition that they’ll try it!
Understand Their Perspective
While your frustration is completely justified, consider your child’s point of view. Some kids are nervous about trying new foods because of the way it looks or the texture. Have a conversation and find out why they have so many strong opinions about food.
Don’t force your child to eat something if they’re uncomfortable. This could escalate their picky eating or lead to bad eating habits. Instead, invite them to try new foods without pressuring them. Try telling your child that the food tastes good and you made it special. It’s okay if they only want to try a small bite because they’re exploring their palate.