Tips to Get Your Children to Try New Food

Shelley Wenger

So you don’t have a picky eater on your hands!
Photo byShelley Wenger at Canva

Many meals make you think of small children. Some of these include chicken nuggets, macaroni and cheese, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, to name a few. Though many people laugh about it, these can make up most of the foods we feed our children, simply because that is what they will eat. 

It is really hard to get children, especially small ones, to eat healthily and eat a wide variety of food. Even worse, they may love something one meal and never want to eat it again! Many parents have said that they couldn’t keep bananas on the counter, so they bought more, only for them all to go bad. 

For those who struggle with feeding their children, here are some tips to get them to try new foods.

Hide new foods in the meals that you are already feeding them. Many mothers cut up vegetables really thin and hide them in different foods. They can add them to casseroles, grilled cheese sandwiches, and more. This gets your children to eat a little healthier, and they don’t even know it.

Make sure your children are hungry before trying new foods. Hungry children will eat. You shouldn’t allow your children to snack too close to dinner, so they are hungry and ready to eat whatever you put on their plate.

Eat it too. You can’t expect your children to eat food that you won’t, so be sure to eat what they are eating. Children learn best by modeling their behavior after others, whether how to behave in public or what they should eat.

Make new food exciting. Whenever you serve something new, make a big deal out of it. Use special plates or silverware, getting your children excited about trying it. Make the new food into special shapes, so children are excited to see the big deal.

Blend new foods with other foods that they love. You can’t serve a whole meal with nothing the children have ever eaten and expect them to eat it. Serve a new type of meat with their favorite vegetable. Add cheese to new vegetables.

Don’t offer alternatives. Many parents worry that if their children won’t eat something, they will go to bed hungry and wake up earlier due to hunger. However, the more you allow them to eat something they want, the less likely they will want to eat whatever you are serving. Who wants vegetables when pasta is available? No one.

Be patient. It takes children between seven and fifteen tries to develop a taste for new food. Keep serving new food, asking your children to try at least a few bites every time. Eventually, they may come to enjoy it.

Though challenging, it is well worth getting your children to eat new foods. However, you shouldn’t push it. It takes them several times before they like new food, so just keep on trying. Have them eat a few bites every meal, and eventually they may come to enjoy this food. They also need to see you eat it too. If you won’t eat it, why should they? 

However, the best way to make sure that your children eat whatever you put in front of them, is to make sure that they are hungry. If they had a snack a few minutes ago, they don’t really need to eat. They will easily turn away and have another snack in an hour or so. Take the snacks away and make sure that there isn’t any alternatives. Your child isn’t going to want vegetables if he or she can fill up on macaroni and cheese! 


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Shelley is a small town farm mom of two boys. She is a veterinary technician, so she is proud to write about all kinds of animals and their care. She also loves to write about writing, running a business, working from home, and much more.

Glenville, PA

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