Getting your children to eat new foods can be a massive undertaking. Sometimes, there is no reason why kids wouldn’t like a food, but to your child, there is logic in why mushy peas aren’t the same as normal peas. Therefore, when it comes to taking your child out to eat or trying to introduce new meals to mealtime, it can become a chore some parents try their best to avoid.
Persuading your child to take a bite can cause the most optimistic of mothers and fathers to lose faith. Yet there is hope. Rather than throw in the towel, it’s time to get inventive. Keep reading for ways to expand your kid’s eating habits.
Sometimes kids don’t like new foods because they don’t fully understand what it is or where it came from; rather than keep them guessing and remaining scared of putting something unknown in their mouths, educate them. Sit down and explain that sweet potatoes are such another variety of potato and that although they look and taste different, they’re not a scary alternative to the good ol’ faithful potato.
To give your kids a better understanding of certain vegetables, build a garden box and turn it into a vegetable patch where you can grow your own produce. Allow your kids to choose some of their favorites as well as integrating some plant foods they’re currently avoiding. Once they’re planted, have your kids help you care for them; let them water the vegetable patch and when the produce is ready and ripe, have them pick them from the ground.
You’ll find that once your children have a better understanding, they may be far more willing to try new foods as they will no longer seem as scary.
Slightly Tweak Old Recipes
Your child may love mac ‘n’ cheese, but this isn’t a nutritional and healthy food for them to eat plenty of; instead, you need to use the recipe as a base and slightly adapt from it. For instance, add spinach to the recipe, and once they enjoy the spinach and are no longer fearful of the green food, serve other spinach-based recipes. Again, this method can be used on kids who simply adore pizza. Instead of making (or ordering in) a pizza, use the ingredients and find a Pocket Change Gourmet pizza casserole. Another good tip is to add in the ingredients without them knowing; for instance, if your child loves cabbage but says they don’t like leek, add leek into the cabbage and you’ll find they won’t realize until you tell them.
Be a Role Model
How can you expect your child to eat healthy if you, yourself, don’t follow a balanced diet? If your child sees you eating burger and chips, then you’ll find you’re not setting a good example. Put down the chips and instead pick up an apple. Lead by example and show your children the benefits of following a varied and nutritional diet. Child are impressionable, and so having them watch you eat healthier foods can help form their mind-set on healthy living.