It can be SO HARD to get kids to try new stuff. I swear, my babies eat almost everything then they start getting opinions about food. WHICH IS FINE! It is totally normal to not love everything you try. I am an adult that LOVES food but I don’t like watermelon. So I don’t expect my kids to love everything either.
Here are some strategies we use to get our kids to try new food.
-Make sure there are safe foods on the plate, too. That way if they don’t like the new food or won’t try it, there is still enough to keep them full.
-We watched a lot of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood and there is a great jingle “you gotta try new foods cause it might taste good” (season 1 episode 16).
-We take bites of the new food together. Sometimes we even clink spoons/forks first to make it fun.
-I am ok with some playing with food. For example, when I make roasted cabbage, I make sure G’s are cut into long strips so she has “worms.” She holds them over her head and eats them that way. Whatever… she really likes roasted cabbage and if it gets her to eat it, I am not going to worry about it.
-Let them see you try new foods, too! and talk about it.
-I do encourage them to try new food but I don’t push it. Even a tiny bite or licking it counts to me and I try say something like “thanks for trying it! What did you think?”
-Give choices. Let then choose between 2 veggies.
-Let them help you cook! Get kid’s knives, let them mix, etc.
At the end of the day, kids are going to be picky and pushing them to try new food will not make meal time enjoyable. It also, won’t really get them to try anything and like it.