Chicken nuggets, pizza, and macaroni and cheese: are these the only three things your children will eat? Having a picky eater in the family is difficult for parents to handle. On the one hand, you want your children to eat a fresh and varied diet because it’s better for their health. On the other, you want your kids to stop being defiant and stop pushing back wherever food is concerned.
We have assembled three fun tips to get your kids excited about eating a variety of foods. These tricks may tempt the pickiest eaters to try something new once in a while.
Let Them Play Chef
One of the easiest ways to get a kid to try something new is to get him or her to decide what to make. Specify that the food must be made from scratch, then have your child look through cookbooks or online for a recipe they’d like to try. There are plenty of kid-friendly recipes out there. Take your child shopping for the ingredients and let them help make the food, or if they’re responsible enough, have them make it for you.
Play With Your Food
Food games can make mealtime entertaining. For younger children, cut up an array of familiar and unfamiliar foods and have the kids make “food faces.” Make it a rule that everyone has to use all the ingredients.
You can also hold a blindfolded taste test and make it into a competition between your older kids. Whatever you do, make it fun, and the kids will want to play. They may even try a few new foods.
To keep your kids engaged in the kitchen, take a look at these other kid-friendly food games.
Don’t Overdo It with Health Claims
Kids don’t like to be lectured and overemphasizing how healthy something is might turn them off. Instead, talk about how tasty that vegetable might be or better yet show them how good it tastes. Use carrots as an example. Talk about how sweet and crunchy the sticks are, and how great they are with dip. When you are eating healthy food that you’d like your kids to try, talk about it the same way you’d talk about a dessert treat. Kids will be curious and want to try what you’re having.
With these three easy tips, you can encourage your children toward more healthy eating patterns. Just remember to let them direct their eating by coming up with family recipes, allow them to play with their food sometimes, and to talk about the taste benefits more than the health benefits. You can encourage your picky child to try new things subtly.