Is your preschooler refusing to eat anything other than chicken nuggets? Or would your toddler rather play than eat anything at all?
If children’s nutrition is a sore topic in your household, you’re not alone. Many parents worry about what their children eat — and don’t eat. While kids don’t always take to new foods easily or right away, most kids get plenty of variety and nutrition in their diets over the course of a week.
Try these tips that may help a child learn to like new foods.
- Offer new foods many times. It may take up to a dozen tries for a child to accept a new food.
- Small portions = big benefits. Let children try small portions of new foods that you enjoy. Give them a small taste at first and be patient.
- Be a good role model by trying new foods yourself. Describe tastes, textures and smells.
- Offer only one new food at a time. Serve something that you know the child likes along with the new food. Offering too many new foods all at once can be overwhelming.
- Offer new foods first, at the beginning of a meal, when everyone is the most hungry.
- Serve food plain if that is important to the child. For example, instead of a macaroni casserole, try meatballs, pasta and a vegetable. Also, to keep different foods separated, try plates with sections. For some children the opposite works and serving a new food mixed in with a familiar item is helpful. Get to know the child’s preferences.
Use our Health Powered Kids lesson, “Picky Eating” to understand the small steps you can take each day to help promote a lifetime of healthy eating.