Getting Kids to Try New Foods – 4 Ideas That May Help
One of the most eye-opening experiences a new parent can face is realizing how difficult it can be to get their kids to try new foods. We want our children to eat a healthy, balanced diet that includes a variety of foods, but kids often seem to have something else in mind. This can be discouraging for a parent who has their heart set on introducing their kids to a well-rounded diet.
In a recent article in the Health section of the U.S. News & World Report, several professional dieticians sounded off on how even they struggle with getting their kids to eat different kinds of food. Many of them admit that it often feels like a “slap in the face” – that despite their education and training as dieticians, they can’t even implement the strategies they teach with their own kids.
Here are some of the ideas they suggest that may make a difference in helping your child eat healthy foods:
More than one of the dieticians quoted in the U.S. News article talks about the importance of continuing to offer foods even if your child refuses to eat them. They say that eventually, your child will begin to try the food they are offered. Be prepared – they say it could take weeks, months or even years before your child is ready to try something new.
One strategy for getting kids to try a new vegetable, for example, is to let them see you eating it yourself. Try eating meals together with your child so they see you eating the same thing that is on their plate. This can encourage them to give it a try and maybe even develop a taste for it.
Use Divided Plates
Another idea for encouraging a child to try different foods is to use a plate or dish that is divided into sections. When a child sees a plate with different sections, they psychologically want all of the sections to be full of something. If the plate you are using has 3 sections, this gives you the opportunity to offer 3 different foods.
The Long-Term Goal
One dietician reminds all parents not to lose sight of the long-term objective when it comes to feeding our kids. “How I cope is self-talk. I try to just remind myself of the true goal: a healthy relationship with food that is theirs to forge, without pressure or influence.”
AllKids Urgent Care encourages all parents to keep doing your best to feed your kids good, healthy food. When they get the nutrients and vitamins they need, their immune system works better to keep illness at bay.