Getting kids to try new foods can feel like pulling teeth. It seems some children want to eat the same foods day after day. Children who don't like to try new foods are referred to as finicky or picky eaters. The truth is that they are just kids. Many adults like variety but children, however, are actually happy eating the same foods. Here are some fun food ideas to get children to try new foods.
Children want to fully experience everything, including their food. Feed your kids finger foods as often as possible. A child is more willing to try new foods if they can play with it while they eat it. String cheese is a fun way for children to experiment with cheese, as they can pull it apart into little strings and pop them in their mouth. If you are adventurous, plan a meal where the whole family eats with their hands.
Allow your child to help make his meals. A child takes pride in what he does and is more likely to try new foods he has made himself. For example, if you are making a salad, let him tear the lettuce. If you are preparing macaroni, he can stir in the cheese. There are many things children can do to help in the kitchen without, of course, touching the stove or knives.
Kids love bright colors. Make your meals as colorful as you can. Besides being more appealing, different colors of vegetables actually have different health benefits. Dark green, leafy vegetables contain large amounts of iron, while orange vegetables contain vitamin C. Toss a little color into the meal, even if you wouldn't normally combine the foods.
Get creative when you prepare your kids meals. If your child won't eat spaghetti, try making it with wagon wheel noodles or tri-colored rotini noodles. Prepare your pancakes in the shape of Mickey Mouse or any other favorite character. Serve dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets instead of the basic round ones if he won't eat them. The key is to draw attention to the refused food.
If, after trying the above, your child still won't try new foods, don't fret. Studies have shown that a new food has to be presented to a picky child at least ten times before she will try it. Even if she won't eat, it you should still put it on her plate. One of these days it just might make it to her mouth.