It’s hard to get kids to try new foods, and even harder to get them to eat healthy most of the time. Parents are always looking for new and innovative ways to get their children to eat a balanced diet. Help encourage your child to try new foods with these fun and easy tips. With a little creativity, you can make mealtime an enjoyable experience for the whole family.
Set a Good Example
Whether you realize it or not, you are probably going to be your child’s hero. They will mimic your speech, facial emotions, and even the food you consume. A Little Foodie is far more likely to develop if they see you enjoying your cuisine every day and don’t forget the odd foodie treat like taking them to their favorite pizza restaurants and having something a little naughty.
Provide Opportunities to Play with Food
It may sound messy, but introducing children to food through play is a great way to increase their familiarity and acceptance of it. There are so many entertaining methods to engage kids with food, such as making edible paint, food stamps, or conducting food taste tests or quizzes.
A rather awful evening meal can be the result of exhaustion at the end of the day and getting tired of cooking. Consider making mealtimes more enjoyable for the two of you by playing games, asking each other about their days, setting the table with elegant china, or hosting a picnic, buffet, or meze night. Why not hold kid-friendly food sampling sessions or have a theme night once a week? There are numerous methods to make the most of mealtimes and include the whole family.
Don’t Force It
Trying to force kids to eat can backfire. (It certainly did for my parents!) Our experiences dealing with parents have shown us that it does happen, and science confirms this. Take the pressure off, let them experiment with different foods, and continue to serve as an example for them. They’ll arrive.
It goes beyond simply getting someone to eat food to cultivate their love of it. Try to involve kids in the cooking process, whether that means letting them watch Jamie Oliver on TV for some TV-inspired ideas, asking them to help you plan the menu for this week, or getting them to help you chop, peel, and mix ingredients. When it comes to food, there is a lot of enjoyment to be experienced.
Let Them Decide to Try New Foods
Allowing your kids to make food decisions helps them gain independence and can also make them appreciate the food they are given more. Instead of just telling kids “no, you can’t have that,” it’s crucial to teach them how to make healthier decisions. Encourage them to consider what their bodies are truly telling them about what and why they want to eat — whether it be hunger, boredom, desires, or enjoyment – by asking them what they feel like eating.
Liven Up the Lunchbox
Put a little care in their lunchboxes. There are so many enjoyable ways to add some excitement to lunchboxes. A regular sandwich can be found in many lunch boxes. Try blending it. Quiche, pasta, toasties, vegetable kebabs, wraps, pita bread and dips, whole grain crackers, and rice salads can all use a little extra heat. You can also include a surprise element, such as a letter, amusing image, little toys, some ribbon, or a joke. This can give the lunch box a little extra flair and is a great way to get your kids excited about eating.