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How to Persuade Children to Try New Food

Kids are notoriously picky eaters. They’ll try to avoid any food that’s unfamiliar, whether it be a vegetable or an animal protein. How can you convince them to give something new a chance? Here are some excellent ways to persuade children to try new food.

How To Persuade Children To Try New Food

Be Calm When You Attempt to Persuade Children to Try New Things

If you get upset or angry about the fact that your children aren’t eating what you have given them, this will be quickly picked up by the children themselves, and then they will associate new foods with your disapproval. This can give them a mental block when it comes to trying new things, and they might not even realize it is happening. If you stay calm and ensure it is no big deal, it’s just something different on their plate, they’ll be less concerned with your feelings and more interested in the food itself. If they still don’t try it, don’t say anything. Just try again another time.

Fewer Snacks Can Help Persuade Children to Eat Better at Mealtimes

If you cut down on the number of snacks a child has, they will be hungry enough to try whatever is on their plate when it comes to mealtime. If they have had a snack long before, or they know they’ll get one later on when they ask, there is no incentive to eat what’s there – they’ll know they’ll never go hungry. Once they realize that there won’t be a snack later, they will try the new food (ideally), and hopefully, they will like it.

Don’t Make Them Eat It All

The point here is to encourage children to try new things rather than eat a lot of food, so you shouldn’t ask or expect them to eat everything you give them. Trying it is enough. Of course, if they do find that they like it, they may well eat it all, and if you have any in reserve, they might even have a second helping. Make a rule about food such as they have to try at least a bite of everything on their plate or they won’t get dessert. They know the rule, it’s not a big fuss, and they try new things easily.

Serve It In A Fun Way

Just putting some items on a plate and placing it in front of your child may not inspire their imagination too much – and the food, even if it tastes great, could come across as rather dull. To make them more likely to want to eat what you want them to eat, give them something to think about and to remember. This might be their favorite food with a special sauce, so finding the best mild sauce for chicken is a good idea. You could look at a home taco bar and put all the ingredients out on the table for the kids to build their own tacos with, for example. Or what about making your own pizzas from scratch? There are many ways to make food more interesting, which will help kids want to try new things.

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About the author

Carma Spence has been experimenting in the kitchen since she was four years old and loves trying out new recipe ideas. She is the author of Bonkers for Bundt Cakes and Your Perfect Pie, as well as author and contributor to several more non-food-related books. With Carma's Cookery, she is taking her passion for empowering people and blending it with her passion for cooking, gift-giving and entertaining.

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