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Getting young kids to try new foods

 
If you have young kids, one of the biggest challenges you may face is getting them to try new foods, particularly if they are fussy eaters. So how do you go about adding new foods to your kids menu, or get them to try something different when they flatly refuse?
If you have young kids, one of the biggest challenges you may face is getting them to try new foods, particularly if they are fussy eaters.

So how do you go about adding new foods to your kids menu, or get them to try something different when they flatly refuse?
 

Getting young kids to try new foods


Getting young kids to try new foods is no mean feat!

You may have tried different strategies to get them to eat something new, but with each attempt your efforts have been in vain.

You may have served them the same foods week in, week out and tried to introduce something new at each meal, convinced they will like it. Instead you’re met with a stubborn ‘no’ or ‘I don’t like it’?

Or maybe you are one of the ‘lucky’ parents where your kids will actually try new foods, before they deem the food is not acceptable?

Or are you one of the families where no new foods are ever considered?

Unfortunately when it comes to getting young kids to try new foods, there is no simple solution.

Instead, it is a combination of actions, strategies and approaches that over time will make a difference.
 

Change


One thing that is really important, and that you can start working on today though, is change.

Change supports new. In fact, change is the precursor to new. If your little one is not able to accept change, then how are they going to be OK with something new?

Looking for things that are a teeny tiny change is the best policy. We are not necessarily excited about our kids eating a slightly different cereal as we’d like them munching on broccoli. But, what if the path to the broccoli goes via a new cereal? The smallest change we can make is often the best one.

This over time, gives young kids the confidence to realise they are able to eat something new and that it is OK.

Each time they eat new foods it reinforces this message, and in this way they are gradually able to accept foods that may be currently out of their comfort zone.

That change in cereal may be a long way from the broccoli, but it may be their first stepping stone on the road to get there.
 

Small, fun steps


When it comes to young kids trying new foods, you are looking for non-frightening and easy steps, often fun things you can do that your kids enjoy, to start them on that new/change path.

If you have a super selective eater the first step may be just changing up presentation, or even using a new serving vessel. This could be very challenging for some so your approach is also important.

You don't want mealtime ambushes where you surprise your kids at the table, which could be distressing. You want to get them on board and get them excited about what you're doing.
 

Ideas


For example, if your kids always have Nutrigrain with milk, can you put the milk into a jug and let them serve themselves? It's a tiny change, but it's a change nevertheless.

Every time you show change, you are challenging their rigidity. You are showing them something slightly different and that builds resilience.

Giving your kids a choice and empowering them to be in control, by for example, pouring their own milk, can be very positive.

What little steps can you take today that will be fun, but show change and start moving along that path to new?

Source: This article was kindly written for us by The Confident Eater - giving you the tools, the strategies and the confidence to get your picky eater eating.
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