Tips to get kids to try new foods
Does your child say no to new foods? Getting your child to try something new can be frustrating. It can make mealtimes stressful for you, your child and the rest of the family. Try these ideas to get your child more interested in trying new foods.
1. Lead by example
- Your children will want to try new vegetables and fruit if they see others at the table eating them. When you make healthy food choices for yourself, you are teaching your kids about healthy eating.
- If time is an issue, skip cooking the vegetables and serve them raw with a lower fat, creamy salad dressing as a dip. You can also throw frozen vegetables in cooked dishes. There is no washing or chopping!
- Keep fruit where your kids can access them for a quick snack. Cut up oranges, mangos, peaches or pears and put them in a plastic container in the fridge. Keep a fruit bowl full of apples, plums and bananas on the kitchen table.
2. Get your kids involved in the kitchen.
- Children can wash fruit and vegetables, tear lettuce, mix batter or push the buttons on the microwave. Help your child if they are too young to do these tasks on their own.
- Involve your kids in the meal planning process. Let them help choose a healthy meal once a week.
3. Work together.
- Children can set the table and take the family’s drink “orders” to help prepare for mealtime. Get the whole family to work together.
4. Try gardening.
- Plant a garden and watch it grow! Good starter vegetables are carrots, cucumbers, green beans, lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, radishes, peas and onions.
5. Get creative.
- Present foods in creative ways. Cut sandwiches into fun shapes with a knife or cookie cutter.
6. Have a dinner theme night.
- Choose dishes that come from different parts of the world. Try Mexican, Chinese, African, Caribbean, Indian, Italian, Thai, Eastern European, Middle Eastern, Swedish, Vietnamese or Ethiopian.
7. Learn through games and activities.
- Play games and do activities to learn about food. Put mystery foods in a paper bag and guess which foods they are by feeling or smelling them. Get your child to draw their own place mat with her favourite foods or solve funny riddles.
8. Go on a field trip!
- Take an adventure to a local farm or visit the local farmers market. This will teach your children about where food comes from.