Lots of kids reject new foods out of habit because they think new foods are bad and boring.
Think of the last 2 or 3 new foods you tried to introduce. I bet it was a vegetable (boring) or something like fish (bad). An informal poll taken at one my recent seminars revealed those were the most commonly introduced new foods.
Our kids are right: the healthy foods we’re always pushing can be bad and boring – at least to their immature taste buds.
Our kids need constant exposure to these healthy-food flavors if they’re ever going to like them, so don’t give up. Offer them vegetables at every opportunity. (See Turning Your Kids’ Taste Buds Around.)
But if you want to get your kids to get excited about new foods, you’ve got to break the expectation that new = bad & boring.
Look for opportunities to break the bad-and-boring-new-food-blues.
You know your kids readily try new cookies, new crackers and new flavors of ice cream. But how often to they think of these as new? Next time make the link explicit.
Here are some new foods your kids are bound to enjoy:
- Any fruit your kids haven’t yet tried.
- Any fruit they have tried, but prepared in a different way. (Grilled pineapple can be a real winner.)
- Cakes, cookies and donuts that are not your kids’ preferred or usual flavors.
- Any new variety of crackers, chips and pretzels.
- Pasta in different shapes or colors.
And give dinner a break. Deliberately introduce new foods throughout the day.
Many kids come to the dinner table already stubbornly steeled against new foods because that’s when parents are most likely to introduce them. You need to break this habit too.
~ Changing the conversation from nutrition to habits. ~