Don’t ask your kids to eat new foods.

That’s the secret. Yes, some kids will dig right into something new, but if that’s not your experience, try this: Ask your children to explore new foods. Might not seem like a big difference, but it’s huge. This was the main point of my last post.

Exploring is a fact-finding mission. Eating is, well, eating. You’ve got to grow a good explorer before you’ll get a good eater.

Exploring requires tiny amounts.

That’s another secret to introducing new foods successfully.

What you think is a tiny serving often looks enormous to your kids. It’s like these dogs: your kids want a Chihuahua but you’ve brought home a giant.

“He’s gentle,” you say. “Just pet him.” And your kids go screaming from the room.

Here’s what your kids need to see for a successful exploration. A single pea. Or a pea-sized sample of something.

I’m not exaggerating.

What can your kids do with a pea? Another secret:

  1. Roll it between their fingers.
  2. Smash, mash and smush it.
  3. Smell it (but without shoving up their noses).
  4. Play Sink or Float.
  5. Compare pea green to broccoli green (or even to mold).
  6. Shake it in their hand and listen for the sound.
  7. Lick the outside.
  8. Lick the inside.
  9. Eat it — without worrying that if they do, they’ll have to eat more.

Small samples give kids the courage they need to explore new foods.

For more on this topic read 21 Things to Say to Kids Instead of “Just try it.”

~Changing the conversation from nutrition to habits.~