New Foods

Published on in Health Tip of the Week

It's very common for young children to be picky about what they eat. Some are pickier than others, and may only have a list of five foods they will eat. If you’re looking for ways to help your child be adventurous at mealtimes, here are a few tactics you can try:

  • Maintain a positive attitude about mealtimes. Don't get frustrated with your child or make her feel badly for her pickiness. Don't ever force her to eat.
  • Offer one new food at a time, and make sure there is something on the plate that your child likes. Too many new foods at a time can be overwhelming.
  • Offer a new food to your child often. It may take a dozen or more introductions before he gives it a try.
  • Offer new foods at the beginning of the meal, when your child is most hungry.
  • Get your child involved in the dining process. Read cookbooks together and talk about what looks good. Have your child select some recipes that appeal to him.
  • Let your child be the chef. Give him age-appropriate tasks such as stirring, peeling vegetables or measuring.
  • Let your child make her own lunch. Give her cookie cutters to make her sandwiches with, and encourage her to decorate her lunch bag with stickers or drawings.
  • Make a smiley face out of fruits and veggies – blueberry eyes, orange slice ears, a celery nose, cucumber eyes and raspberry lips. Food that looks fun to eat is more appealing.
  • Be a good role model. Try new foods yourself, and make mealtimes fun, stress-free times with your family.
  • Try to eat together as a family at least twice a week. Sharing mealtimes strengthens family bonds – and if your child is chatting about her day, she may not notice that she also ate some peas.