by The Culinistas
Aside from wanting your kids to eat their fruits and vegetables, part of living with a picky eater is missing out on the joy of trying new foods together. It can be downright painful to watch someone push away a dish you’ve spent hours cooking.
We tapped play-based learning center Play 2 Progress for their best picky eater tips for parents, so you can start making, ahem, baby steps toward a child who will try anything once. Our best tip for frustrated parents? Take it one bite at a time.
Go Family Style
Eat family style, and include your kids! We don’t want to create anxiety around eating new foods; we want our kids to come to those foods on their own. A great way to do this is by eating family style. As you eat, talk about the food without putting any pressure on your children to eat it. The adults in the family can talk about the flavor and texture of the food they are eating and how delicious it is. Your kids just might be interested enough to give it a try themselves!
Keep It Low Stakes
If you can, avoid using rewards like dessert to get your kids to try new foods. Try to keep things as low pressure as possible, and let them try foods when they are ready. Always make sure they have at least one food they like and — if dessert is on the menu — they should get it regardless of what they chose to eat during a meal. It’s even okay for kids to spit out a new food they’ve tried — the important thing is that they try it in the first place.
Play With Your Food
Kids can have a hard time trying something new (let’s be honest: sometimes adults do, too). Knowing the process helps! Start by having them help open containers, stir ingredients, roll dough, and get creative in the kitchen. We’re partial, but we think making our Green Lasagna, packed with peas and zucchini, is a great place to start. Get your hands dirty together layering noodles then enjoy your hard work around the dinner table. Respond to this email if you’d like a few more recipes we’ve had success with for our most discerning little clients.
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