Simple Ways to Help your Child Try New Foods

When I put this leftover  dinner on the table my kids didn’t want to try this new food and kids said to me “That looks gross” and “Im not eating that”.

When your kids don’t like the look of food or don’t want to try it as it looks different than usual, I recommend the following 3 strategies:

1 Break down what’s on the plate when introducing a new food like this. So I said there is Christmas ham, pasta and the veggies are carrots, peas, sweetcorn as well as pesto. These are foods that my kids often eat but they were presented in a different way in this dish, in a sort of omelette. (I didn’t mention there was a little eggs added also as my youngest says he doesn’t like eggs even though he eats eggs in foods such as pancakes).

2 When kids don’t like the look of a food I say “some foods don’t look nice but taste nice” and “some foods taste nice but don’t look nice”. You can give an example here of each scenario from foods your kids are familiar with. This helps children understand that the look and taste of a food maybe different. So I explained calmly that the taste was pesto as there was lots of pesto on it.  Information like this helps kids to get a better understanding of what the food may taste like and may encourage them to  try it as it helps to reduce uncertainty about the taste. Kids can sometimes be unsure or afraid of what a new food tastes like, even if its familiar foods that are combined in a different way than usual.

3 Always serve a very small portion of the new food at first such as a spoonful. This means its less overwhelming and you can always add more later. Its better if kids try a tiny amount first rather than not try the food at all and it reduces food waste. Serve the new food with familiar foods so I added mashed potatoes and sautéed sugar snaps on the side, two foods that my kids eat often.

The outcome was a success as both my kids did try the new food and ate a small portion each, even though my eldest took ages to eat it. Next time I serve a food such as this, my kids will be  a little more familiar with  it but they will definitely need a number of more times to be exposed to tortillas before they are more comfortable eating them.