Kids are naturally wary about trying new foods. And their taste buds are the last sense to develop. (That’s why “you’ll like this when you are older is often true)
But there are some simple ways to encourage your young children to try new foods:
- Let your child help with prep in the kitchen. Research has found that if kids help with the meal, they will at least be interested in trying out what they created. Researchers at Teachers College at Columbie University found “Kids don’t usually like radishes, but we found that if kids cut up radishes and put them in the salad, they love the radishes.”
- Stay neutral about new foods. Don’t pressure them to try them, don’t punish or offer rewards. For example don’t tell them they have to sit until they try a bit or may watch t.v. if they do. Studies at Penn State show that even if you can bribe a kid to try a food, she won’t eat it on her own later. Just put the food out there, offer a portion, eat it yourself and see what happens. Oh, don’t get discouraged. It usually takes 15 presentations of new foods before a child will try it.
- Don’t have forbidden foods– a food that is forbidden is more likely to be desired. Studies show that kids will eat up to 3x more of restricted foods when they are offered and are more likely to binge.
- Kids mimic your food choices. So if you are dieting, or hate onions, your child will likely restrict his food and hate the same foods as do you. Be careful of constant dieting. It tends to set your kids up for eating disorders later in life because they start out seeing foods as good and bad or as forbidden.
Make vegetables tasty and fun. It’s perfectly ok to put peanut butter or cream cheese in celery. Ranch dressing and butter are your friends. The calories in sauces won’t hurt a child who is choosing healthy foods.
Thomas Learning Centers provides NECPA accredited preschool and childcare at the most affordable rates in the Denver Metro Area. Check us out at http://www.thomaslearningcenters.com , click on the offers below, drop in for a visit to get to know more about us. We’d love to meet you!
Call 877-938-1442 for general info
Lakewood 303-237-0917 or Westminster 303-427-8831