As back to school is around the corner, you are probably wondering what items you should add to your grocery list this week for your picky eater’s lunch box. Although convincing your child to try something new might be difficult, it is important to encourage a picky eater to explore their options and try new things to eat.
Before placing unfamiliar foods in your child’s lunchbox, here are a few steps you can take to introduce new foods to them.
1. Don’t pressure your picky eater into trying new foods
No one likes to be “made” into doing things. If your child feels pressured, he or she will resist more. Slowly introduce the food to you child so he or she feels comfortable and will trust it. Allow your child to choose the food they want to try. You can also control what options your child has.
2. Ensure that your child is eating his or her meal at the table
If you want your child to be consistent when eating, you must ensure that he or she will eat at the table. Eating consistently at a dining table will create structure for your child to develop a positive attitude towards eating.
3. Give your child many chances to see and smell the new food.
This will enhance your child’s senses and trigger curiosity, helping them become more familiar about what they will be eating.
4. Give your child enough opportunity to eat throughout the day
Your child will follow your good example by eating breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks at specific times throughout the day. Create a daily schedule for meals so that these times remain consistent and they understand how regularly they should be eating full meals.
5. Take them to the supermarket
We know this isn’t always the easiest of ventures, but giving your child the advantage of seeing the options available to them might spark their interest in learning about food. Plus, you can help them choose wisely!
6. Allow hunger to motivate eating
It is recommended to give your child five opportunities to eat within a 24-hour period, as we shared earlier – an eating schedule is key to maintain regularity. If they don’t eat much during breakfast, hopefully they will eat during snack time. Hunger will entice their appetite as the day prolongs.
7. Have you child involved in the cooking process
It is proven that if your child sees what is going into their meal, they will be more likely to eat it. This will also allow for bonding in the kitchen as well! There are many other perks to learning how to cook such as gaining independence, triggering difference senses with touch, smell and taste, as well as managing the measuring of the different ingredients (math can be fun!).
8. Blend the old and new
Add something new to your child’s favorite dish. Your child will be more likely to try a new food when its next to a familiar favorite. They might question it at first, especially for those that are picky eaters, but eventually they will begin to associate the two together and hopefully adapt to the new taste.
9. Don’t expect your child to eat what you don’t
It’s simple – if you don’t eat the food, your child won’t either. Children learn from those around them, so they’ll likely mimic of your behaviors.
10. Vegetable incognito
Hiding veggies in your child’s food is easier than you think! It is essential for your child to get the nutrients he or she needs. Some children don’t like the sight of greens. So why not hide them?
Check out our blog to see ways you can hide veggies in your child’s food.