Together, let’s try new foods

Be patient with your child as you introduce new foods.

Having positive feelings about trying new foods can lead to a lifetime of eating nutritious and healthy meals. When you go shopping, have your child pick out the new food. An example of this would be, “Should we get this head of broccoli or this one?” When your child chooses a new food, takes it home, helps clean it, brakes it up and then prepares it to eat or be cooked, they are more likely to eat it. This way they claim ownership of the food, instead of their provider placing food in front of them and telling them to eat it.

In the Nibbles for Health newsletter, it suggests that we talk about new food and that you have your child talk about the color, shape, feel, smell and taste. We should encourage the child to at least try one bit, but never force anyone to eat.  This is a good time to talk about the no, “Yuck! or, gross!” rule. With manners we can teach them about, “no thank you” and how to politely dispose of the food in our mouth when we discover we do not care for the taste.

Michigan State University Extension encourages the whole family, including yourself to try new foods. Children copy what they see and hear. When we discover that we do not care for a food, we need to keep quiet and watch our negative words. Try preparing the same food in different ways. Take vegetables, we can cook them, eat them with low fat cheese, or eat them raw with low fat dip.

Try new food over and over, as many kids will need to try new foods five to 10 times before they decide if they like it or not.

Most important, relax! Children do not have to like every food. Remember, when it comes to different varieties of foods, they also have their likes and dislikes, the same as us.

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