It can be very frustrating if your child is a fussy eater and you will quickly find out that trying to push your child to eat won’t work very well. The best is to try and get creative with encouraging your child to try new foods. Here are some strategies you can try:
- Serving food family style
Instead of plating food, rather serve it family style in the middle of the table. Kids get to see the food and taste without feeling pressured to eat it. Instead of forcing them to try something new, rather taste it yourself and offering them some in between.
- Start small and expect a few setbacks
Sampling new types of food is a process for children, just like learning new skills and are full of setbacks. When your kid is ready, let them serve themselves even if it’s just a small portion. It may not guarantee that they may enjoy it but giving them the choice is better than trying to force them into trying it.
- Show them how to be discreet when spitting food out
Kids won’t like certain foods immediately when they taste it for the first time. If they know that swallowing it is optional, it may help in getting them to taste it willingly the next time. Keep napkins handy and show your child how to use them when needed. This skill will help them to feel more comfortable when trying new foods at home or school.
- Give a short description
Don’t be too pushy when you introduce new food. Give a small description of what is in it and how you made it. Suggest for them to try it and don’t make comments like it is good for them or you’ve spent the whole day making it, because these approaches simply won’t work.
- Tasting plate
Keep a tasting plate next to their regular plate for tasting new food without it touching their other food. Smaller kids are sensitive to new tastes, textures and smells. This is an excellent way of exposing them to something new before they are ready to try it.