Junior took to solid foods very easily. As he is getting older, I noticed that he is already developing likes (cheerios and squash!) and dislikes (peas). I swore to myself that I would try to prevent raising a picky eater so I’m serving him all sorts of food and offering a lot of praise when he tries it. So far, so good.
Here are some tips I learned to get your kid to eat everything.
- Mealtime is family time. It’s tempting to feed the kid first to get it done with. But when you make mealtime a group occasion, kids will learn by example that everyone is eating what is on their plates. Pull the high chair up to the table or use a booster seat.
- Make it pretty. You eat with your eyes first. Kids are visual. Presentation matters. Use colorful plates or utensils, create little food art, or put it on a stick and serve it as a kabob.
- One bite is ok. Get them to try at least one bite of everything. If they don’t like it the first time, fine. Offer it on multiple occasions. Kids’ taste buds change all of the time and it make take several tries before they develop a preference.
- Change it up. Change the way you serve up the food. For example, sweet potatoes can be mashed, baked, roasted, or served as fries or chips. Eggs can be scrambled, fried, or hard boiled. Different textures might resonate more with your kid.
- Call on old favorites to introduce new foods. For example, if your kids loves pizza, throw some new toppings on it. You can do this with sandwiches or soups.
- Get your kids involved in the kitchen. Even if they’re not old enough to do anything. When I cook, I take out a spoon and taste it. I then offer it to my son as he is playing in the kitchen with me. It’s great bonding time and allows your kid to preview the food before dinner.
- Try not to force it. If they HAVE to eat something they don’t like, try hiding it a sauce or a smoothie. I wouldn’t suggest forcing them or trying too hard. Otherwise, it creates a negative association with that particular food.