Together… Let’s Try New Foods!
Enjoy all kinds of foods! That’s good advice for kids – and for you. Why? When kids learn to enjoy many foods, they have more choices for smart eating throughout life. That’s good because different foods promote growth and health in different ways.
Food variety makes eating more interesting and fun, too. Remember: seeing, trying, comparing, and talking about different foods is part of learning.
Good feelings about trying new foods help lead to a lifetime of healthful eating. Try new fruits and vegetables as fun experiences with your child.
Offer a new food first, before foods your child eats already. Kids usually are more willing to try new foods when they are hungry.
- Have your child choose a new food as you shop. Trying new foods is more fun for kids when they pick them.
- Do a taste test. Talk about a new food. Have your child describe the color, shape, feel, smell, sound, and taste – and not whether your child likes or dislikes it. No “yucks”!
- Go for at least “one bite.” But stay away from forcing your child to taste. Keep food trying positive.
- Try new foods, too. Encourage your whole family to try new foods! Kids copy what they see and hear. Keep quiet if you don’t like the food.
- Prepare new foods in different ways. Many kids prefer to pick up raw vegetables with fingers. That may seem better than the same new vegetable that is cooked.
- Try and try again. Many kids need to try a new food 5 to 10 times before they like it. It’s normal for kids to be cautious at first.
- Relax. Your child doesn’t need to like every food. Everyone (you, too) has different food favorites.
Give your child credit for trying new foods. Keep an “I tried it” chart on the refrigerator. Write the name of each new food. Your child can add a star each time he or she tries it.
Use new words as you explore new foods together. Ask: How does this food:
- Look? Green, orange, purple, round, skinny, oval, tiny, huge
- Feel? Fuzzy, smooth, bumpy, prickly, soft, hard, hot, icy
- Sound? Crunch, crackle, splash, pop, snap
- Taste? Sweet, salty, bitter, spicy, bland, sour
Nibbles for Health Nutrition Newsletter for Parents of Young Children, USDA, Food and Nutrition Service
Reprinted with the permission of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
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