Still finding it difficult to get your child to try new foods? Try these tips now.
WORDS TEO KUAN YEE
Take heart that it isn’t always easy to get your child to try new food but with loads of patience and positive perseverance, you will succeed in getting your finicky bub to grow to enjoy the plethora of foods out there, and he will eventually appreciate your efforts to expand his taste buds which will serve him well into adulthood.
Try these tips now.
Less is More
You may be anxious to expose your toddler to a new taste. However, a small portion of edamame beans, a tiny slice of apple, a spoonful of yoghurt, are sufficient to kickstart his exploratory process. This will help reduce food wastage and also minimise the possible frustration when your toddler refuses the food.
Make the experience as relaxed as possible as
the last thing you want is to turn it into a battleground of wills.
Remember: the peas may be a familiar taste to you but
a brand new one for your toddler and he may feel intimidated by it.
Take Inspiration from His Favourites
If your toddler likes tomato ketchup, how about introducing him to tomato sardines and baked beans? Sticking to similar food at the beginning will help lower your toddler’s resistance to “strange” new food. If he likes chicken nuggets, you can also try giving him fish tofu nuggets. If your toddler likes cut grapes, you can offer blueberries, calling them “baby grapes” to entice him to try – you can teach him the proper name as he grows older.
Trick or Treat
Get your toddler to have fun decorating a sandwich by cutting it with cookie cutters or decorating the top with a foodie “face” (blueberries for eyes, a carrot nose, cherry tomato mouth, and shredded cheese for hair), or making a flower with some strawberries and a celery stick as a stem – his cute creations may entice him into trying it out. Get him to remove the edamame beans from its skin so that he will touch and feel them and develop a liking for beans.
When dining out with friends and family, try to order something new from the menu and have them try the new flavours. Ask what his class buddies like to eat, for instance, tuna sandwich which your child does not like.
Arrange a lunch date and let your little one discover the delicious
taste of tuna or other wholesome foods from his peers.
Widen His Exposure
Rather than another fast food restaurant, bring your toddler to an organic food restaurant (this does not feature chicken nuggets as kids’ meal) so that he can taste the real goodness of food that are not deep-fried, and develop a liking for wholesome food. Bring him along to a buffet meal and introduce him to the awesome varieties of food at the buffet counter. When at the food court, try to order from different food stalls each time (instead of settling for signatures like chicken rice) so that your toddler get used to the idea of having different foods at the table.
Walk the Talk
We are our kids’ best role models. If we do not enjoy having greens on our dinner plate, chances are that junior will be turned off by veggies too. Try to explore new food on your plate and encourage your little one to try them by telling him how yummy tomato sardines are, for instance. Try to offer some various cut or diced fruit at the end of the meal, so that he develops the habit of incorporating fruit in his diet.
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