Children can sometimes be picky when it comes to food. When cooking meal you want to make sure your child gets a balance of nutrients. This can sometimes be hard if they won’t eat the meals.
In most cases, a child who is a picky eater won’t be completely willing to try new foods. One way to possibly prevent this from happening is to give them a variety of food at a young age. Letting them try new foods early on will get them use to the thought trying new things and might make them more open to tasting foods they’ve never tasted.
If your child is already a picky eater, there are things you can do to get them to eat. If your child is picky because of taste, start by having a conversation with them. Let them know that if they taste a new food, they might like it. You should also tell them that if they taste it and don’t like it, that’s fine.
Another thing to try is to incorporate their favorite food in a meal. If you are already aware of your child’s favorite food, including it in a meal is a good way to get them to eat. For a child who has a hard time trying new foods, consider making their favorite food the main dish. If you are introducing a new food to a child who is reluctant to try new foods, give your child a small portion of the new food as a side dish. Often times a picky eater who doesn’t have a problem with tasting new foods won’t like the majority of what they taste. By letting them taste a variety of foods, you can find out what foods they like. You can try mixing their favorite food with other foods. For example, if rice is your child’s favorite food, try mixing it with beans and see how they like it.
Sometimes the appearance of food will play a part in if your child will taste it or not. Making the meals look appealing is also a good idea. Sometimes the way the food is placed plays a big part. Also, for young children making the meals colorful is a good idea. A good example of this would be a bean soups with a variety of lentils. Sometimes you can find lentil mixes with a variety of colors.
Telling your child they should try new food is one thing, but they are more likely to listen if they see you do it. Model tasting and eating for your child. Make it clear to your child when you are trying a new food and let them know if you liked it or didn’t like it. Try to do this as often as possible.
Some children don’t like certain foods because of the texture. They might like the taste, but they don’t like the way if feels inside their mouth. Think about the food your child does like. Do they all have the same or similar textures? If you suspect this is the case with your child, try preparing foods with different textures. As mentioned above, it’s a good idea to incorporate your child’s favorite foods. In this case prepare foods that have the same textures as your child’s favorite foods.
Overall, just remember you can’t make your child like a certain taste or texture. Knowing this, it’s best to just find out what tastes and textures they do like and use that information to create your meals.
(Image taken from erni.agnieszka on flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/67878988@N08/)