Introducing New Foods
Variety in a child's diet is important for good nutritional intake, yet it can be more than frustrating to get your child to try new foods. In addition to taste, many factors are important to a child's acceptance of new foods. The temperature, odor, and presentation of food are also important in whether a child will be open to trying a new food. To help your child try new foods, offer just one new food at a time to keep things from being overwhelming. Let your child know ahead of time if the new food will taste sweet, sour or salty so she is not surprised, and just give a very small amount to taste at first to see if she likes it. Keep in mind that most children do best with foods that are lukewarm in temperature.
Take the time to explain that you just want him to taste the new food, and if he doesn't like it, he doesn't have to swallow it. To urge him to try something new, sit the child with a sibling or friend who is a good taster and can be counted on to eat the food. Monkey see, monkey do! Serving a new food with a food that the child already likes and is familiar with can help him feel more comfortable about trying something new. Present the food in a fun way, and be creative. Most important, if your child doesn't accept the food the first time, don't give up! Try it again later down the road.
The best way to get your child to try new foods, eat a healthy diet, eat vegetables, and drink her milk every day is if you — her parents — do also. Be a good role model, and teach your child through taking action. Actions speak much louder than words, and the better you do, the better she will do. Going easy on higher-fat, higher-calorie, higher-sugar food is good advice for the entire family. Family meals and snacks that are prepared with less fat and more healthy foods teach children good eating habits for a lifetime.