6 ways to get your picky eater to try new foods

It may feel like you've tried everything—twice. Here are some new tactics to mix things up.
Felty friends: Mandy Milks, Line illustrations: Anthony Swaneveld, Photo: Roberto Caruso, felt material courtesy of thefeltstore.com

Felty friends: Mandy Milks, Line illustrations: Anthony Swaneveld, Photo: Roberto Caruso, felt material courtesy of thefeltstore.com

When it feels like you’ve tried everything and staged a simple three-act play on the value of vegetables, it can be disheartening (annoying) to hear: “But have you tried XYZ?” At the risk of sounding like that person, here are fresh strategies to add to your playbook.

1. Take two bites. She can’t say she doesn’t like something unless she actually samples it first.

2. Smell it, lick it, touch it. Let her engage her senses (while you suppress your gag reflex).

3. Swap the fork. Sure, your kid might be stalling by insisting on the blue fork. But what if she eats three servings with a different colour of utensil?

4. Repeat it. You’ve probably heard it takes a kid anywhere from 15 to 20 tries to really accept a new food. We applaud your patience.

5. Get her involved. Even if she doesn’t plan to eat a certain food, have her help you prep it—it might make her more comfortable with it in general.

6. Start small. Big portions can be overwhelming. Serve up just a bit of a new food, and give your kid the chance to ask for seconds.

A version of this article appeared in our November 2016 issue, titled “Give peas a chance,” pp. 86-92.

Read more: 
Confession: I would help my picky eater, but I’m afraid of food
10 reasons to not panic about your picky eater
Picky eaters: 3 experts weigh in on your FAQs

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