Ways to Get Kids to Try New Foods
From toddlers to teenagers, it can be difficult to get picky eaters to try new foods. Especially when they’re younger, kids tend to resist trying a food they’ve never encountered before. If you’re tired of serving the same meals or need a way to work more nutrients into your child’s diet, there are a few methods available to entice kids to give new foods a chance.
To help you bring a little diversity to the dinner table, we’ll cover some tips for how to get kids to try new foods, along with a few specific recipes to try.
5 Ways to Get Kids to Try New Foods
If dinnertime has turned into a battle to get your kids to try new dishes, consider these five strategies for easing your child into eating different foods:
1. Start Small
When introducing new foods to kids, you don’t have to start with a full portion. In fact, a smaller portion of a new food or recipe will seem more manageable to a child and make them more likely to try it. Instead of insisting your child eats an entire serving of something new, try starting with a sample size of the food, such as one slice of pineapple or one piece of broccoli.
The focus should be on introducing variety and encouraging healthy eating habits, so it won’t matter whether they enjoy the dish enough to polish off a full plate. Try creating a house rule that everyone must try one bite of each dish to be eligible for dessert. Offering tinier tastes of new dishes can also cut down on the amount of food that is wasted if your kids don’t like it.
2. Wait for the Right Moment
Let’s face it — we all get a little less picky about what we eat when we’re hungry. Your child may be most willing to try new foods when they are hungry as opposed to after they are already full of foods they like. To increase the chances of your child eating a new type of food, make it the first or second bite of their meal.
You may try to generate some extra pre-meal hunger by scaling back their usual mid-morning or afternoon snack. If your child is feeling especially hungry before mealtime, give them a bite of the new food as an appetizer. A hungrier kid is always more willing to try something new.
3. Disguise New Foods
Use foods your child already likes to your advantage by whipping up spinoff dishes of tried and true favorites. This strategy can be as simple as making a single-ingredient swap, such as substituting the dried cranberries in their oatmeal with fresh blueberries. Try starting with one new food and working your way up to including more different ingredients.
You can also try sneaking hidden veggies into dishes to give your recipes an extra nutrient boost. Even one familiar ingredient can anchor an otherwise entirely new dish. For example, if you know your child loves strawberries, making a summertime strawberry and spinach salad could be a great way to get them to eat their greens.
4. Keep Your Cool
It can be frustrating when a child refuses to try a bite of a new dish, but try to remain calm and be patient. The last thing you want to do is turn the dinner table into a battleground. As long as you appear casual about trying new foods, your child may be equally as casual and resist digging their feet in or raising their voice.
If you stay patient, chances are your kid will slowly begin to acquire a taste for new foods. It can take kids multiple tries to begin to like a new food so don’t give up on an ingredient if it isn’t well received the first time. Be content with your child trying small bites of a new dish and work your way up to serving them a full portion.
5. Don’t Have a Backup Plan
When you present a child with a new food they’re uncertain about and a fallback food they love, your child will almost always opt for the trusted favorite food. To ensure your kids give the new food a try, you may have to get rid of the backup food. Without an easy way out, your kids may feel more urgency to give a new food a fair chance.
3 Recipes for Incorporating New Foods
When it comes to getting kids to try new foods, fruits and vegetables can be some of the most difficult food groups to introduce. If your child is an especially picky eater, try starting with less adventurous foods like different meats and cheeses. Something like a spicy sausage or sharp cheese can be the perfect starter ingredient to open them up to the idea of trying new foods.
If you’re looking for more specific ways to get your child to try new foods, here are three recipes that are perfect for sneaking in some new ingredients:
1. Bacon and Sausage Mac and Cheese
As a classic combination of noodles and ooey-gooey cheese, mac and cheese is a favorite for many kids. If your child is a mac and cheese lover, try kicking the dish up a notch by adding some new meats like bacon and sausage. This bacon and sausage mac and cheese recipe drenches slabs of bacon and chicken sausage in cheesy goodness that no kid could resist trying.
2. Deep-Dish Pizza
What kid doesn’t love pizza? And deep-dish style takes the cheesy goodness of pizza to the next level while making it easier to disguise any surprise toppings, such as sausage or vegetables. For example, this Chicago deep-dish pizza recipe might look like a plain cheese pie, but under its thick layers of cheese there are slices of sweet Italian sausage for picky eaters to taste test.
3. Classic Spaghetti and Sausage
Spaghetti is a familiar dish for many kids, so why not kick it up a notch with some sausage slices? Whether you want your child to try regular, chicken or spicy sausage for the first time, slicing the sausage and tucking it between some spaghetti and sauce is a surefire way to get them to taste it. Use this classic spaghetti and sausage recipe, and your kids will be asking for seconds in no time.
Get Your Kids to Try New Foods With Premio Sausage
Sausage from Premio Foods is the perfect food for picky eaters. With our large selection of classic Italian sausage and other varieties, you’ll be sure to find a type of Premio sausage your kids will love. Premio sausage is made with high-quality ingredients and no fillers, so you can feel good feeding them to your family.
To get your child to try something different at dinner tonight, find Premio sausage at a store near you.