Share this article!

Who doesn’t love macaroni and cheese? Or spaghetti and meatballs? Chances are good you have a stockpile of meal ideas you know your little one will eat, but you want to give them more. Getting kids to try new food can be challenging, but there are a few different ways to approach it.

5 Tips for Getting Your Child to Eat New Foods

Below are some of our favorite tips for introducing new foods to children to help them learn to be more willing–and even excited–to try new flavors!

1. The “Flavor Window”

Most kids are picky. Studies suggest there’s a small window, dubbed “the flavor window,” within which children develop a more accepting palate. In terms of introducing new foods, the sooner, the better. Early introduction could potentially set your child on the course of healthy eating for life. 

2. Eat With Them

Monkey see monkey do. If they see that you’re enjoying that weird-looking dragon fruit, they’ll be more likely to give it a try themselves. Make the same plate for everybody. Family mealtimes are important anyway and getting your child to try some new foods is just icing on the cake. 

3. Mix the Old with the New

Any time you offer your child a new kind of food, pair it with something reliable that you’ll know they’ll eat. Having something familiar on the plate will make the new food less scary and you’ll rest assured that they’ll at least eat something tonight. For instance, say they LOVE peas and rice. Switch it up a bit and sub out quinoa or some other whole grain for the rice. They might not touch the new stuff at first, but an introduction is a big first step, and first impressions can be tough!

4. Embrace Repetition

Keep the faith if they don’t try it the first time! Studies show that, on average, toddlers have to be introduced to a new food item at least 5-10 times before trying it, and it can take older kids up to 15 times before they give it a shot. 

5. Keep It Simple

Try not to overwhelm them with portion size. Large portions can be intimidating to younger kids and small portions seem like much less of a commitment. Think of it as a sample size: I’m not sure I want to buy into the whole thing yet, but I might be willing to taste it. This will also help them to control their portioning later in life. And keep each meal to the basics: a fruit, a grain, a protein, and a vegetable.

Final Thoughts 

Above all, don’t let it turn into a power struggle; nobody wins. Be patient with yourself and your little one. Small bites count; some days, even just a lick in the right direction can be a win! Remember, it takes a lot of tries to get it right, so just keep plugging away. 

About Kids Village

Kids Village is a magical private preschool & kindergarten in Orem, Utah. Within the storybook village, students explore academic foundations and master real-world skills while developing a genuine love of learning.

You may also be interested in...

7 Strategies for Getting Your Children to Do Their Chores

7 Strategies for Getting Your Children to Do Their Chores

Well-intentioned parents everywhere often set out to make a family chore schedule only to have it peter out over a week or two. Let’s face it. As parents, our plates are already so full; it can be challenging to add the extra task of supervising our children’s chores...

read more
The Importance of Routines for Young Children

The Importance of Routines for Young Children

Routines play a crucial role in children's development and wellbeing. They provide a sense of stability, predictability, and security in a child's life, which is essential for their emotional, cognitive, and social development. Children usually start a more regimented...

read more
Everyday Rituals to Connect with Your Young Children

Everyday Rituals to Connect with Your Young Children

Parenting is a journey filled with ups and downs, but one thing that remains constant is the desire to create strong, meaningful connections with our children. In the midst of our busy lives, small, everyday rituals and routines can help make these connections with...

read more
How is My Child Doing at Kids Village?

How is My Child Doing at Kids Village?

It's one of the top questions we get asked by parents after the first few weeks of school: "How is my child doing?" The short answer, no matter which child is yours, is that your child is doing GREAT. Every child adjusts at his or her own pace, so whether your child...

read more
Teaching Children to be Assertive

Teaching Children to be Assertive

Assertiveness is a tricky concept for many children—and their parents. This is because it can be tenuous to balance teaching assertiveness to children without that assertiveness being perceived as aggressiveness, especially to other children, and unintentionally...

read more
How to Support Your Child’s School Experience

How to Support Your Child’s School Experience

Whether this is your child's first year of school or their fourth, you may be wondering how to best support them in their learning. Our teachers are incredible at what they do, but there's no substitute for the love and support you provide your child at home. Having...

read more
Water Play Ideas for Children

Water Play Ideas for Children

There’s a quote that says, “Water cures everything; sweat, tears, or the sea.” If you’re a seasoned parent or caretaker, you’ve probably noticed the power of water on your own. No matter what challenges present themselves in a day—grumpy children, stressed mama,...

read more
Tips for Summer With Children

Tips for Summer With Children

As teachers, we miss your students during summer–but we often hear that parents miss us as well. That’s because the change in routine can be challenging for parents and children alike. In this article, we share our favorite tips for surviving summer with littles. Have...

read more

Share this article!