How to Encourage Your Toddler to Try New Foods

"try new foods"Some toddlers find a few choice foods that they intend on sticking with for the rest of their lives. Getting them to try new foods can seem like World War III. Parents don’t have to fret, however, as there are some tips and tricks you can use to encourage your toddler to try new foods.

1. Purchase character dishes and utensils. Look for character dishes and utensils that match your toddler’s favorite television show. This could be something like Barney or Dora the Explorer. Stick to using these enticing plates only when you are introducing a new food that you wish your toddler to try.

2. Get creative with the food. Try to turn the food into a fun shape or object that will grab your toddler’s attention. For example, you can spread some cream cheese on a slice of bread and create a face out of vegetables, such as black olives. Toddlers won’t worry about what the food is if the presentation is attractive to them. Cookie cutters are great for making sandwiches more attractive.

3. Involve your toddler in the preparation of the dish. The next time you want your little one to try a new food, let them help you create it. Once a toddler helps prepare a dish, he is invested in it. He will automatically want to try the finished product, even if it is something he has never tasted before.

4. Get creative with the name. Sometimes the name of the food is all it takes to get your child to want to try something new. For example, if you hand your child a plate of yams and tell her it is yams, she’ll be less likely to try it than if you say it is a plate of candy sweet potatoes. The word candy is enough to get almost any kid to try a dish.

5. Top the food with something sweet. Drizzle a bit of honey over your toddler’s vegetables to make them sweet. Of course, honey should never be given to children under the age of 12 months.

6. Hold off on dessert. Not allowing your child to have dessert until after the healthy food has been consumed is a great motivator for some toddlers. The promise of a popsicle or cookie if the new food is eaten is all it takes. The only way for this tip to work is if you stand by your word. It may take a day or two of your child not getting any dessert before he knows your serious. After that, he’ll eat the new food to get his treat.

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