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Getting Your Picky Eater to Try New Foods

Do you have a picky eater at home? If your child is a picky eater, you know how frustrating it can be preparing the same meal for the millionth time in a row. It can be extremely difficult to get your picky eater to try new foods, which can result in more frustration for you. Although there’s nothing wrong with having a favorite dish, it’s important that your child learns to try different foods. Who know, they might even like one of those foods!

Don’t Force Foods

When trying to get your picky eater to try new foods, don’t force the issue. There will be times that your child absolutely refuses to put that bite in their mouth. Always encourage your child to try, but if it’s not going to happen, don’t force it. This can make new foods seem like a punishment, which can cause your child to become even more selective in food preferences.

Give Them Choices

If you want your child to try something new, give them a choice. Prepare two new dishes and ask your picky eater which one they would prefer to try. By doing this, you’re allowing your picky eater to evaluate the two new foods and decide which one to try based on personal preference. This can also help reduce the number of stubborn moments your child might have when refusing to eat a food.

Know Your Child’s Preferences

Use your child’s likes and dislikes to help decide which new foods to prepare. If your child absolutely hates fish, it probably wouldn’t be a good idea to prepare fish tacos. On the other hand, if your child loves corn, you might want to consider preparing corn chowder some other new food that has corn as the main ingredient.

Make It a Game

The more fun your child is having, the more likely they’ll want to try new foods. You can make trying new foods into a game by having a regular mystery night. Use this night to make everyone in the entire family try a new food. Your child will feel more comfortable if this is a new experience for everyone.

Use Incentives

Incentives are a great way to get your child excited about trying new foods! Have a system in place so that each time your child experiments with foods, they get a reward. This could be something as simple as earning a favorite drink or five minutes of extra play time.

It can be hard trying to get your picky eater to try something new, but it is possible! By making it fun and interesting, you’re giving your child opportunities to explore and find new favorite foods.

What other ways have you utilized to try to get your little one to try new foods?

Annmarie John
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  1. Great tips! I have a 9yo who turns his nose up to everything & has to check it all out before even deciding if he'll take a bite.

  2. Love the tips! My 12 year old is extremely picky. I will try your suggestions to get her to eat more variety.

  3. My daughter was pretty picky, but I'd say its key not to make a big deal about it. If you point it out to them, they will know how to push those buttons, so don't worry, they'll pick up what they like.

  4. With my niece and nephew I always have to do incentives. It's really the only way they'll eat. These are some really great tips!

  5. Totally need this as you know Lily is totally my picky eater and always in need of some tips to get her to eat better. So huge thank you :)

  6. There are really great tips. Even as an adult I'm still picky with my own food and love to stick with what I know. :)

  7. I am so lucky my son eats like me as far as food choices even though he eats like his much haha

  8. I love these tips! Thankfully my daughter will eat pretty much anything but I have to keep these in mind for if I have another little one!

  9. Great Tips and having picky eaters is always a challange you never know if it's just picky or if something is off like constipation issues or slow digestion issues or perhaps gerd. I think if it's lasting longer then a month to contact a dr just to be on the safe size. My 7 year old daughter found out how celerly is made out of water and she don't like water so she wont eat it not with rewards not with cheese or peanutbutter nothing will work to get her to eat what she don't like or thinks she don't like. However making soups my stocks are always filled with carrots celerly and such and she eats it just fine. lol

  10. Such a great post and I am definitely going to bookmark this page! Thank you Amanda! Feeding my kids is often a struggle at my house and I can use all the help I can get :)

  11. I think the biggest trick for us is offering options of healthy foods. And not forcing! Scarlet has grown by leaps and bounds in trying healthier foods. And I love that!

  12. I give my toddler a lot of options, I cut up a variety of things that I know he can eat and let him choose on his tray what he wants. He's still breastfed so I know that he's getting nutrition so I don't worry so much about the stuff he won't eat. For the most part, he'll eat a lot of stuff I give him as long as I let him think he's choosing. These are all really good tips.

  13. Fortunately we've gotten to the point where our girls aren't afraid to try anything once. Except for super-spicy stuff, they just can't handle that yet.

  14. I think making mealtime fun and easy helps a lot when trying to convince picky eaters to try new foods. My younger son gives me a hard time sometimes so these tips will help a lot.

  15. I hear you. Mine are super picky so I have to be creative and prepare different fun foods so they would eat.

  16. Great tips my teenager goes in moods one day he likes something the next he doesn't.

  17. Really great tips! My oldest who is 11 today is actually my only picky eater! These will be so helpful!

  18. It is hard to encourage picky eaters, especially when you are dealing with the middle child.. not kidding. I made a running list of everything my daughter tried one summer and told her she was competing with another picky little girl.. this really helped... Yes, I lied.... the other girl was not competing but my daughter thinking that she was winning helped.

  19. I am having trouble with my toddler. Seems he only wants eggs and hot dogs!

  20. My kids have never been picky eaters. The only thing that one child doesn't care for is Peanut Butter. not allergies, just doesn't care for it.

  21. Great tips I might have to try these on my other half - he's still a picky eater.

  22. These are great tips. Will have to use these on my son. Amber N


[name=AnnMarie John] [img=] [description=AnnMarie John is a lifestyle blogger, mom of 4, retired army veteran and a huge Disney lover. Formerly from the beautiful island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean and now living in colorful Colorado, she loves sharing her opinions on everything, crafting and food.] (facebook= (instagram= (twitter= (pinterest= (

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