Updated: Sep 15, 2020
Every parent dreads dinner time battles of trying to get their kids to eat what is made for the family. It sometimes feels easier to turn into a short-order cook, making a different meal or variation for each person, rather than facing the inevitable grumbles that seem to accompany each meal. There are some simple and easy ways to develop an adventurous food spirit in your children.
Involve them in preparing the meal! Even the youngest kids can help in the kitchen by breaking off the ends of green beans or helping to measure and stir ingredients. By having a vested interest in the process, they will be more likely to try their creations when it is time to eat.
Control the Seasoning
When introducing a new spice or flavor profile to your kids, try to allow for adjustable seasoning when possible. For example, the first time you prepare curry, use just a dash of seasoning and offer more table-side for those who are ready to up the flavor. Over time, you will be able to increase to "full strength" as their palettes develop.
Kids love theme nights and will often try new foods when presented as part of an adventure. Themes can be created around a country or culture (easy to do with our Travel Dinner Boxes!) or any of the following ideas: Color nights - a dinner based entirely on red foods - include some familiar items such as grapes, tomato sauce, and apples but also introduce others they may not have tried such as gazpacho, cranberries or beets. Lesser known historical events such as the Great Molasses Spill on January 15, 1919, can provide an opportunity to try Baked Beans, Southern BBQ and, Shoefly Pie.
Make it a Contest
Embrace their competitive spirit and create a food challenge! If there are specific foods you want your kids to try, create custom bingo cards https://bingobaker.com and when they hit bingo, let them have a favorite dessert. Have your kids try one new food for each letter of the alphabet, or to make it simpler, their names.
For older kids, a scratch-off poster such as The Greatest 100 Foods of the World
can provide a great incentive to try new foods. It can