Encouraging your children to try new, healthy foods can be a challenge can’t it? They love to eat familiar foods because they’re comforting and safe, so getting them to expand their taste repertoire can seem like an uphill slog. But if you start slowly and take your time, your little one may soon branch out from the usual pasta and cheese, opting for new, exciting flavours.
Here, our very own Lolly Lady, Lucy Woodhouse shares her top tips to help encourage your child to try new foods.
Get creative in the kitchen
If you’re looking to switch things up when it comes to the food your children are eating, get them involved. Little ones can weigh, mix and measure. Getting them invested in the food they’re preparing often means that they’re more likely to eat it. When we developed Claudi & Fin ice lollies, myself and my co-founder Meriel, had the kids in the kitchen with us as our chief taste-testers. They loved it!
Over facing your child, especially when they’re trying new flavours, can be off-putting. So start small and I mean really small. One small piece of apple, two peas. Try putting new foods in smaller dishes or egg cups to add interest, rather than piling it onto a plate.
Combine new flavours with old favourites
If you know they like a particular combination – pasta and cheese for example – add in some peas. The familiarity of the flavours will help as you introduce new combinations.
Now this can be tricky as I know how frustrating meal times can be. But really try to stay positive. If you keep things relaxed and fun, you’re more likely to have success. If they don’t like a new flavour don’t worry. You can try it again at a later stage.
Why not try them with new flavours as part of an outdoor picnic? Being outside can be distracting (in a good way!). You could even go along to a ‘pick your own’ or to the local market so that the children can pick out what they like the look of. The fresh air can work wonders!
Remember that a toddler may need to try a new flavour up to 15 times before they eat it so look at this as a long term project. There really is no rush, so take your time and stay positive. Best of luck!