At BabyTV, we understand the struggles of getting your toddler to try new foods - or to eat a food they liked last week! Being a parent of a little one can be rewarding but demanding at the same time, this is why we’ve compiled suggestions from experts to help you with your parenting journey!
1. Start Small
It’s important to remember, toddlers are small and their tummies are too, so small portions only! Larger portions may intimidate them, so if your child is struggling with fruit, try one slice of apple or a few grapes to start off with. Supported by research studies, starting small with new foods is a great way to introduce your child to new tastes, smells and textures.
2. Try And Try Again
When trying new foods, it can be stressful for your child, so patience is key! It can take up to 15 attempts to introduce a new food to your little one for them to start to enjoy it, so having patience that it may take longer than the first few introductions can help.
3. Make It Entertaining
Having the same food, on the same plate, put in front of them all the time isn’t inviting enough for your child to enjoy! Try rearranging the plate, making shapes or letters or using different utensils. Alternatively, watch ‘Momento the Great Chef’ with your little one on BabyTV! Restaurant-owner, Momento, always manages to make something delicious with what Perfecto has brought. Intriguing toddlers to try new kinds of foods that are good for them!
4. Them Explore!
Babies and toddlers love to explore and discover new things themselves, so sometimes the best thing to do is give them the freedom to discover! Allow them to smell, taste and feel the food, and you’ll see that they’ll warm up to new things much easier if they are in control.
5. Get Your Little One Involved
When grocery shopping or choosing your next meal, allow your little one to choose which ingredients they want. Studies show they’ll be more motivated to try something new if they picked something out. It can also excite them to try other new foods.
6. Don’t Force It
Trying new things is always stressful, especially for your little one. Remember to stay calm and to not take it personally if they don’t like the food you give them. It’s not your cooking that they don’t like, we promise!
7. Let Them Get Hungry
This is a pretty simple one, let your little one work up an appetite before trying new foods or just push the afternoon snack forward a little. Toddlers will take to foods much easier if they are already hungry!
8. Take Foods Outside
You might find this one a little strange but many parents have told us that their kids eat so much more outside! If you’re doing a bit of gardening, bring your little one along and let them try some cherry tomatoes or lettuce, and you’ll be surprised as to how easily they’ll accept!
9. Talk About The Food!
Communication is key when it comes to new foods, so speaking about what it’s called, the colour, the texture, the taste are all great ways to encourage your child to try foods that they wouldn’t normally have.
10. Positive Reinforcement
Lastly, positive reinforcement is the best way to strengthen the connection between your child and new foods. Making them feel good about eating something healthy or not to their taste means they’ll be sure to do it again for the encouragement they receive!