Getting your toddler to try new foods is no easy task! But have no fear… there a few tricks you can try to open their mouths and taste buds to new textures and flavors.
I didn’t realize the angst and stress that would come with feeding small children. I’ll admit I was prepared for the sleepless nights, the teething, the ear infections, etc. But food? Heck! I love food. Ted loves food. How could we create children that decide they’d like to use food as toys?! The reality is you can’t pick and choose your child’s eating habits. But I’ve quickly learned that there’s small victories in the grand scheme of feeding your picky eater. And that’s getting them to TRY new foods. Try being the keyword here… because in order to get your kids [or husband or oneself] to like a food, they’ve got to try it first!Get your toddler to try new foods with these simple tips and tricks! Parent tested and toddler… Click To Tweet
Offer favorites with new foods. This trick is KEY for my boys. And usually [typing while knocking on wood] works when I give them their ultimate favorite food: yogurt! So IF there’s a new food that I’d like them to pick up, sniff, and possibly put to their mouths, I give them their favorite “side” as the familiar food on their plate. Our go-to yogurt for the “familiar trick” is Chobani Tots Greek yogurt pouches. If the boys decide to skip trying the newbie, I’m comforted knowing they are getting a good source of protein and calcium with a little sweetness to satisfy their hunger. Another bonus: these pouches and their flavors are made without artificial sweeteners or preservatives. Something every person or parent can feel good about!
Vary your child’s favorite foods. What I really mean by this strategy is not to serve the same food twice in one day, or two days in a row. I “stole” this tip from a feeding expert and it’s worked out well for us. While it might seem like you need to have all kinds of foods stocked in your fridge or pantry, well, you are right. That’s doesn’t mean you have to buy a lot of everything though. A green bell pepper in toddler serving size can last a few days. But once you try this strategy for a week or two you’ll get into a rhythm and routine when it comes to buying those groceries. You can follow my weekly food prep [including these “new foods” on Instagram!].
Model healthy eating behavior for your children. Because I’m not much of a breakfast eater and my boys aren’t much of dinner eaters, I find the best time for me to model healthy eating behavior is during snack time and lunch. From fresh fruits and vegetables to grilled sandwiches and melts, I’m always trying to change up our lunch and snack routine with new, healthy foods. And that includes new flavors and textures in our favorites, like Chobani Tots Greek yogurt AND the many varieties in their classic product line. With 25% less sugar and twice as much protein than other kids’ yogurts, I don’t mind the scuffle that ensues when the boys basically fight over who gets the last box of pouches!
Let them get hungry. This is a hard one. Because sometimes it’s just easy giving your kids something to munch on while you cook dinner or when you are at the doctor or church to prevent a meltdown. But if you can find another alternative [yes, we turn on the TV BEFORE dinner so prevents pantry perusing] then try to hold them off. A hungrier toddler is more likely to try new foods!
Start small with new textures and flavors. Here’s an example that recently worked with Joey: While he gobbles up the Chobani Tots Greek yogurt Apple flavor, he’s not much of a fan of the raw deal, meaning a raw apple with skin ON. Realizing his love for this yogurt flavor and a little crunch in yogurt parfait’s… I decided to combine the two! I chopped up a green apple, added it to the yogurt + some granola, and voila! He had an apple yogurt parfait. We shared the parfait together… and of course little bro gobbled it up. But the moral of this story [or tip] is to start small with new flavors and textures— and perhaps serve it in a way that’s new and exciting— or familiar, like in my first tip!
So there you have it! Some tips and tricks that have helped expand my toddler’s palates beyond Goldfish. Seriously… they could live off those things! Since this isn’t my first rodeo feeding toddlers, I have a few other resources that might interest you:
Tell me: What strategies do you use at home to get your toddler [or child of any age] to try new foods?!
Disclosure: I am proud to partner with Chobani to bring you healthy recipes that are both kid tested and parent approved. Because of these great partnerships I am able to share delicious and nutritious family-friendly recipes. As always all opinion and ideas are 100% my own.