When it comes to feeding your little ones, you have to keep things interesting and find creative ways to present food them. I have 2 fairly picky eaters in my house. When they were a bit younger I had to come up with ways to either sneak in the good stuff or call it another name.
As they got older and they wanted to become more involved in the cooking process I told them the ingredients I was using…I found that if it looked appealing they didn’t care what was in it. I like to use fun names for foods… when serving Sweet Potato fries call them “Halloween Fries” in the fall. Broccoli can always be “trees” or when they are a little younger you can get away with calling peas “candy.”
Another great way to get them to eat healthier foods is by using cookie cutters when making sandwiches, cheese cut outs and even some fruits.
It’s all how you present the food to them, try not to make too much of a big deal about them eating the meal but act excited about the new selections that you are giving them. Once we started eating as a family for meals, and my husband and I led by example it became much easier to get my children to try foods that they normally wouldn’t have tried before. Another great way to have children try new foods is to allow them to play with their food.
For a child just starting out on table food (with supervision) give them some food on their tray and allow them to touch it, smell it and try and place the food objects in their mouth. I would suggest taking their clothes off and wearing just a diaper since it’s going to be a bit messy but well worth it in the end, because not only are they becoming more independent but learning to like new foods in the process.
When your child gets a bit older, 2yrs and up allows them to help in the kitchen when you are making meals. Having them stir the pancake mix, pour ingredients in or even help clean up…they too are feeling like they are part of the process of the meal making which therefore makes them feel like they have ownership of it.
Some fun Summer food ideas would be…
- Melon ball skewers using Watermelon, Honeydew, and Cantaloupe
- Homemade ice cream sandwiches (homemade oatmeal cookies with Flax seed)
- Grilling Pizza’s savory (with veggies) and sweet (with fruit)
- Ants on a log using cream cheese or peanut butter
The list could go on and on…most importantly is to have fun with your kids this summer and all these snacks or meals can be made outside…so go out there and start creating something wonderful to eat with your children.
We would love to know – what your favorite ideas are when trying to get them to eat new food items?
About the Author
Trina O’Boyle is the Social Media Manager for Happy Baby Foods, one of the leading organic food companies that caters to babies and children. Trina is the proud mother of two healthy boys, and makes sure she fills their daily diets with healthy, organic foods free of pesticides and preservatives.
Trina has a love for gardening and getting her children involved in the whole process, from picking out the seeds for that year’s crop, weeding the garden and best of all harvesting the crops at the end of the season.