Something Besides Nuggets! Getting Your Kids To Try New Foods.

February 12, 2020
Girl eating spinach and broccoli at the table

Sasha_Suzi

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I remember when my son was about 18 months old, taking him to a friends house and listening as every other parent in the room gasped in awe at him devouring every single piece of food. "Look at that kid eat!" "I can't get my son to try anything." "How do you do it?"

I told them I was magic. ;) Really, though, I had no clue what the secret was. Nor that it would not last long.

My son is eight now and getting him to even try a new food is a struggle. He has his favorites and he has his tolerable "if I have to"s. Typically, that's nuggets or turkey or soup.

I used to chalk it up to his food allergies and the intense precaution we have always had in eating out or what we keep in the fridge, but then I remember all those parents years ago and realize, I'm not at all alone. 

There are so many different reasons our children just don't like to try new foods. Sometimes, it can signal deeper issues and other times it can simply mean we need to try new tactics to get them to try something. One of my favorite tricks was gardening. My son helped grandpa pick tomatoes and pull potatoes and he even planted his own spinach. Suddenly, he was ready and willing to try a salad - radishes and all. But, still, it's been a struggle.

In January, he told me his resolution was to try at least one new food every month. So, he tasted turkey from the deli and it quickly became a favorite. This week he told me he wanted to take a bite of a hamburger. Only, his choice for his very first bite was rather... pecular.

He insisted on trying a McDonald's burger with only cheese, lettuce and tomato. I immediately knew what would happen, but was too proud of him making his own big decision that I rolled with it. Yeah, not a hit. We decided next month, he might try ham steak again since he loved that way back when.

Sometimes, I feel like a terrible mom when I look at his diet, but he is growing and thriving and now at least trying to taste some new stuff. And, I guess now I'm the parent staring at a stranger's toddler wondering what her secret is. Maybe it's magic or maybe it's just another "good old days" of parenting. A friend told me to just wait, that pretty soon my son would be eating everything in the house and some so I might as well count the blessings now.

What about you? What's your tip for getting your kids to try new foods?