Exploring New Types of Food
Its human nature to be a bit suspicious of new foods, and your toddler is no exception. However, there are many tips and tricks that can make the transition a little easier:
- Role model: Eating meals together is a good way to show your toddler how enjoyable a new food can be. Quite often they will be more willing to try something off your plate, even if they have the exact same meal on theirs!
- Let them help: Choose a time where you are not in a rush and let them help you in the kitchen, try not to worry about the mess. They will be more accepting of the food if they have helped select or prepare it.
- Shop together: Picking out fruit and vegetables of different shapes and colours is fun! You could be even more specific and have them pick a banana off the shelf, take it home, peel it, mash it and put it into a recipe;
- Discuss why we eat a variety of foods: Talk about why we need to eat different types of foods like fruit and vegetables, milk and grains. E.g. “Eating helps you run fast”. “Eating makes you strong to enjoy playing (with your pet)”.
- Be strategic: Introduce new foods when your child is most hungry and the least tired. This might be at lunch time or a between-meal snack, rather than at dinner.