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We went out to Sushi last night and my four year old loves it. She calls it Shushshi. The servers and people sitting around us always comment that they never see a child that age eating sushi. We love to eat at different types of restaurants and I like cooking different kinds of food. By our third child, we learned some tricks so they will try new things.
Tips to get your child to eat new foods
1. Don’t order off the kid menu. We try to avoid using the kid menu. Most of the time it’s just burgers, pizza, and chicken fingers. My kids eat that stuff anyway when I cook it at home so they don’t need to eat it out too.
2. What ethnicity of food are you eating? Have your kids eat that too. If we are eating Mexican, then we don’t let our kids get hot dogs. We try and find something that they will like such as a taco or nachos so they can acquire different tastes.
3. We love appetizers. Appetizers are perfect for kids. Two of my kids eat sushi and one doesn’t. Instead, we let him order dumplings or spring rolls from the appetizer menu. He loves them and but still has the experience of eating something that we normally don’t have at home. It’s the perfect portion size.
4. Ask the server for help. My daughter liked the taste of sushi, but had a hard time eating it. The seaweed was so tough and that’s what holds it all together. Once a server suggested that they could use soy paper instead. I had never even heard of that. She loved it and could bite right through it! You should be able to customize your meal so it will be more pleasing to them.
5. Don’t push them. My son that does eat sushi is pretty adventurous with it. He will order all kinds of things, all on his own. My other son who doesn’t is usually interested in all the cool things he’s not getting. Many times he asks for a taste or a piece. This is good. He may not have acquired the taste yet but he’s trying it on his own. We got them all these chopstick holders for fun. They enjoy eating with them. The first time my daughter ate a sushi roll, we didn’t get her something really crazy. I started with just an avocado roll. She eats several avocados a week already so I just eased her into eating it a different way.
Eating at home
1. Don’t get frustrated and keep trying I used to get so frustrated when my kids wouldn’t eat mashed potatoes or rice. How can someone not like a food with hardly any taste? I still make those things but less frequently. We try to explain that it doesn’t have to be their favorite food to eat it.
2. Reinvent food My husband deer hunts and we usually have a lot of venison and make tons of chili every winter. None of my kids like chili. My husband and I have tried several different recipes and they just won’t eat it. Do you know what they will eat? Nachos- with chili all over the top. When it’s time to eat, I don’t say we’re having chili. I just say we’re having nachos.
3. Don’t give in. It’s so easy when you are at home to go make something else for them when they won’t eat dinner. This is the hardest part, when they are crying and throwing a tantrum to not just get up and make something else. Everyone gives in sometimes but don’t make it a bad habit.
4. Have something they will eat. If you know an item you are fixing is questionable and not sure if they will eat it, have something you know they will eat. When this happens in our house I try and fix a big fruit salad or a favorite food for a side so I know they are eating something and won’t go hungry.
5. Have them serve themselves. I use to fill all of our plates at the stove and bring them over to the table. Now I put the food in serving dishes and set them on the table. This has been one of the biggest things that has worked for us. The rule is- Get a little of everything and eat everything you get. This has helped so much. We can see what they really like for ourselves and what they want second helpings of. Many times they only get a few green beans and then go back for more later. If I would have put a big pile of peas on the plate at first they probably would have complained and not touched them. I’m giving them the power to choose. I make a cobb salad and I put all the ingredients in separate dishes; eggs, bacon, avocado, and so on. We pass them all around and let them choose the amount of each item. It works really well for us. One kid eats more eggs, while the other eats more avocados!
Hope you can take away a few tips to help your kids try something new this week. Good luck!
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