tips for picky eater to try new foods

9 Tips for Getting Your Picky Eater to Try New Foods

Most of these tips are designed for toddlers and preschool aged kids, but many will work on older kids as well. It’s important to evaluate your own eating habits, and the examples you are setting, while trying to get a picky eater to expand their palate.

Go raw!

If your kiddo doesn’t like cooked or steamed veggies, try them raw. Carrots and broccoli taste completely different when they are cooked. Plus, broccoli looks like trees. Set up a little broccoli forest and have them go to town!

Dip it!

While this isn’t a habit I’d recommend everyone getting into, if it’s the only way your child will eat something, let them dip it in something! Try healthier options than ranch – guacamole, peanut butter, pureed fruits, hummus, yogurt, or cottage cheese.

Mix it!

Junior doesn’t want to eat the bananas, but he loves peanut butter? Add the peanut butter and bananas to some ice and milk in a smoothie. Super healthy, high protein snack – without the fuss!

Plant it!

If you have the space, let your child help you plant a small garden! Food is more fun when you can see it grow. Gardening is not only a great outdoor activity, it’s bonding time and it’s educational.


Cook it!

On that same note, allowing your child to help you prepare a meal is a fun way to get them on board with eating a new food. If there’s a food they’re not really wanting to try, be sure to include some other foods that they already love – they’re more likely to be open to the idea if there are some of their favorites right next to the new food.

Sweeten it!

No, I’m not saying to add sugar to everything. But you can sweeten vegetables with vinegar, honey, or even caramelized onions.

Make Sure They’re Hungry!

Don’t try a new food on a full stomach – or even a partially-full stomach. Make sure your child is hungry – snack time works well!

Make it Fun!

Nibble trays have been a life saver for us! These aren’t just for picky eaters – small portions of several foods on one plate will make anyone happy!

Avocado boats – quarter an avocado, add in a thin carrot stick and a triangle piece of cheese
Egg canoes – cut a hard boiled egg into wedges, and you have a canoe!
Cheese blocks – cut cheese into small blocks (different sizes/shapes) and see who can build the tallest tower – then eat it!

Check out Pinterest for more nibble tray ideas.

Relax!

Last but not least, relax. It’s not the end of the world if your child won’t try a new food right now. In fact, being picky is a normal part of childhood for many children. Keep trying to expand their food choices, while setting a good example for them with yours, and hopefully you’ll be on the road to new foods in no time!

*You can also check out these topics for more information:

Just Two More Bites!: Helping Picky Eaters Say Yes to Food

Raising Healthy Eaters: 100 Tips For Parents

Do you have a picky eater? How have you helped them want to try new foods?