Your child eats best when you choose the foods to offer at sit-down meals and snacks at regular and reliable times. Children learn to like new foods when they
- are given many opportunities to try a new food.
- watch their parents and family members eating and enjoying the food.
- are introduced to new foods along with a familiar one.
Forcing or bribing children to try a new food will not make them like it. In fact, it may actually increase their dislike for the food. If the child refuses to eat a new food, the parent or caregiver should not consider the refusal as a problem, but simply serve the food another time. Remember, a “No” today may not be a “No” tomorrow.
Here are some tips to help your child learn to enjoy a wide variety of healthy foods:
- Spark your child’s interest by preparing and serving foods in a variety of shapes and colours.
- Set an example by eating healthy foods. Young children like to copy what others do.
- Stick to a rule that food is only offered at planned meals and snack times
- Don’t limit food served to those you know your child will eat but do serve favourite foods sometimes.
- Be patient and don’t pressure.
~ contributed by:
Heather Torrie, Public Health Nutritionist
Sunrise Health Region