Ever feel like the only food your child wants to eat is bread (or some other carb)? The dinner battle can feel relentless; some days mama wins and they unknowingly eat a few peas, and then there are those other days where all the vegetables and fruit go untouched (or get flung onto the floor). Turning a picky eater into an adventurous one is a journey, but if you foster a positive environment of independent eating, you can help their taste buds flourish without feeling like an on-demand chef.
Encourage and introduce new foods with 5 of our favorite products and tips.
Food should be fun and stress-free—pediatricians and nutritionists will suggest this repeatedly. Kids don't want to eat veggies on demand (and think about it, neither do we), and they certainly don't want us hovering over them in anticipation of the next balanced bite. Instead, make food and meals joyful by encouraging them to play with it.
Nooshi Food Paint is essentially a tube of organic food puree intended to be used to play. Sit your kid down with a slice of bread—heck even just an empty plate—and tell them to start drawing! The point isn't that they eat the bread, but that they associate food with fun.
Asking, "Do you want the blue plate or the pink plate tonight?" can be an easy way to make mealtime feel unique, especially if they're used to you serving things up on whatever clean plate you can find. Plus, we all know toddlers love being independent and feeling in control of their destiny. We love the EKOBO set because the colors are gorgeous and the set is made of FSC-certified bamboo fiber.
Ever notice that your kid gets annoyed if the different foods on their plate accidentally touch each other? The Food Cubby is a BPA-free silicone semi-circle and it's a genius gadget that not only gives the plate an immediate cute vibe, but it keeps the veggies from touching the pasta.
At this point you've probably tried it all when it comes to hiding veggies in food. Maybe you've hidden peas in pancakes, shoved beans into smoothies, or even opted for Peekaboo ice cream. There's another option, and it involves using mini decorative sandwich cutters. Pretty brilliant, right? And, the more your kid is involved in the vegetable process, whether it's by growing it with you in a small garden outside or using these veggie cutters to make fun shapes, the more familiar they'll become with the idea of veggies… especially heart-shaped ones
You can play pretend before introducing a new (or tried but rejected) food with this wooden fruit set. It'll help kids get used to what they look like, and you can practice colors and shapes while at it.
Lastly, play it cool.
At some point in your parenting journey you may have heard that cheering on your kiddo as they chomp on broccoli was the way to encourage more of that behavior. If that works for you, great. If not, give this newer way of thinking a shot: Keep the enthusiasm to yourself. Whether you hand them blueberries, broccoli, or bagel bites, you should consider playing it cool and offer up nothing more than a "here you go," or "hope you enjoy dinner." The less applause or instruction from you, the better.
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