How to get kids to try new foods

“I’m not eating that!”

“You can’t make me!”

“I don’t eat anything green.”

“My father never makes me eat them.”

“I’m allergic to those.”

“I’ll starve first!”


You might guess that as a former teacher with six kids of my own, I’ve heard all these and then some at meal time! It’s true, kids can be picky, but what can we do to make them love delicious and healthy food? Let them help, of course!

The more kids are involved in choosing meals or parts of them, and involved in the actual shopping for and preparation of the food as much as possible, they will be much more likely to at least try them, even if it is an acquired taste.

My children love to pick out recipes, and not just desserts. Of course, our experience did start that way, with cakes and cookies and brownies, but with six kids, we need to eat some real food too! So the kids started to pick out a few things here and there that they might like to make. The more we do this, the more they get some input into what we eat (and the cookbooks I’m showing them have real food, no fried or prepared junk), the more they want to help and eat what we make, even when it has VEGETABLES.

You might even find ways to sneak in veggies or even discover different veggies your kids actually do like! And when kids help make the meal, they take some pride in the dish and in being a family helper; it can make meal time family time!

So, to the best of your ability, try to involve the kids in meal planning and preparation. It will actually take the pressure off of you too! And it is fun to try new and different foods – be a good model for the kids!

My name is Joan Lowell, the Go Au Pair LAR (Local Area Rep) for the Providence area.

Apply now at  or contact me at or at 401-309-1925 with your questions.

Visit us at for complete program details.

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