Do you struggle trying to get your kids to try new foods? If they would only try one bite, they would realize how delicious "insert healthy nutritious food item here" is and you wouldn't have to make them mac and cheese again tonight. Keep reading to learn how other moms handle this very situation.

How to get your kids to try new foods

How To Get Your Kids To Try New Foods

Recently, I took the time to make a healthy, delicious and nutritious meal for my toddler and baby. I was so proud of myself for having the time and making it happen. I laid out the silverware, the plates and napkins and sat back with a smile.

My toddler looks at it (just looks!) and says she doesn't like it. Now, after almost 3 years, she has decided she doesn't like "sauce." I lied and said, it's not sauce on that pasta, it's just pasta. She still wouldn't eat it.

This is an almost daily struggle at my house, so I decided to ask some other moms what the trick is. Because apparently I don't know it. Here's what they had to say.

Advice and Stories from Real Moms

Spoon feeding an alligator??

Getting my kids to eat EXACTLY what I cooked is like spoon feeding an alligator. The amount of time I spend preparing the meal, cooking, cutting, tripping over my toddler, and nursing standing up does not even compare to the amount of time I spend coaxing my child to please eat the delicious meal I literally sweat in for you! - Tahnee, Sincerely Rose

Try your plate

Don't put it on their plate! My two will try anything off my plate, but if I put it on theirs then it gets ignored. - Em, snowingindoors

Sing a little song

While I have attempted many scenarios to encourage trying new foods, from modeling good eating to using the airplane method, only one has worked. And that thing is singing the little jingle "You gotta try new foods 'cause they might taste go-ood! So good!" from Daniel Tiger. That little half dressed tiger can get my kid to do anything. Except wear pants. - Kayla Aimee, Kayla Aimee

 Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood - Life's Little Lessons Pbs Kids Presents: Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood - Big Feelings It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood! Goodnight, Daniel Tiger (Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood)


Try one bite

I always do the "you have to take 1 bite of everything on your plate" trick and always had a new food with their favorite so they would take at least 1 bite of the new food before getting more of their favorite. - Rikki Kruger, omg mommy moments

A favorite and a new food

I used to work with a child who only ate 3 specific foods. She was 2 years old. Rather then forcing her to eat, I placed the food she loved on the table and spoon fed her another variety. For the most part, she loved the new food and slowly I started showing her more and more variety until she was eating basically everything. - Lady Lilith, Little Lady Plays

It takes time

When my children were born and young toddlers we had not started our journey towards healthier living. They were accustomed to eating packaged foods. But now that they are 5 and 6 I can happily say they have now grown accustomed to eating whole foods instead of junk food. It took time, I am talking years, for these new foods to become normal for them but it was so worth it! - Sammi Ricke, Grounded & Surrounded

Books about getting kids to eat their dinner

 The No-Cry Picky Eater Solution: Gentle Ways to Encourage Your Child to Eat_and Eat Healthy Feeding Toddlers.: A Pediatrician's Guide to Happy and Healthy Meal Times. Raising a Healthy, Happy Eater: A Parent's Handbook: A Stage-by-Stage Guide to Setting Your Child on the Path to Adventurous Eating


Start young

I think you have to start out young! My Korean mother-in-law babysat my kids for me when they were babies and would give them all sorts of Korean foods - spicy kimchi, dried fish, etc. So, my kids have never been picky with food! - Lauren Kim, Mom Home Guide

Be a role model

I think being a role model is most important. If they see you trying new things and liking those foods, they will want to try it too. We have tried to make the food into fun shapes or make a game out of eating a new food. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. I think we just have to remember that we as adults don't care for some textures, flavors, etc. So, again being a role model and eating healthy foods will be your best bet for success. - Michelle Lepak, Dandelion Patina

There is no trick

If you figure it out, please let me know! Just the other night my daughter gagged and gagged because we made her try something that she liked the night before. - Ginger, Gingerly Made

Make up a story

I usually make up a story about a famous character my daughter likes to get her to eat foods. The other night we made roast and right now she is really into Monster High, so I told her that Clawdia loves roast and that she should try it that way we can write Clawdia and tell her about it. She not only tried it but she ate my entire portion! - Trista, Mamas Little Minions

Another resource

I actually wrote a post on how we started my daughter off to like new foods, called Your Baby Eats What?! She always tries everything because we gave her an interesting palate from the beginning. - Stephanie, Managing a Home

Thank You Moms!

Good to know I'm not the only mom who can't get their kids to try new foods. I am definitely going to try singing some Daniel Tiger. That's not the first time I have heard that his songs really work. I have also heard good things about the potty training and anger songs. Thank you Daniel Tiger!

Leave your tips for potty training or suggestions for a parenting problem you need help with in the comments.

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10 Comments on How To Make Kids Want To Try New Foods

  1. Sammi
    March 23, 2015 at 1:00 pm (2 years ago)

    I LOVE your Parenting Lounge! I can’t wait to share this with our readers on FB…and totally pinning it too!

    • Kristen Miller
      March 24, 2015 at 7:51 am (2 years ago)

      Thank you! Love hearing that

  2. Keri
    March 2, 2015 at 7:23 pm (2 years ago)

    Love these tips- very useful and helpful! Food seems to be a constant dinnertime battle here! Thanks for linking with The Intentional Parenting Link Party- loved crossing paths. Would love for you to share at Tuesday Talk tomorrow if you have time. 🙂

  3. Mila
    March 2, 2015 at 3:55 pm (2 years ago)

    Brittany, when my 2 y. o. starts throwing food around– she is going down immediately (from the high chair). Sometimes it is enough to ask– are you ready to go down? for her to stop.

  4. Laura @ Little Bits of Granola
    March 2, 2015 at 10:49 am (2 years ago)

    Pinning this now. My 3 year old has officially begun to assert herself when it comes to trying new foods! And my 18 month old is a little “Monkey-See Monkey-Do” kiddo and will not be far behind. Thanks for the tips!!

  5. Brittany
    March 2, 2015 at 7:24 am (2 years ago)

    I really needed these tips today! My almost 2 year old (tear) just throws everything during meal times! Ugh! I am trying everything I can Thanks for the help! Pinned! I have a feeling I am going to need to resort back to this post with every kid in the future 🙂

  6. Michael Watson
    March 2, 2015 at 6:40 am (2 years ago)

    Make them a healthy meal and tell them it’s that or nothing. Doesn’t take too long before they get the picture (it will take a few days but just hang tuff). I especially liked my carrots, colliflower, zukini, potatoe and cheese sauce which I referred to as a ‘concockion’.


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