Kids are notoriously finicky, but it’s not entirely their fault. We humans are naturally inclined to dislike unfamiliar flavors. Imagine for a moment that you have to forage for food in the wild rather than at the Safeway. If you’ve eaten it before and lived to tell the tale, chances are good that it’s not poisonous. Eating some berry or mushroom you’ve never had before is considerably riskier. So, if your kids wrinkle their noses at new foods, it may just be a hold-over from the old poisonous berry days.
#1. Don’t Wait to Train Your Kids to Eat Healthy Foods
One tip is to have a house rule that kids have to try a new food on three different occasions before they decide they don’t like it. Often, as a food becomes more familiar, kids are less resistant to it. It also helps to introduce them to a wide variety of foods and flavors from an early age.
There’s no reason that small children need to eat a bland diet. Try adding a little curry powder to the tuna salad; toss some arugula in the macaroni-and-cheese; or try almond or cashew butter once in a while instead of peanut butter. Kids who learn to appreciate — or at least tolerate — a wider palette of flavors will be less put-off by a vegetable or herb with a strong or unfamiliar taste.
Now, if your kids are already older, that particular ship may have sailed. But all is not lost. There are still ways to get your kids to expand their repertoire to include, yes, even vegetables.