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Nourishing Traditions

How can you get kids to try new foods.


Human beings are wired to love fat and sweet. These tastes are found in very small amounts in natural foods, but the Standard American Diet (SAD diet) is filled with sugar, fats, and simple carbohydrates like bread, pasta, pastries, cookies, sweet drinks, and highly processed foods. Getting children to try new foods can be challenging and at the end of a full day it may not seem worth the effort. Eating a nutritionally dense diet can make you smart, healthy, and balanced. We all want the best for our kids and eating healthy food is a big part of a child’s development.


 Here are some mealtime tips.


1. It normally takes trying a new food 7 to 15 times before acquiring a taste for it. One research article stated that many children need to taste a new food 20 times before they like it. Keep offering different foods. Just a bite is a step in the right direction.


2. Children who enjoy healthy food are less likely to become obese or develop chronic conditions. Given the choice, sugar and fat are what kids prefer, vegetables come in last-place. Make a effort to keep processed foods at a minimum. A good rule of thumb is not to buy foods that have more than 2 ingredients. Simple wholesome foods support good health. Just because the label uses a word that is healthy, for example, the word fruit in fruit roll ups. If you check the ingredients it is far from healthy choice. Food manufacturer do every thing they can to hook you and your kids on cheap processed food.


3. Children are often afraid to try new things. Make experimenting with new foods fun. Remove guilt, shame, and threatening from the equation. You can outsmart your kid by creatively presenting very small amounts of the new food. Children love to dip food, of course it's messy. Dips can be made from cottage cheese, hummus, melted cheese, avocado, nut butters, pureed fruit and some salad dressings.


4. Disguise healthy food in smoothies, pancakes, breads, soup, and deserts.


5. Let the kids take an active part in preparing meals, picking vegetables at the grocery store, and growing food.


6. Present a small snack of vegetables and dip before dinner when children are really hungry. Broccoli trees with melted cheese or celery with nut butter (almond, cashew, or peanut), little grape tomatoes, or kale chips are healthy choices.


7. Make it fun. Cut food in special shapes, talk about the color and texture, and encourage them to savor the aroma of the new food.


8. Serve favorite foods along with the new foods.


9. Breakfast is a great time to introduce new foods. Eating a healthy breakfast is important. Mix it up! Some days it can be eggs, or oatmeal, or my all-time favorite homemade vegetable soup.


10. Eliminate sugary drinks. Cut 100% fruit juice with water or add sparkling water for a special treat. It is easy for children to fill up on drinks that have no nutritional value.


11. Introduce healthy snacks like zucchini or kale chips, non-microwaved popcorn, sweet potato fries made in the oven, frozen grapes, frozen banana on a stick, and nut and seed cookies. Experiment!


12. Be a role model. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables yourself. Make an agreement with older children not to give negative responses to new foods. Younger children will react the way their older siblings react.


It's an exciting opportunity to spend quality time doing something that really matters for your child’s health and future, improving life, one bite at a time.