How to get your kids to try new food

Written by Gail Friend NLP Coach 

A few tips to Introduce new foods to kids

It can be quite overwhelming to co-ordinate our family lives as it is and adding a new aspect of new meals and foods can be challenging. The key is planning! Whether it is food or their schedules or their bath time, when we pre-empt and plan, our lives are so much easier. It doesn’t mean it will always go according to plan, it means we feel prepared and on top of things, that is where our peace actually comes from.

So what do we teach our children about food? I think before we start to introduce food, I always ask my parents to think about what they want to teach their children about food. If they summed it up in 2-3 sentences, what would they be? Maybe it could be:

We eat healthy food to look after our bodies
We have treats after our good food
We have treats twice a week

This obviously depends on your family values.  Having a short clear message to use to educate your values behind your rules around food helps build motivation toward co-operation from your kids. Eating is the same as other aspects of life, educating your children to have a healthy perspective will ensure they make good choices.

With all new things I always say start small.

Here is a possible way to co-ordinate meals for your kids:

1. First decide when you are going to give them the choice about meal options and when they don’t have choice. We don’t have to give them choices every meal, every day as long a s they know concretely when they get to choose (for example they choose at lunch time or on Tuesday dinners) When it is their turn to choose, your children can then choose from the range offered by you. You may have a rule on one green vegetable and one yellow vegetable per meal for example) You would give them choices based on what you know they prefer.
2. The next is we can hide a few good ingredients like spinach into their smoothies.

Our goal is to make sure they have a balance meal separate from when they try new foods.

3. The third is the introducing of new foods. I suggest trying this once a week on a day when you are not in a rush. You can make it an adventure and give them options to try. It is important to not have expectations with this (you have made sure they have what they need in their diet already). When you approach with no expectations, just it’s our day to try something, there is less pressure on them. It is all about us being consistent with giving them opportunities to try. The way we do this is a 3-step process:

The before conversation:


A few days before when you are in good connection with your kids open a conversation to say on Saturday, we are going to try something new. We are going to try 1 new food. You can choose between (give them 2-3 options) what do you think? Which one would you like to try? Teach the value here. It is good to try new things. This conversation gets them talking about it and giving their perspective. If there is resistance from them reassure them, don’t make them wrong. State: It’s okay, trying new things can be uncomfortable. Try and get some form of agreement or buy in from them (it doesn’t mean they will – you are developing perspective in them)

In the moment conversation

This is on Saturday morning. Hey guys its time to try our new food, its experimenting morning. Give them the choice and ask them which on they are going to try. Remind them of the previous conversation you had with them Make it a quality fun time with them. Let them try. If there is resistance, reassure them again. Its okay. Don’t force them, give them the opportunity to try regularly. When they are not forced there will be more chance they will try. It may take a few weeks before they try, be patient with them. It is a learning process

After conversation

Afterwards, it can be the next day or that afternoon, talk to them about it. What did they think? Did they like it? What didn’t they like? What do they want to try next week? Questions help them to evaluate and formulate opinions and build their perspective around food. The after conversation is also the before conversation to the next time.

I hope you have enjoyed these ideas and found them helpful. I would love to hear your feedback and questions

In closing

Use these tips and others I provide in my blogs.  I am here to support you through your entire parent journey. Visit my website for other blogs:

What You Should Do Next:

1. Follow me on Instagram where I share loads of quick tips and ideas to implement with your children AND YOURSELF

2. If you have enjoyed this, please share with a friend who you think would benefit from these tips


About the Author

Gail is a Family Relationship Coach specialising in Parent-Child Relationships. She is passionate about empowering and inspiring parents to develop children’s self-awareness. She believes that this can be achieved by balancing parent’s needs with children’s development and happiness. Understanding how to synchronise our thoughts and emotions and what drives them ensures our happiness, and our children reaching their full potential. Gail is a Qualified NLP Practitioner, NLP Life Coach and Emotional Freedom Techniques Practitioner with over 10 years’ experience and success at applying these techniques to children’s learning and behaviour. Her success with her own son is proof of the possibility of true potential

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