My almost 5-year-old is a picky eater.
Not an unhealthy eater, just a very particular one. If she had her way she'd eat a little cheese, a little bread, some raw veggies, some fruit, and - this is the weird one - dried mini ravioli at every meal.
Her weight is fine, though on the lowwwww side. The pediatrician is happy she eats her fruits and veggies because, he says, there are plenty of picky eaters in her age group whose culinary palette is limited to nuggets and cheesy mac.
Thus far, P.'s pickiness hasn't been a big deal because generally she's ready for dinner at least an hour before the mister makes it home. Making her something she likes doesn't feel like cooking two dinners, and I'd rather mine be fresh so I'd be cooking twice anyway.
But I'm incredibly jealous of friends whose children will not only grudgingly nibble the tiniest possible bite of new foods but also eat nearly everything put in front of them. Seriously, kids like that apparently exist. Maybe they're born that way - I've always said food and the potty are the two battles you can't ever win if your kids are determined to come out on top. Maybe it's better parenting. Who knows.
In any case, I hatched a plan to get P. trying some new things. The deal was as follows: She could take a trip to Build-A-Bear or the toy store if she tried 30 new foods. Trying meant eating at least a no thank you bite. If she liked it, great. If not, I'd make her a sandwich.
And let's make it a family project, I thought. So we made a list of foods together and talked about the ingredients and then tonight she even helped me prepare a nice mushroom risotto by chopping the mushrooms herself.
Well... turns out, P. doesn't like mushroom risotto. We didn't actually find that out during dinner, though, because she spent that time crying first about having to try a bite and then because she wanted a toy (which she knows she won't get if she doesn't keep up her end of the project). I'm talking 40 minutes of crying about having to have a single bite of risotto. Not finish it or even pretend to like it. One bite. Which she finally took after all that belly-aching - and even swallowed though she spent the next minute wiping her tongue with her hand.
Bo, on the other hand, loves mushroom risotto and split my bowl with me before eating a whole bunch of P.'s bowl.
Do you have any tricks or tips for getting kids to try new foods? I'd like to stick to positive strategies - however negative they might be in the moment - but I'm open to hearing anything!
P.S. - Check out Mom Meet Mom on Babble!