Kids are weird.
One day they eat something and like it and the next, they don’t.
How is a mom supposed to know what they like on which day? I love trying new foods and eating exotic ethnic dishes, but my boys aren’t always to apt to be so adventurous. For my first installment of “What Works for Us,” I’m sharing a few tips to getting kids to try new and different foods.
Put a weird item out before dinner as an appetizer.
I started doing this with edamame. About 15 minutes before dinner is going to be served, I set a bowl of steamed edamame out on the table and let them have at it. They are usually so hungry for dinner, that they will snack on anything. Now that I’ve done it a few times, they love it and are now eating more edamame than I do! We buy this big bag from Sam’s Club and they take 4 minutes in the microwave. Quick and delicious.
Do a theme night
I was really in the mood for Vietnamese Pho one night and found a recipe I wanted to try. I knew that Pho would not be something that they would be excited about eating. So I decided to put on some Vietnamise music (courtesy of Spotify) and told them that this was a Vietnamese Restaurant. I called it something like “Mama Pho’s”. I pulled up a quick map and showed them where Vietnam is and we told them about our friends who are missionaries in Vietnam. They had so much fun and ended up enjoying the soup. Now, they ask me often if we are going to have a restaurant again. We’ve done Italian, Japanese and Mexican.
Make dinner a big deal
Dinners around here are pretty casual on a day-to-day basis. But sometimes, when I know dinner is not a family favorite, I spruce it up a bit. I will throw a nice tablecloth on the table, set place settings with cloth napkins, let the boys eat off of glass plates and light a candle for a centerpiece. Something about a fancy dinner gets the boys on their best behavior and make them less apt to turn down what I serve.
What do you do to get your kids to try new foods?