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If someone would see Fernando at the dinner table, they would be sure to say he is an excellent eater. And that would be true. However, it also means I know what he is going to eat. There are a few dishes in our repertoire that are always a “go.” But, I also want F to enjoy new foods and explore a little more, so I thought I’d share exactly how I try to do this. Read on for five ways to get your toddler to try try new food.
Five Ways to Get Your Toddler To Try New Food
1. Give Choices
One of my favorite ways to get F interested in trying a new food is by having family style dishes. Which means I put everything out on the table, and let everyone add what they would like to their plate.
An easy way to do this is with a taco night. Typically, I head to a ShopRite. I love their Wholesome Pantry line because they eliminated 110 artificial ingredients, which means no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives. It makes me feel good serving it to my family!
I pick up some rice (always a hit with F), chicken, seafood or grilled meat with black beans (for a vegetarian option), and I also grab a Frontera cooking sauce.
We love the Key Lime Shrimp Taco Skillet Sauce from Frontera. It only takes 10 minutes to make the tomatillo and cilantro sauce and it goes so well with grilled shrimp. The Frontera sauces taste so authentic and super gourmet, plus they’re super convenient as all you need to do is add it to your protein for a delicious meal.
Anyway, the point of the taco night dinner is to showcase all the different options you can add to your tacos. Crisp lettuce, tomatoes, beans and cheese.
2. Be Persistent
Toddlers thrive on familiarity and routine. Right now I’m working on helping Fernando enjoy tomatoes. This means he gets tomatoes almost with every meal. I don’t expect him to eat them. I only expect him to notice them and maybe try them.
3. Don’t Push
Not only do I not expect Fernando to try the tomatoes, I also don’t push him to do so. After adding them to his plate several times, he inevitably will try them. And spit them out. That’s ok. He did the same with strawberries, and now they’re a favorite. It takes an average person at least 12 times to try something new to like it. So, just give it time.
Side Note: How many street style tacos make up one regular taco?!
4. Be Patient
I admit that I get frustrated when I prepare a delicious dinner and F won’t touch it. It can be exhausting and infuriating. But, it helps me to remember that these little beings are people too, and sometimes we just don’t feel like having something for dinner. And because he is too little to communicate what he wants, I try to be patient.
5. Don’t Compare
I constantly get together with friends and watch their toddlers eat things my Fernando wouldn’t even try. It’s ok. I bet he eats a lot of other things their toddler doesn’t. And also, what does it matter, as long as he is eating. I hope you try out a taco night with Frontera sauces and the essentials from Wholesome Pantry at ShopRite for a fun, healthy and interactive dinner. It’s still a great way to show your toddler all the amazing foods and how to enjoy them. Even if it doesn’t happen that night.
See here for more Frontera & Wholesome Pantry from ShopRite inspiration