National Fruit and Veggie Month is upon us! It could be the perfect time to introduce new foods to your preschooler. Depending on how ambitious your preschooler is, that could either be an exciting or difficult experience. Here are some ideas that might help you with your adventure.
Pair new foods with foods your preschooler already enjoys.
If your preschooler enjoys pancakes, try adding blueberries. If they enjoy blueberry pancakes, try strawberry pancakes. If they enjoy a certain dip, provide them with new veggies to try with it. Be sure to be upfront with your preschooler. It is not worth the potential damage caused if they discover they have been misled.
Model good food choices for your preschooler.
They need to see that you are willing to try new fruits and vegetables too. Your modeling can show them that you enjoy the food, and also teach them how to eat it. Modeling can go a long way in encouraging your preschooler to expand their food palate.
Remember to remain calm when introducing new foods.
Your preschooler will be more receptive to new foods if you are not pushy. One way to give your preschooler some responsibility when you introduce the new food is by allowing them to decide how large or small the bites will be.
Reading about foods is another fun way to introduce new foods.
Just Try One Bite by Adam Mansbach and Camila Alves McConaughey is an amusing story of three children trying to change, for the better, their parents’ eating habits. Eat Your Colors (Rookie Toddler) by Amanda Miller takes your preschooler through many different colors while showing different fruits and veggies. Mrs. Peanuckle has written Mrs. Peanuckle’s Fruit Alphabet and Mrs. Peanuckle’s Vegetable Alphabet. Both books work through the alphabet introducing fruits or vegetables and explaining information about them.
Just as not all adults enjoy the same varieties of coffee or tea, not all preschoolers will enjoy the same foods. It is okay if they do not care for new flavors on the first, second, or even more tries. Continue introducing new varieties and allow their palate to become more refined at their own speed.
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