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5 Ways to Get Picky Eaters to Try New Foods

A varied diet is key for the development of your child, and engaging them with foods outside their normal diet is essential. As teenage years unfold, your child’s taste buds will start to change and they will regularly start exploring new tastes. If you’ve ever tried to get your picky eater to try new foods, you would have probably glimpsed that the more you push your child to try something new and exciting, the more they push back.

These simple strategies can help make sure your child actually likes what they’re eating!

  • Present the food in an enticing way

Presentation is key. It’s important to make your child feel like they’re getting something special when you present a new food because this helps them associate good feelings with the food. This can be as simple as serving a dish in a bowl rather than on a plate, or cutting up their food into bite-sized pieces instead of leaving it whole. If you’re making soup or stew, consider adding garnishes like croutons and parsley leaves for visual appeal (and added flavor). For example, if you are serving peas, try putting them on top of mashed potatoes and covering them in cheese sauce or melted butter. If your child likes pasta, add some cooked vegetables and chicken or beef along with some sauce for flavor – and throw in some extra cheese for good measure!

Another way to make sure that your picky eater will love their meal is to describe how it tastes as best as possible: “This broccoli has a nice crunchy texture,” or “I think these carrots taste sweet.” Focus only on what makes it appetizing so that they’ll want more!

  • Show your kids how much you enjoy the food

Kids love to copy what their parents do and if they see that mom or dad is having a good time with their food, they’ll want to try it too! When you introduce a new food, talk about it as if it’s something you enjoy eating and make sure you’re enjoying it while you eat it. If your picky eater sees that the food looks tasty and smells good, they’ll be more likely to try it themselves! This is especially important when trying new foods with younger kids who have no idea what they’re doing or why. Make sure they see how delicious your food looks when it comes out of the oven or off the grill. You need to show them how much fun eating can be by being enthusiastic yourself-this will help them feel comfortable trying new things too! 

  • Gather your child’s tribe

Harnessing the power of peers works wonders. Friends always make a big difference in everyone’s lives – regardless of age. Invite your child’s friends over for brunch and set the table with new dishes. Your child is more likely to try a bite of broccoli when they see their friends do it. One bite probably won’t make your child crave it, yet it will certainly help them overcome the hesitation of trying it. Eating doesn’t have to be defined by a table, always. You can make it enjoyable by gathering your child’s tribe for a sweet little picnic by the garden. You’ll be surprised to see your child eat varieties without much effort. 

  • Offer food that is a good fit for their taste buds

Now that you know what to offer, it’s time to start offering the food. The most important thing is to challenge your kids with new tastes and flavours. Pediatric nutritionists suggest letting kids choose their own meals. Doing so will allow them to feel empowered in decision-making, give them ownership over their eating habits, and lead them toward healthier choices as they grow. You could also try making suggestions and letting your child pick what they want from those options. For example: “I think these two sandwiches would both taste really good with this salad.” Or maybe even just say “Do you want chicken nuggets or macaroni and cheese tonight?”

  • Start small and work your way up

If your child has a history of refusing new foods, try making gradual changes over time instead of offering a large portion with everything all at once. Introducing less quantity will stimulate your child to be done with it in a second. Begin with small pieces – try a crumble of meat, part of pasta, or a single carrot. You could also try encouraging your child by introducing a new food alongside the food they love to make the meal less intimidating. Add a few peas to their favourite sausage noodles or slip a few mushrooms into their sandwich. At subsequent meals, you can go on and increase the quantity of the new food. By taking small steps, you’ll encourage them to see things from your perspective and be more open-minded when it comes to eating new things! 


The world of food is diverse and exciting, and exploring new ingredients and flavours can be an interesting journey for both parents and kids. With patience and persistence, picky eaters can learn to try new foods. The best pediatric nutritionist at myPediaclinic recommends that your child be exposed to healthy and nutritious options at every meal time so they become accustomed to it as part of their routine. When at a restaurant, if some items on the menu sound appetizing though aren’t familiar, go ahead and order them anyway – your child may surprise everyone by loving them! No matter your child’s age, it’s never too late or early to encourage them to try new foods.


Meet your pediatric nutritionist!

Our experienced award-winning pediatric nutritionists at myPediaclinic in Dubai Healthcare City are intended to provide the best evaluation and advice on healthy eating for growing children. Our goal is to ensure healthy nutrition and the development of your child by suggesting a healthy diet plan, weight management, improving their eating habits, and more. Every plan is customised to your individual needs and choices. 

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