Small Changes To Make To Encourage Your Child To Try New Foods

Small Changes To Make To Encourage Your Child To Try New Foods

It’s All About Presentation: Part 2

Is your child a picky eater? Do they often refuse a food before they have even tried it? As a feeding therapist, I have found that sometimes the simplest changes can make a big difference in a child’s willingness to try a new food. There are many children who base their decisions about food on tactile perception, or the way it feels. Here are some tips with changes that I often make in feeding therapy sessions that you can try at home!

Small changes to make to encourage your child to try new foods

 

  • Silverware: Silverware can be your child’s biggest tool, as it allows them to bring the food into their mouth without touching it. Cut the food item into bite size pieces and then place a bite on the fork or spoon and leave it on the plate. This may entice your child to pick up the fork/spoon and try it!
  • Towel/Napkin: Have a towel or napkin present at the table for your child to wipe their hands whenever they feel they need to. Model this action so they know it is available to them. They may feel more comfortable touching a novel food if they know they can wipe their hands off right away.
  • Condiments/Sauces: Serve condiments and sauces on the side. If your child doesn’t want to get their hands messy, they may feel more comfortable trying a sauce or dressing if they can hold a dry item (pasta, lettuce, vegetable) and then dip it in the sauce. This gives them more control over the amount of sauce and where it is.
  • Fruits/Vegetables with skins: Your child may be nervous about how it feels when you bite into something with skin, such as a tomato or blueberry. They may not like the feeling of the inside squirting into their mouth as they break the skin. Cut the food in half for them so they can see the inside. This will also take away some of the pressure in the food so it will not squirt as much. Allow your child to squish it with their fingers as well so they are prepared for what will happen. Talk to them about it as you model eating it so they know what it is like and feel ready to experience it themselves.

Always remember, have fun! Don’t be afraid to play with food, get messy, and take small steps. If you have any concerns about your child’s picky eating. Call T.E.A.M 4 Kids to schedule an evaluation at our Surprise or Peoria location.

 

Happy eating!

KAREN ADKINS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Karen Adkins, MS CCC-SLP