How to Expand Your Child's Palate
By Sara Butler
Most kids aren't exactly connoisseurs of fine cuisines unless chicken nuggets count. A lot of parents struggle to get their kids to eat new things but there are some really simple strategies you can use to expand your child's palate without them even realizing it! Here are some tips to help your kids, and your whole family, to get out of their diet ruts to try something new.
When you go out to eat to celebrate something or for a night on the town, try a restaurant that's new to you and that offers cuisine from a far-off place. What about sushi or Vietnamese? Branch outside of your comfort zones and look for exciting new things to taste. Try ordering versions of things that resemble something the kids might be more used to first and then if they like it, have them try something else totally new to them.
Mix Up Your Dinner Rotation
If you find yourself preparing the same dishes over and over again for your family, then branch out and try something else at home. If you never make fish, then make fish. They may not try it with a lot of enthusiasm, but if they try it that's a win for both of you. Perhaps try other easy but different dishes too, such as a curry or stir fry. You don't have to make new recipes every day, but try adding in something different one to two times per week that includes new ingredients or flavors for the whole family to try. Taco lentil soup, anyone?
Buy New Vegetables
Each week, buy one new vegetable and fruit for the whole family to try. Most kids will try new fruits and can be convinced to try a new vegetable too. You may want to experiment with things such as:
- Dragon fruit
- Asian pears
- Passion fruit
For the veg, offer them some hummus or ranch dip with purple cauliflower, jicama, yams, snow peas, or rainbow radishes. You can always tell them it's a fruit if they haven't solved that riddle yet.
Buy Things You Don't Like
Everyone has certain foods they don't really care for and so they avoid buying it. Think about the ingredients you often avoid and then purposely buy a few next time you go shopping. If you don't like them, then your kids haven't been exposed to them. Who knows? It could be something they really love and you'll never know unless you let them try it.
Expand everyone's palate in your family with these simple tips. You never know where it can take you!
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