We adults take eating for granted but it requires many different skills that kids have to learn. It’s normal for kids to be cautious about trying new foods but to get a healthy variety in their diet, it's important we help overcome any food texture issues. Here are a few tips to try with your kids.
Work with food they already love
A great way to de-sensitize kids to different textures is by offering slight variations of their favourite food. Introduce the same food to them in a different ways, using different shapes and sizes or a different consistency. Similarly, if there's a shape or colour they love, build on that by preparing other foods to look the same way. Slowly but surely, you’ll be expanding their diets.
When you're offering a new food, always also offer at least one safe food that you know your child enjoys or is used to eating. This takes some of the pressure off having to try the new food.
The freezer is your friend
Prepare food in advance, like cooking a range of different vegetables, then freeze them. Then it's easy to just take out one new vegetable for your child to try at mealtime. It's less effort for you and less waste if it's not eaten.
Playing with cutlery can work well as a distraction from the pressure of trying new foods. Make sure you are watching them at all times.
Toddlers are a lot more open to trying new foods when they have a healthy appetite.
Go slowly and be patient
It can be frustrating and time consuming, but don't give up. It will be worth it in the end when your kids grow up to be healthy eaters.