Showing posts with label try new foods. Show all posts
Showing posts with label try new foods. Show all posts

Monday, May 15, 2017

A Surprisingly Easy Tool To Help You Get Your Kids To Try New Foods

If you've been following my blog you know that I am always working on getting my son to try new foods.  As a picky eater, he tends to stick with what he likes, with foods that are in his comfort zone, for most of his meals.  Before going thru 1 year of very expensive therapy, there was zero chance I could get him to eat anything new.  At least it never happened when I tried, the times he did try something new was because he decided he wanted it, so very much a control thing happening here... I'm very much aware of that.

One of the last things we did in therapy was making sure we were able to translate what my son was learning with the therapist and apply it in the real world and at home. So talking to the psychologist, she suggested we used a very simple tool to help us get more foods added to the list of foods he tried. The idea is very simple!


The next thing I know my son is trying new foods or at least giving a second thought to trying something new.  Mind you that before it was "no way Jose!" I'm not trying this food I've never seen in my life! So the fact that we went from running from the table to at least considering touching  a new food, I was feeling pretty accomplished.

Today we have mastered trying new foods and even adding new ones to the foods he will eat on a more consistent basis. And all of this was accomplished with a piece of paper. We just kept working on it and we were consistent with it. Today if there's a situation where a new food is available we use our magic tool and there's a good chance we get at least one bite to try.


What is this magic tool anyways? We call it at my house "The New Foods Chart" very creative, don't you think? It is literally a piece of paper with 10 squares and we for the longest time made one with crayons and a blank piece of paper. Now that I created one for the blog, we have started using these, they are neat and I've printed a few and they are handy at my kitchen desk. We don't go thru them as fast as the Bites Game that you can learn how to make here, but I like having a couple printed out.



You might need to explain the new game and get your kid on board.  After all there's no way to play it if you don't have a buy in! For each 10 new foods that he/she tries, he/she will get a prize. Agree on a prize together to be given at the completion of the chart and write it down in the spiky ballon. For each new food that your little tries, mark one of the 10 squares. Writing the food in the square (and maybe the date) can help remember what the new food was. It might take a few weeks to complete the chart, be patient! Praise your kid for trying the food. Make it fun!! And remember, for this game to work next time, you must follow thru on the prize!! 

It is that simple! Some of the prizes my son has chosen were experiences.  The first ever prize he chose was to get cotton candy at the zoo.  I had planned a trip to the zoo on a Saturday early morning when the crowds were very thin, and I had to follow thru with getting him the cotton candy.  So he basically had cotton candy by 9 a.m.  But that is ok, he worked hard on completing that first New Foods Chart and I reminded him that he was getting that cotton candy because he did a good job.  

Adding a new food

Obviously after a few years of doing this the number of charts we complete have been fewer and fewer.  The last time he finished one was back in December 2016.  We were also having a busy couple of months, so it took us until March to actually get him his prize. At the time he chose to go to Legoland in TX, which is not right next door and took some planning.  So whatever the prize you agreed on is, just make sure it happens! A few times we had material things, like Lego sets or Hot Wheels cars, which are so much easier to get than taking the whole family to an expensive outing.   

Enjoying the outing he earned

The sky is the limit! Have fun trying new foods!!

Download the FREE New Foods Chart here!

Here's a good article from Parents Magazine with an expert's strategies for dealing with your picky kid.