A refusal to try new foods is not an uncommon trait among young children. However, when children have a finicky palate, parents may worry that their child is getting enough of the nutrients he/she needs to grow up healthy and strong.
The good news is, you can encourage your child to try new foods without nagging. The earlier you start to incorporate new foods into your child's diet, the easier it will be, but even if you've gotten a late start, all hope is not lost.
We believe in using positive reinforcement to reward good behavior and build healthy habits. Our token boards have space for your child to earn up to 5 stars at a time, and can be adapted to reward and track everything from reading and doing homework to healthy eating and exercise.
Here are some fun and creative ways to encourage your child to eat more fruits and vegetables using the Token Board:
- 5-a-Day: Aim for your child to eat at least 2 fruits and 3 vegetables every day. Use the 5 spaces on the token board to keep track.
- One bite rule: Research shows it may take repeated to exposure to a food before a child develops a liking for that food. If there's a food you want your child to learn to enjoy, why not ask them to try just one bite of the new food, on five separate occasions over the course of a week? Over time, he/she just might acquire a taste for that food.
- Eat the rainbow: Assign each of the 5 blocks a different color. You can write the colors on the token board with a dry erase marker. Examples of colorful and healthy fruits and vegetables are:
Once the habit of eating more fruits and vegetables each day is established, you can help your child maintain that practice with the "I Can Do It!" reward chart, which, along with other daily chores and behavior expectations, includes the task, "eat your veggies."
Eating healthy can be fun and rewarding! And here's a bonus tip: build even more healthy habits by tying the reward that your child earns for acquiring their 5 stars to a fun physical activity like hiking, bike riding, or swimming.
What are your best tips for getting your child to try new foods?