Every parent has an arsenal of "tools" they like to rely on in the event they need a little extra assistance during the more difficult legs of their parental journey. Difficult sleepers need special songs and books and even a nightlight that makes them feel more comfortable before nodding off. Kids who are working on potty training require fun undies, encouraging songs, and books about toilet readiness. And picky eaters need a little extra assistance at mealtimes. That's why these fun ways to encourage your kid to try new foods are kind of amazing.
Whether you want to lean on trusty Daniel Tiger (is there a childhood milestone that fuzzy guy can't help with?) or purchase a few fun items for the kitchen that will make food preparation and eating that much more fun, chances are likely you are bound to find something that can add a little pizazz to your child's mealtime experience. Oh, and who doesn't love a solid book to help you do the work of navigating tricky conversations?
Because, really, not one of us can successfully go at this parenting thing without a little help from our friends, whether it's found in your BFF, the pages of a book, or that lovable tiger with a song for all occasions. And you wouldn't want to do this solo anyway, right?
1. Try Daniel Tiger's "Try New Food" Song
I mean are you really even a parent until you pull out a Daniel Tiger gem to help your little one navigate a difficult situation? When it comes to encouraging your child to try new foods, you might want to try this "Daniel Tries A New Food" episode where Daniel and friends sing: "We gotta try new food, 'cause it might taste good ... goooood."
2. Read 'I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato' by Lauren Child
What if your fussy eater could see carrots as orange twiglets from Jupiter or mashed potatoes as cloud fluff from the pointiest peak of Mount Fuji? They might not have such a hard time seeing that food can be fun, right? At least that's the case for Lola who, throughout I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato ($8, Amazon), is encouraged by her brother Charlie to see foods in a while new way.
3. Snag The Fred DINNER WINNER Kids' Dinner Tray
4. Make A Recipe Together
Experts and parents of picky eaters alike agree that one of the best ways to get kids more interested in food is to get them in the kitchen to help with preparation. Whip up this Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese from Brown Eyed Baker and, not only will your kiddo have fun, but you won't hear any complaints at dinner.
5. Buy A Silikids Silicone Straw Top
6. Read "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" by Eric Carle
The Very Hungry Caterpillar ($7, Amazon) is a favorite in our household. In addition to being a wonderful way to teach kids about the growth of a butterfly, it also serves as a lovely reminder to kids the importance of paying attention to signals they are full or simply had too much of a particular food. (In the case of the caterpillar, it's one piece of chocolate cake, one ice cream cone, one pickle, one slice of Swiss cheese, one slice of salami ... and so forth.) It also encourages them to eat their greens. "The caterpillar ate through one nice green leaf, and after that he felt much better."