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Developing Your Child’s Palate

by Sarah Crawford, TCS mom and Health Coach

The Christ School community eagerly awaits the start of our lunch program in August 2022. Our chef will help students develop their palates by encouraging them to sample a variety of foods. If they like what they tried, they can go back for more! Do you have a picky eater? Here are some great tips from Sarah Crawford, TCS mom and Health Coach, to help turn your selective eater into an adventurous one!

Getting your children to try new things can feel like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be! Healthy eating comes with time. Patience and consistency are key. Make it simple, make it fun, and don’t overthink it! Here are 15 tips that I recommend to create a healthy mindset around food and healthy eating that the whole family can enjoy.

  1. Don’t give your children the option to have a vegetable. Pick two types of vegetables and ask which one they’d rather have with dinner. 
  2. Start with small servings – especially when you’re trying new things. It makes it exciting when they end up liking them and ask for more.
  3. Add a dash of good quality salt and butter to your vegetables. It makes them taste better!
  4. Sneak in extra veggies by adding them to pasta sauce or meatloaf. Red peppers, onions, fresh herbs, mushrooms, etc.
  5. Make “smoothie” popsicles. Make healthy smoothies and pour the mixture into popsicle molds. Freeze them and watch them enjoy! 
  6. Include your children in the kitchen. Have them pass you ingredients, have them try things as you are preparing them. You’ll be surprised what they end up enjoying!
  7. What you eat says a lot about what your children eat! Children will be more inclined to eat what you’re eating – so choose wisely! 
  8. Have fun with trying new foods! Make a game out of it. Blindfold each other and try a few new options and have them guess and decide if they like it.
  9. Don’t be hard on them or yourself if they don’t like something. Taste buds are always changing and as they get older, they will become more adventurous with trying new foods.
  10. When you go out to eat, choose places that are not predictable. Go somewhere that they need to be more adventurous in choosing what they want to eat. Find new things that they like and try to make it at home together!
  11. Create food art! Make happy faces with their meal, create a scene, the ideas are endless.
  12. Teach children about the benefits of eating certain foods. Remind them that fruits and vegetables make them strong and keep them healthy.
  13. Compare foods to their body. Tomatoes are good for the heart and look like a heart. Carrots are good for the eyes and look like an eye. Beans are good for the kidneys and look like a kidney! Make it fun and interesting!
  14. Remember that food is meant to nourish our bodies, not reward them. It’s important to know the difference between the two. Children learning this at a young age sets the tone for their future with food choices.
  15. Make their favorite meals at home together with healthier ingredients. Homemade chicken nuggets are simple and delicious!