“I don’t like it!” is a phrase too commonly used by a toddler and pushing away before they have even tried it is a favourite action to match! But how can we stop this immediate reaction? From a young age, we should help our children take risks and try new foods. A range of nutrients for a healthy body, an understanding of likes and dislikes and a “can do attitude” are some of the things your child will develop if they try new things. Here at Acorns Day Nursery, we’ve put together an investigation with some tactics to try new foods for 1-2 year olds. Check it out!
Crazy for Crackers!
Our investigation “Crazy for Crackers” was to introduce new flavours and textures on familiar territories by our baby room. We’ve added some tactics to try new foods that you can do at home!
- Start the Investigation with familiarity.
A hungry child is a child less likely to try new things! Start your snack time with something they like or are familiar with to conquer their hunger before you challenge them.
In our Investigation, Sam B gave the children a plain cracker to build their confidence, fill their bellies and encourage them to want to take part.
- Next comes butter.
If you want to introduce new textures, first try with something simple. Butter is a soft, plain taste and can be comforting for children whilst introducing them to similar textures of new spreads.
Sam B gave the children a variety of buttered crackers to introduce the texture. The children tried water biscuits, cream crackers, rosemary crackers and crackerbread.
- Slow and small!
Once they have built their confidence, and satisfied their hunger!, introduce new things in small doses.
Sam B broke up the familiar crackers and placed pate and cream cheese on top. Although the Snug were curious, they were all willing to have a try!
Tips to Remember
- Adding new foods with foods they are already familiar with encourages a willing and confident attitude.
- Starting in small doses will not scare children into rejecting new foods.
- Choices encourage preferences: rather than forcing one new thing straight away, give them different options and they will communicate what they like and dislike.
- Encouragement shouldn’t be forceful: never force them to eat it but give them the option to try. For example, place the food in front of the child and let them make the decision.
- Baby steps: continuously try the new foods but don’t throw them into the deep end!
- Be a good role model: always eat the same food they do.
Other things you should do when working on tactics to try new foods is to encourage table manners. We have put together some table manners tips here.
Table Manners in the Snug – Acorns Day Nursery (splnurseries.co.uk)