Some parents think that kids will only eat simple and bland foods, like chicken nuggets and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. But with the right approach, children can learn to enjoy a wide variety of foods that have different flavors, colors and ingredients. There are a few ways to encourage children to try international cuisines that have been proven to work, including:
Start Offering These Foods Early
Children who are offered a wide range of foods at a young age often continue to like those foods as they grow. Young children are not yet aware of the preconceived notions that exist around foods, like green vegetables or foods that incorporate unusual colors or smells. If they are taught to accept the foods at an early age, chances are they will never express reservations around eating them as they get older.
Keep Offering Foods, Even When Kids Say No
Often children will reject a food the first time it is offered to them, but if offered the same food over and over again, they will be more likely to give it a chance. If they are only offered fried foods, they will never get a chance to branch out and try other things. So parents should try offering foods repeatedly as a regular part of the child’s diet, even if the child did not accept a food the week before. They may just say yes one day and catch the parents by surprise.
Make it a Special Occasion for The Family
Going to a new restaurant and trying a new type of food should be fun, and children can be taught to enjoy this experience the same way adults do. School aged children can understand how to behave properly in a restaurant and will start to look forward to the experience, especially if the restaurant you choose incorporates interesting art and music. A visit to a restaurant can break up the weekly routine for kids and help them understand the importance of incorporating a social life into everyday routine.
Try Universal Flavors
Many world cuisines taste different, but they incorporate the same spices and flavors. Some of the most popular Chinese food for kids includes flavors that they may already be familiar with and like in other dishes, such as:
- Sweet and Sour
Indian foods have a reputation for being spicy, but any curry can be ordered to be mild, and includes spices children can already be familiar with, including cinnamon and cardamom. Choosing a dish that incorporates flavors that the kids are already receptive to can help them get familiar with another type of cuisine. Once they are comfortable with these basic flavors, they may be more receptive to trying more unusual ones.
Introducing kids to cuisines from all over the world can help create healthy and diverse eating habits that will last a lifetime and serve the child well in later life.