Big Encouragement for Kids to Try New Things (#mykidtriedthis CHALLENGE!) (HPC: E34)

Last week in Dr. Biljana Uzelac’s interview, she said one of the most effective strategies to get kids to be open to try new foods is to enlist an outside challenge. I’ll be that challenger for you!

In today’s video I’m going to discuss some strategies for parents to introduce new foods smoothly, go over various personality types and how we might motivate them to be more courageous with their palate, and then talk RIGHT to the kids, challenging them to try something new this week (with some practical strategies) and post a picture of their new food or themselves with it on this thread (with parent permission of course). We’ll all cheer these kids on and celebrate their successes! The challenge is at the 19 minute mark of the video! Please note: We are taking entries for the challenge prize from April 16-April 26, 2019, but you can still do the challenge with your family at any time!

#mykidtriedthis Video Time Stamps

  • 0:14: Last week, I interviewed Dr. Biljana Uzelac. She told me that it’s often helpful to have someone other than the parent encourage a child to try new foods. I’m here to be that person for you!

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  • 1:05: First, we’re going to talk about three thoughts about food and habits. Then we’ll talk about three practical strategies to encourage adventurous eating. Next, we’ll go through seven eating personalities and tips for each one. Lastly, I’ll share a challenge for your kids!
  • 2:09: Our three thoughts are: habits are king, the magic of the exposure bucket, and why we should all chill because picky eaters can be a blessing.

Three Thoughts about Food and Habits

  • 2:39: Habits are king. I learned this from Dr. Dina Rose in her interview about food habits.
  • 2:50: Listen in for a reader story about establishing a good eating habit for her family. Some other examples of habits we can fall into are eating something sweet after a meal, having a slice of bread with dinner, or always have a healthy dip with our raw vegetables.

Kids don’t necessarily need to know about health and nutrition: they just need to build healthy habits. -Katie Kimball

  • 4:30: In my interview with Heidi Schauster, she talked about how restricting a food can lead to binge eating. This also comes back to habits. We need to learn how to have balance so that when we eat something that’s not as healthy for us, we know when to stop.
  • 5:47: All of our kids can experience the magic of their exposure bucket. When we begin feeding toddlers we’re told to give a new food at least 10 tries even if they seem to not like it. Some kids might need longer. This can be overwhelming to parents!
  • 6:34: We all have exposure buckets for each food. Every exposure helps fill the bucket. This includes seeing, touching, and helping cook the food, not just eating it.

It's key to get your selective eaters involved in the kitchen. -Katie Kimball

  • 7:17: Dr. Nicole Beurkens taught me about his idea of exposure buckets. Every exposure counts!
  • 7:38: It’s ok to chill out parents! Picky eating can be a blessing someday. If you kids are super tasters and they just taste things more vibrantly than average, they may be the food critics and sommeliers of the future.
  • 9:00: With selective eaters: focus on their strengths, build healthy habits and expose them to a wide variety of foods.

Practical Strategies

  • 9:37: Offer consistent and varied choices. Whether they eat it or not, one bite of each food needs to be on the child’s plate every time it’s served. Consistently offer healthy food with a variety of choices so your kids can make their own selections.

Your job is to present what's available for eating and they decide if they eat it and how much. -Katie Kimball

  • 11:00: I always encourage parents to get kids involved in the kitchen. This fills their exposure bucket more quickly and it gives the kids a sense of investment in what you’ve cooked.
  • 11:45: Teach Mindfulness. We want to talk about how foods feel, taste and make us feel. This will help kids become more invested in nutrition without us having to lecture the.

Seven Eating Personalities

  • 12:52: If your child is very competitive, make it a competition! See if you can try a new food every day for 5 days. Who can be the first to find a new food at the grocery store to try this week? There are lots of ways to make adventurous eating a competition.
  • 13:23: Some kids have a huge servant’s heart. They love to play the hostess. Let them take some agency in a meal and serve a new food. They are more likely to try it when they’re invested in it.
  • 14:12: Focus on the strengths of reserved and cautious kids. Tone down the expectation that the new food has to go in their mouth right away. Allow them to be cautious about new things and let them smell it, lick it or help prepare it as they fill their exposure buckets.
  • 15:23: Social kids can benefit from including others. Bring a new food to an event, invite some friends over and try cooking something new together. Even just letting them make a phone call to grandma to describe the new food they tried could do the trick.
  • 16:10: Make it a game for kids who just love fun. Blend colors, do cheers with new foods, or build something as you explore a food.
  • 16:38: Analytical kids will like to experiment. Make a chart comparing raw, roasted, sautéed, etc. Let them rate different aspects of cooking or nutrition in the foods you try.

Get Your Kids in the Kitchen with a Free Lesson

  • 17:23: Finally, we have the creative kids. Let them help arrange the presentation of food or set the table nicely. Make the moment special for them. Let them choose herbs or spices to combine.

Figure out your child’s strengths and use them to help your kids broaden their palates and have the habit of being ok with new things. -Katie Kimball

  • 18:12: We want our kids to be ok with new things. New things don’t have to be scary. It’s ok to be hesitant, but we don’t have to be scared.
  • 18:58: Now it’s time for the challenge! Get your kids to listen in to this part!
  • 19:48: I show a few ideas of new foods you may want to try!

Take the #mykidmadethis Challenge!

#mykidtriedthis CHALLENGE!

KIDS, this is for you! I talk right to the kids at the 19 minute mark, so grab a tablet or smart phone and skip to that part for my message and challenge for them!

  1. Pick 1 new food you’ve never tried and explore it over the next 10 days. (April 16-April 26, 2019)
  2. You choose it.
  3. You decide how it’s prepared (or if you would rather, have someone else do it).
  4. You decide who should prepare it…I hope you’re a part of it!
  5. Answer these Qs and snap a pic to share in the comments on Facebook or tagged with #mykidtriedthis on Facebook or Instagram (publicly viewable):
  • What does it feel like (to touch with your fingers)?
  • How did you prepare it to eat?
  • What does it smell like?
  • What does it taste like?
  • What does it chew like? (i.e. how does it feel in your mouth?)

My team and I will randomly choose one winner from this challenge to earn a free pass to one of our Thematic SkillLabs: Healthy Breakfasts, Healthy Snacks, or Instant Pot & Slow Cooker Meals Kids Can Make! YOU choose!

The challenge is on!!

Resources We Mention on Healthy Eating

How to Get Kids to Try New Foods


I interview experts about kids' health every week.


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