There is a catch-22 at the American family table. Everyone is afraid to make the first move beyond the ubiquitous ‘kids food’ – parents fear kids won’t eat anything else and kids don’t know enough about other options to ask for them. Few parents understand that kids will eat almost anything when introduced to them in a fun, no pressure environment that let’s them explore what tastes good!
It's all in the approach.
With over 125 programs operating across the U.S., FamilyCook repeatedly sees that kids, even those who are very picky eaters, love to be transported to exotic locales across the globe, one bite at a time. Through Kids Food Reboot, weare engaging chefs, health and nutrition experts, parents and kids to demonstrate that there is a world of delicious food that children will be excited to explore, especially when they dine out with their families!
1. Think variety: Once a week serve or order something new for the whole family.
2. Aim for color:Try for three colors of fruits and vegetables at each meal.
3. Diversify: Offer a new and different grain, fish, fruit, vegetable, and cheese for meals and snack times. Teach your family to expect the unexpected.
4. Make it fun and interactive: When you have time, involve kids in the cooking practice. When you don't, let them shake the vinaigrette, sprinkle on seeds or raisins, dip into a sauce. At restaurants, request dressings and garnishes on the side so your kids decide what they want to add.
5. Sell it! Create a whimsical touch like a food marketer would – a little face out of raisins or blueberries for instance – to encourage kids to create their own fun food.
6. Explore the world: View cookbooks or web pages with festive international recipes and choose some to make at home. Try a new ethnic restaurant. Kids are fascinated to learn how children, just like them, eat in other cultures.
7. Democratize! Go round-robin each day with a different family member choosing the next meal. Start with the kids’ selections first.
8. Trust the process and don’t give up!* Don’t force, just encourage. Assure your kids that while they may not like everything at first, their palates will naturally evolve and mature.
*Need more inspiration? Check out our Resources page.
Use #KidsFoodReboot to share your stories, recipes, and ideas!
Click here to meet the families that are taking action and rebooting kids food.
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