As promised in my last post, here’s the rest of the tips to encourage your kids to try new dishes:
- Let the kids eat from your plate – The best endorser is still mom and dad. If they see you’re enjoying yourself, chances are they’ll be encouraged to try it out too. Since kids don’t eat as much as adults, see if the restaurant is open to shared dishes. This way, there won’t be any wastage the kids don’t like the dish they have. And if your little tyke gets an appetite, you can always order more.
- Do the 3 bites rule – My daughter and I have a deal. She has to take at least 3 bites from the new food. This is because it usually takes more than 2 bites for a person to get acquainted with a new taste. If, after 3 bites, she finds that she really doesn’t like it, then we don’t force her. But usually, she finds out that she likes the new taste once she gets past the newness of the dish.
- Let your kids choose – another way to encourage my daughter is giving her the “power” to choose what she wants. We go over the menu with her, and explain what the ingredients are and how it tastes like. Of course, you’ll need to have a particularly patient waiter to help you with the menu, so be sure to tip them well!
- Bring safety food – Sure, you’d like your kids to try the whole experience with you. But sometimes, it may not be possible, like if all the dishes on the menu are too spicy or too exotic. So to play safe, and to minimize frustration and melt-downs, bring or pack food your kids will eat. This way, they won’t feel threatened or pressured about trying out a new restaurant. They know they’ll have something to fall back on. But they can still try mommy’s food, who knows, they might end up liking it better!
- Give in once in a while – Remember, the point is for the whole family to have fun, and to remember the vacation as an enjoyable trip. Let the kids have their fastfood once in a while. You’d probably even end up pleasantly surprised, since most international food chains (like the one with the Golden Arches), try to include bestselling local dishes to their menus as well. And the kids will probably be more amenable to trying it out if the food is from some restaurant they’re familiar with.
Whatever your own little tricks may be, always remember the primary concern should always be your family’s safety. Be sure to eat only safe food and drink safe water. And try to make the whole experience as something your whole family will enjoy reminiscing over. Till next time!