5 Tips for when kids start to eat solids
Eat together with no TV or computer screens on anywhere. Make a meal in front of the TV a rare and naughty treat rather than the norm. Let mess be mess, don’t keep wiping their mouths or the table while they eat. The main thing is that kids eat, interact and enjoy doing so. Table manners can come later.
Different foods, different textures
From weaning time onward, try to introduce kids to as many different textures as possible, individually and in combination. Get them used to the idea that different foods feel different in their mouths. This will help as time goes on because I’ve found that it’s more often the texture of new food that they don’t like, not the taste. Fruit is a good place to start, apples, grapes, kiwi fruit and banana all have very different textures.
What you say becomes what kids think
Don’t say you don’t like certain foods around kids. Jake is a fantastic eater and will try anything. But he has also echoed our dislikes, sometimes weeks after we’ve mentioned them. I’m constantly amazed by kids’ capacity to pick things up and it seems that bad habits take much less work for them to remember than good. I try to use this to my advantage with junk food, but I haven’t had much luck.
Introduce new ingredients
Introduce new ingredients to kids alongside ingredients that they know. Link the tastes and textures. Eat some of it together and don’t refuse if they offer you something from their plates. Take a little nibble and ask them to finish the rest. Keep trying and don’t be disheartened if they don’t like something new. Depending on the theory, kids have to try a new flavour 17-26 times for their taste buds to get used it. Next time try it chopped or cooked a different way.