Do you have a picky eater?

Do you have a picky eater?  Is your little daredevil at the park suddenly turn into a shy violet around new foods?  I've known some children that won't eat food of a certain color or texture, or ones that will ONLY eat hot dogs.  And those hot dogs better be sliced the right way.  There's even a few Instagram accounts dedicated to photos of food the kids refuse to eat. 

Luckily, the child I currently care for loves his veggies (broccoli is one of his favorite foods), but he's still a bit wary about trying new items.  His parents really wanted to expand his protein choices past chicken nuggets, though.  But any time they or I tried to introduce him to new foods, he turned his nose up at the idea.

Some might like the idea of hiding healthy foods inside not-so-healthy options.  I'm not a big fan of this, since the child doesn't get to know they're trying new things.  If you like doing this, more power to you!  It's a good way of sneaking in some very important vitamins.

Anyway, how do you get a kid to try new things?  Well, we played "New Food Bingo!" 

My little guy's finished Bingo card.  The results were surprising!
We went out for Mediterranean food, something very different for him.  Before this, he ate hummus pretty regularly, and I made sure there were some items he would recognize, like rice and French fries.  I made Bingo cards for everyone who would be eating with us and explained the rules.  For each item you try a big bite of, you get to color in a square.  Green means you really like it, yellow means it's OK, and red means yuck!  You only have to try things once, and then you can eat what you want.  Turns out, the kiddo LOVED baba ghanoush!  He said the salmon (the item his parents really him to try) was fine, and he'd be willing to have it again. 

Really, this helps with so many things.  Your child doesn't clean up after herself?  Make it a game!  See if they can beat their own previous records!