Tips For Getting Kids To Try New Foods On Vacation

Posted on: 6 October 2016

When you set out for a vacation with your family, what may be truly dancing through your mind are all the delectable foods you can try once you get to your destination. Whether you're dreaming of authentic tacos in Mexico, delicious chocolate in Belgium, or sweet treats in a different place entirely, family fun destinations are made all that much more special with specialty foods. If your little ones may hesitate to be as adventurous as you are when it comes to trying new foods, try these tips to open their minds and their taste buds.

Show Your Child How Yummy the Food Is

Be the first to dive in and try a new food. Show your child how yummy you think it is by showing delight on your face and then discussing exactly what was so great about the specialty foods. Encourage adults and older kids at the table to join in doing this well. Just be sure to let them know that they shouldn't show obvious disgust if they don't like a dish. Because taste buds differ, kids should get the chance to encourage new foods on their own as long as there aren't any extreme reasons why a kid wouldn't like it such as too much spice.

Reward an Adventurous Taster

Offer positive reinforcement when your child tries a new food. This should start by heaping generous praise on the child for daring to try new foods. Talk about why that's such a good thing and how that can help the child in other ways, too. Brag on the child to another parent or relative who was not there during the tasting. You may offer other kind of rewards, too, such as letting the child decide what to do next or allowing them to pick where you go for the next meal.

Ask Positive, Open-Ended Questions

One way to help picky eaters open up their minds to trying new foods is to figure out where they're coming from when they clam up. Understanding their fears can allow you to help them work through them. Some examples of open-ended questions you may ask include:

  • It looks like you don't want to taste this yummy custard. What are you afraid it may taste like?
  • What happened the last time you ate something that you didn't like?
  • If you don't like this, you don't have to eat any more than one bite. How do you feel about that?
  • What advice would give to a child who was scared of trying your favorite food?

Finally, keep in mind that these methods work on many children, but try to customize them to the exact needs of your child. When you stay positive and focus on enjoying each experience of your vacation at your family fun destination, your children will have a better time, too. That's a win-win situation for all and sets you up for a great getaway.