6 Tips for Helping Kids Try New Foods
1. Try a Family Trip to a Farmer's Market. Get your family inspired by the fresh fruits and vegetables that are in season at your local farmers markets. If you don't have a farmer's market near your home, try to find a CSA and get weekly produce delivered for your meals. Show your kids some other unique veggies such as jicama, leeks, fennel, shitake mushrooms, heirloom tomatoes and fresh herbs.
2. Grow Your Own Garden. Try growing zucchini, eggplant, kale, exotic Thai herbs and cherry tomatoes. You'll be more likely to try them and experiment with them if they're right outside your door or on the windowsill.
3. Set a Family New Food Goal. Get the family together on a Sunday night -- look at your favorite magazine whether it be Food & Wine or Food Network magazine and choose a new dish for each week. Tear out the recipe and pin it to your fridge for a reminder to purchase the ingredients and to create excitement in your family to try new flavors and ingredients.
4. Make an Inspiration Food Board. Take a large cork board and place it on the wall in your office or a side room where you and your family can constantly tack tear-outs of new ideas and inspirational recipes, ingredients and ideas from magazines, blogs and newspapers. Then, on Sunday nights you can gather together all of the new tear-outs and sit around the table with your family to set a schedule for what to make for the week ahead.
5. Start a Supper Club. Create a fun gathering with friends, neighbors or adventurous eaters. Use email invitations sites to help coordinate and plan your foodie event. You can base each get-together on an ingredient, holiday, country or time period. You could have one occasion be a potluck where everyone brings a dish and you have an outdoor picnic or eat your meal on blankets and pillows on the floor. Let the kids participate in the festivities; they can make the decorations or help set the table.
6. Take a Road Tip to an Ethnic Food Store or Market. Kids will love jet-setting in the car for a road trip. Bring along a camera and a notebook and pen for the kids to write down each new food they see. Then, purchase a few new items to bring back home and research recipes to use them in your weekly meals. Kids will enjoy the process from picking out unique ingredients to discovering recipes, cooking the meal and getting to bite into the final creation.
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