Getting your kids to eat new foods can be a challenge whether they’re picky eaters or not.
Kids get used to the foods they’re served. Offer chicken nuggets for dinner night after night and that’s what you can expect them to eat. Switch it up one night and try fish instead and it’s unlikely they’ll even take a bite.
Like adults, kids are creatures of habit and not always the adventurous foodies you want them to be. However, offering a variety of foods and dishing them out frequently is one way to get your kids unstuck and willing to try new foods.
It’s a strategy that has worked for me so successfully in fact, that sometimes I’m shocked by the surprising foods my kids are willing to eat. Here are 7.
1. Brussels Sprouts
Brussels Sprouts can be a hard sell for kids and even many adults but my kids don’t put up a fuss when I serve them. Nutrient dense, these little green leafy vegetables are high in vitamin C and a great source of vitamins A, K and B6 as well as folate, iron and magnesium.
Brussels Sprouts are quite delicious especially when they’re roasted with a bit of olive oil or coconut oil or even with a handful of raisins for some sweetness.
Serve it for dinner or as an appetizer, shrimp is quick, easy and versatile. A 3-ounce serving of shrimp contains a whopping 18 grams of protein and they’re an excellent source of vitamin B12, selenium and omega-3 fatty acids.
Packed with 22 vitamins and minerals, pumpkin is a good source of fiber to keep kids full, lutein, which is important for eye health and vitamins A, C and zinc which are known to boost the immune system.
My kids love pumpkin mini muffins for school snacks and my older daughter even eats pumpkin purée right out of the can.
Call me pretentious but in the summer, my husband and I like to pick up a few lobsters and have dinner together as a family on Sunday. Perhaps because of its light, non-fishy, sweet taste, my kids devour it too.
Lobster is a good source of protein—3 ounces has 16 grams—as well as zinc, copper and selenium, all of which are beneficial for the cells in the body and help to remove free radicals[i] which, over time, can cause harmful effects.
The bitter taste of arugula turns me off but my husband’s a big fan so when he makes it for dinner, my kids surprisingly eat it as well. Arugula is an excellent source of fiber, vitamins A, C and K, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium.
Instead of serving an entire bowl of arugula, try to add a few leaves to soup or pizza and see if your kids will try it.
I started eating sardines a few years ago and to my shock, my kids started eating them as well. Sardines are an excellent source of calcium as well as protein, vitamin D, B12 and phosphorus and selenium.
Fresh or canned, you can grill or sauté sardines, add a small amount of mayonnaise as you would tuna fish or add sardines to any pasta dish.
You might only serve cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day, but cabbage is a great vegetable to eat in the spring and fall when it’s in season. Cabbage is a good source of fiber, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, vitamins C, K, B6 and folate.
The great thing about cabbage is that a little goes a long way: one head of cabbage could last you days. Simply chop cabbage and sauté it with a bit of olive oil or coconut oil for a delicious and filling side.