Trying New Foods with Toddlers & Beyond

A few posts back, my pal Stork suggested a post on trading ideas on how to get kids to try new healthy foods. I told her to stay tuned….because today’s the day!

A few weeks ago, I was contacted on behalf of  Sunsweet Growers and was given the opportunity to try a Sunsweet product.

I have to admit, I was skeptical. When I think of prunes, I think of my grandparents kitchen. I can picture the box sitting on top of their refrigerator, and I associate them with my Pop-Pop. Past that, I’ve never thought much about them. I didn’t feed them to my kids as infants, for I’d heard tales of their magical digestive powers and chose to steer clear.

So yesterday, with some hesitation, I opened a 60 calorie pack of cherry-essence prunes. Guess what? They aren’t dry and sticky like I thought they were. They are sweet and juicy. They are actually kind of delicious. I actually kind of have to pace myself to make sure I don’t eat too many!

Today we packed a picnic to take to the park, and MaM immediately noticed the foil package in her lunch bag. I told her they were healthy fruit snacks. She ate one and ran to the playground. She said she didn’t really care for it. Later, when Jr. was interested in his lunch, she showed him the new fruit snacks, and encouraged him to try it. He did, and then she tried it again. This time, they both ate two and were laughing hysterically the entire time. Success!

SunSweet has consulted with dietician Carolyn O’Neil and together they are offering 10 Tips for Tiny Tummies. It’s a good list for starting to introduce new foods to children who may be resistant.There are also resources on digestive health, an issue I know many moms take seriously. In a house where goldfish crackers and string cheese rule, trust me, I’m familiar with those struggles!

In our house, I was surprised about the first thing I had to get across to my children:

1) Be polite about the food on your plate. This means, not using words like “disgusting” in relation to foods I’ve chosen to serve.

After about 18 months of enforcing this rule, MaM is fairly polite most days about foods with which she’s not familiar. I am still working on getting Jr. not to throw food he’s not interested in, he still has a way to go in that department!

2) I’m sure each child is different, but for MaM, I’ve learned not to draw attention to any new foods. I’ve learned to serve just about anything with a dab of ketchup, and probably she’ll dip it and try it. Tonight she tried a samosa (she told me she didn’t care for it, and nicely put it aside on her plate) and she tried tilapia and she ate every bite I had given her. I was kind of amazed, and thought it was good timing, considering this post.

So tell me…what do you do to introduce new foods to your little ones?? Do you have tried and true methods for keeping your kids regular?? Please share!

Disclosure: Thanks to SunSweet for the free product coupon and reusable shopping bag in exchange for this review. The opinions in this review are expressly my own.

One Reply to “Trying New Foods with Toddlers & Beyond”

  1. We have, since baby food stage 1, NEEDED prunes, if you know what I mean. So maybe AP was just always used to the flavor. Prune juice, baby prunes, and I still even buy the baby food to mix into his yogurt so he can “swirl it” for “fun”.

    NOwadays, I buy fat & juicy prunes that I mix in his “trail mix” (nut free small pieces of anything I have on hand as a travel snack – usually cheddar bunnies/goldfish, dry cereal, honey bunny grahams, dried berries/raisins/prunes.) He gets SO excited when the prunes are in instead of the raisins and will hold every one of them up saying, “Mama – Look at this one. It’s HUUUUUUGE!!!)

    Thanks for the tip on not making it a big deal. more importantly, I’m all excited to jump on the idea of being polite about food. Because for the first time the other day, he told me I just made “yucky things to eat”. Apparently, eating healthy is so passe – not for big kids……

    (Dang those parents bringing pop and processed treats for snack at tball and preschool!!!)

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