Harry enjoys peeling his carrots for lunch.

Kids don’t always want to eat. No matter how much thought or effort we put into meals, some days they can be picky or unwilling to try new things.

In the early days we had success in getting our kids to eat and try new foods with “deconstructed” versions of our AF+K recipes.

When making Smoked Salmon Chowder Joy would portion out pieces of salmon and cooked potatoes to be eaten separately. Now, Ana loves the the chowder. It was easier to convince her to try it by reminding her she liked the individual ingredients.

Since our recipes all start with whole foods, it’s an easy task to portion out small bites while making your meals. By doing this, everyone in the family is eating the same food which experts say is essential in normalizing variety in your child’s diet.

ACME Farms + Kitchen Smoked Salmon Cobb Salad   

AF+K Smoked Salmon Cobb Salad and deconstruction version.

Research shows that sometimes kids need to try a new food 7-15 times before they acquire a taste for it. By encouraging kids to try at least one bite, you’re that much closer to their acceptance of something new. When meals are broken down into individual ingredients it's easier to try one bite and to experience the specific flavors and textures of different foods.

Another way to encourage eating is to replicate meals they like with items that are similar but integrate new-to-them ingredients. Do they love grilled cheese? Try a cheese quesadilla, (you can sneak some kale in there too) it’s similar, yet adds variety to what they're eating. Do they like hamburgers with a favorite condiment? How about a Black Bean Burger with the same condiment? 

Experts also suggest that it can help if parents show enthusiasm for the food they’d like their kids to eat. We have customers tell us that receiving their Locavore Box every week feels just like Christmas, so exciting to open and unload their box. Share that enthusiasm with your kids. Let them help you unload the box. Get them excited well in advance of eating.

Try pointing out fun or interesting things about your meal - the color of the pretty purple cabbage or that a particular item came from a place you visited like a local farm or the Farmers Market, that beans come from leafy green plants, etc.

Overall, it’s been found that children learn their healthy eating habits from their parents and most specifically from seeing them eat good food and sharing it with them. So, if you’re having a tough time in your family or you’d just like your kids to eat new foods try “deconstructing” your next AF+K meal.



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