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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

How to get kids to try new foods and drinks

Remember, I mentioned that I was going to get my kids to try out the Friso Gold Milk? Well, I realised that I had an uphill battle because my kids, like most kids, are rather picky about their foods and drinks.

When they were younger, it was easy to let them try out new foods. I just added the food in without telling them. Now that the kids are older and their tastes more discerning (or rather even more picky), I am no longer able to sneak in food and drinks to them without their knowledge. Pttuui! It would come right out again. Now that they are older, I have to use a different strategy.

Here's what I did to get them to try the Friso Gold Milk. First, I made an important announcement that "today we are going to try a new milk." (that perked their interest and they gathered around the milk can eagerly. Kids love to be involved.)

I tore off the milk can topper (it had a nice easy to use snap on cover, no need for me to grab a spoon to pry.) I showed them the scoop which was stuck at the back of the cover. (They were amused and delighted in looking at this new scoop. Its slightly triangular in shape instead of round like theirs. They were interested in it as a potential toy. I liked it because it is hygenic not having to stick my fingers into the milk.)

Then I read the instructions to them. This one requires 7 scoops and not 4 like yours. (A lesson in counting. Allowing them to read the instructions or reading it to them makes them feel important which creates more interest in them to try). "Would you like to try it?" I asked them. They nodded eagerly. I showed them how to scoop a big scoop and make it flat using the level bar. (A very nice feature). Next it was their turn... "1, 2, 3,.......7!" They counted. (spilling milk powder everywhere. Hmm.... nevermind, mummy will cleanup later.)

Next, came the big test. After shaking up the bottle, I passed one to each of them to ask them to try. Now, I don't know why but kids seldom ever like new foods or drinks the first time they try it. They're always apprehensive and when there are two of them, its worse because they tend to influence one another. If one of them says its yucky, thats it, the other will agree that its yucky.

"How is it?" I asked them. "Its not nice, mummy." they said after the first sip. They were having a chocolate wafer at the same time as a treat that day so I told them "Nevermind, just eat your chocolate wafer and drink, then eat and drink again." They looked reluctant but I left them to it to do some work in the kitchen. When I returned, the chocolate wafer was gone and the bottles empty. Lol!

So thats how I get my kids to accept new foods and drinks. I....

· involve the kids

· make it seem like an important and exciting occasion

· don't plead or cajole

· don't slip it in without their knowledge (now that they are older)

· let them try it on their own without pressure (otherwise there will be a standoff and they will say it tastes awful even if they like it!)

· ask their opinion and respect their likes and dislikes

How do you get your kids to accept new foods and drinks especially milk? I don't know why but milk is very important to the kids and to me as well. From their perspective, they will either love it extremely or hate it. On the other hand, from my point of view, its very important to me that they like their milk. I hate mealtime battles but I hate milk battles even more! I used to get soooo stressed up when they won't take their milk. Now, I've learned to relax a bit and I think that has helped me and them tremendously.


  1. I just wrote the same here: http://www.thesuzette.com/2008/06/can-i-switch-formula-brands/

    Ya, they influence each other, and it is important for the elder one to accept, and the younger one will just follow!

    Also, Ian NEVER accepted other milk when he was younger (when I swapped without him knowing). But this time, he saw the pack, he got excited about it, and he WANTED to drink it... There he accepted it!

    So easy this time for me!

  2. suzette,
    Haha yes, the older one is usually the influencer.

  3. I wish to change milk powder brand too..Enfa milk keep increasing price..*sigh*!

    but my girls seem refuse to accept other brands..*2xsigh*

    but for other new food, they willing to give it a try, weird hor!

  4. my elder girl will try one bite or sip first then she decide if she wanted it. Is harder to persuade my second girl to try new food.

  5. So clever lah you mommy. Me, I use reverse psychology. I tell them that it's horrible and insist that they don't eat it. Hahahah. The more I try to convince them to eat, the more they don't want. So, tell them the reverse lah. Hahahah. Work or not? Sometimes.

  6. jess,
    Maybe you can try my "tactic" ;)

    contented mum,
    Mine is the opposite. The little one is always eager to try out new foods.

    Reverse psychology also very clever. Haha.

  7. I loved ur way of introducing new food... well with an 8 month old,u can ask me how difficult it is to introduce new foods... it takes many days for him to accept it but finally he does(thanks god) .I ll definitely keep in mind these tricks.

  8. jaanvi,
    Oh yes, I remember those times when they've just started solids and beyond. Its so hard to introduce new foods, afraid that they'd reject it, afraid they'd be allergic to the food etc. But they've grown all too soon. The little ones, they grow so quickly.

  9. Hi mumsgather, thanks for sharing. I think I am quite lucky coz I managed to change my girl's milk to friso like what you did(she is only 6 months old now). She has no problem with it at all :)

  10. Hi Wendy,
    At 6 months, you don't have to "employ" these methods. ;)


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