5 Ways to Get Toddlers to Try New Foods

1. Cook with them-
Kids are more likely to try food they've had a hand in making. Smelling and touching are precursors to tasting, so encourage them to help! Cooking together doesn't have to be complicated, simple tasks like mixing, rinsing or pouring can get little ones involved and excited about new ingredients.

2. Farmers markets-
All the bright displays of produce (and free samples) will evoke your toddler's natural sense of curiosity. Encourage touching and smelling!

3. Let them pick something new at the grocery store in the produce section-
Involving your toddler in ingredient choices gives them a sense of control. Kids love to make choices and buy things.

4. Expose them to one new food every week-
Regular exposure to new foods will get your toddler's palate accustomed to new flavors and textures. Don't worry if they aren't wolfing it down - the point here is for them to get used to unfamiliar ingredients on the table. A small taste is enough.

5. Grow your own veggies/fruit or pick your own at a local farm-
Let your toddler explore and marvel at how beautiful and amazing mother nature can be. Picking fruit and veggies usually leads to tasting, they can't help themselves! Kids are naturally curious.

Jicama, Fruit Salad, and Trying New Foods

We recently embarked on a mission to find the mysterious and unique root vegetable known as jicama. Our adventure led to many insights including, how to get a kid excited about trying a new vegetable, the wonders of all that is jicama, and a killer fruit salad that you will be making all summer- we promise! First let's start with getting your kids enthusiastic about trying new foods. For some of us this feels daunting! There are many ways to encourage your kids to be more adventurous but today we'll just mention one. Books! We've talked about it before, books are such an fun way to get kids excited. In fact this jicama adventure we recently went on was inspired purely by this book.

In My Foodie ABC, Little Gourmet's Guide by Puck illustrations by Violet Lemay, there is a fun new food or foodie term for each letter along with a description and adorable pictures. 'J' is for jicama, by the way. Our little kitchen helper (2 1/2 years old) was waiting to find a jicama for weeks and weeks. When we found some at our local farm, he was so excited!

Jicama in its natural state.

Curiosity sets in for this tiny tot.

Best way to 'peel' is with a knife as the skin is too tough for a peeler.

Salad ready to go! 'Jenga' anyone?
Jicama is a unique root vegetable that's eaten raw, so we created a delicious salad around it. But let's face it, jicama is hard to find. So we recommend making this salad without the jicama if you can't find it. Trust us, it'll be something you keep making again and again. Simple real ingredients to keep your family healthy.

Jicama, skin cut off, julienned (optional)
Granny smith apples, julienned
Watermelon, julienned
Manchego cheese (or sharp white cheddar or feta), julienned
2 tablespoons lemon or lime juice (to taste)

Cut and prepare equal parts of all ingredients in the same shape, mix with lemon or lime juice and enjoy!