If you're a parent, you know that kids can be picky eaters. However, you probably get tired of preparing and eating the same old standard dishes for your kids over time. You maybe want to get your kids to experiment more when they eat with ethnic options like what you would find at Chinese restaurants, but you don't know how to get your kids to try something new. The following are six pieces of advice for getting your kids eager to try and enjoy Chinese food:
1. Compare to foods they're already familiar with
When trying to get kids to eat Chinese food, talk up similarities rather than mentioning differences. In the end, Chinese food is made up of a lot of the same ingredients as foods kids are already familiar with. Tell your kids that they're just eating things like chicken, beef, noodles, rice, and vegetables. If you talk about Chinese food like it's the same thing as what they're already used to eating, they won't think twice about giving it a try.
2. Try simple dishes at first
If you're dealing with picky eaters, choose some of the most simple dishes on the menu. Fairly simple Chinese dishes with ingredients kids might already be enthusiastic about include noodles in peanut sauce, beef stir-fry with vegetables, chicken fried rice, and spareribs.
3. Give them the option of using a fork
Don't try to immerse kids in everything Chinese right away. Kids can quickly become frustrated if they have to eat with chopsticks. Therefore, make sure you offer the option of using a fork.
4. Try the buffet
A Chinese buffet is a great option for introducing kids to Chinese food. This way, they can see what they're getting before they commit themselves to order it. Contact or compare local Chinese restaurants to find a buffet that has at least one thing your kids will eat.
5. Make sure they're hungry beforehand
Hungry kids are going to be more eager to eat just about anything than kids who don't have a big appetite at the moment. Wait until your kids are particularly hungry before introducing them to new cuisines like Chinese foods. This won't just increase the chances that they're willing to try the new food, but will also make it more likely that they end up enjoying the experience.
6. Be aware of spiciness levels
Eating hot and spicy foods is generally an acquired taste. You can't expect kids to like spicy Chinese dishes right away, so you need to be aware of the spiciness levels of dishes they're trying. In particular, Szechuan dishes are known for being super spicy. Know what to look out for on a Chinese menu to make sure your kids don't order something super hot and spicy that will quickly put them off of Chinese food.