Beyond Chicken Nuggets: Unlocking the Secrets to Getting Kids to Try New Foods

Do you have picky eaters in your home? It’s important to establish the importance of trying new things when your kids are young. That’s how you avoid the chicken nugget trap! You know… When the only thing your kids will eat is chicken nuggets. You need to encourage your kids to be adventurous with food! There are so many amazing foods in this world. Trying new cuisines is one of my favorite things to do!

So, anyway, I want to share how I get my kids to try new foods. I hope it helps you and your kids try different foods, too!

What You’ll Hear in This Episode

  • Benefits of trying new foods
  • 4 tips for getting kids to try new foods
  • Homemade pizza recipe

Benefits of Trying Different Foods From Around the World

I strongly believe it’s important to introduce your kids to new foods. I grew up as a first generation Persian American, and my husband has Mexican and German heritage. Our kids have a diverse background, and we want them to be involved and passionate about their culture. Food is deeply connected to the history, traditions, and customs of cultures.

Exploring global cuisines provides an educational experience. It allows individuals to learn about the ingredients, cooking methods, and cultural significance associated with different dishes. Sharing and appreciating each other’s food fosters cultural understanding and helps build connections between people of different backgrounds. It’s a way to educate them about the world and other cultures from the kitchen.

We try to expose our kids to new cultures as often as we can!

How to Get Picky Eaters to Try New Foods

Trying different foods from around the world contributes to cultural awareness, personal growth, and a broader perspective on the world. Here are four tips to get picky eaters to try new foods! 

1. Introduce foods they love but add a new flavor on the side.

Here’s an example: If your child loves pizza, give them a side of new food, like an egg roll to introduce them to Asian cuisine. They already know they like pizza, so they’ll be more willing to try something new that’s on their plate. Don’t make a big deal that it’s something new. Act like it’s completely normal to have new things on your plate to try. If they try it and don’t like it, don’t make a big deal of it! Studies show it takes 10-20 introductions to a food before they start liking it. It’s okay if they don’t like it the first few times!

2. Go to a new restaurant and ask them to pick their meal to establish ownership.

Allowing kids ownership over their food gives them responsibility. You want them to be accountable, and you empower them to make their own choices. I also love sharing bites from each other’s plates at restaurants. So even though they ordered their meal, they can try a bite from your plate, too. 

At some point, you can’t tell them what to eat. You need to introduce them to new things as they grow up. Right now, you have control over their nutrition and adding variety to their pallet. It’s your job to make sure they don’t get sick of the same foods over and over!

3. Cook with your child so they’re part of the cooking and baking experience.

I can’t wait to do this with my boys when they’re a little older. I think cooking together as a family is a great bonding experience and teaches your kids new skills. Studies have shown that kids aren’t as picky when they understand the work that goes into it. So ask them to help in the kitchen! Even if they’re young, there are ways to get them involved. 

Here are some ideas!

  • Have them be your taste tester.
  • Have them find ingredients in the kitchen for you. Or have them tell you where the ingredients are.
  • Ask them to measure the ingredients.

4. Never say negative comments about food. 

Your opinion about food can greatly impact how your kids view food. Saying things like, “Ew”, “I don’t think you’ll like it”, or “I don’t like this” will turn them off from trying it. Instead, say, “I think you’ll like this”, “Give it a try”, or “What do you think?” Don’t force it and let them form their own opinions. 

The other thing I want to mention is – How do you expect your kids to not be picky eaters if you are? They copy what you do! Even if you have a specific pallet, give them the space to make their own choices and form their own opinions about food.

Homemade Pizza Recipe

How amazing does this pizza look?! And no, it’s not from a fancy restaurant. I made it, and you can, too! Try the recipe and let me know how it turns out

homemade pizza recipe


  • Store-bought pizza dough (sold in single pizza amounts). I like the Whole Foods and Fresh Thyme brands.
  • 1 jar pizza sauce
  • 1 ball of deli fresh mozzarella cheese chopped into shreds
  • 1 cup of chopped rotisserie chicken
  • 1 wedge parmesan cheese


  • Circular pan
  • Parchment paper
  • Knife
  • Metal spoon
  • Cheese shredder
  • Pizza slicer


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Place parchment paper over the round tray.
  3. Spread 1 lb of pizza dough with your hands to the thickness you like.
  4. Spread 2 tbsp of pizza sauce with a spoon on the dough. Spread until you like the thickness.
  5. Add ⅓ cup of shredded mozzarella cheese on top.
  6. Cut up and spread 1 cup of rotisserie chicken.
  7. Add another ⅓ cup of shredded mozzarella cheese.
  8. Sprinkle ⅓ cup of shredded Parmesan cheese on top of the pizza.
  9. Place pizza in the middle of the oven. Cook for at least 5 minutes. 
  10. Watch the crust for browning and the cheese melting. Eyeball the pizza depending on the strength of your oven and how brown you want the crust to be.
  11. Take the pizza out of the oven and slice it. 
  12. Enjoy!

Get more recipes like this in my meal prep guide!

Introducing new food to your child’s plate and making them try new food is the best thing you can do for them. You’re allowing them to step out of their culinary comfort zones and try something new and unfamiliar. And who knows? It might end up being their new favorite food! 

If you liked this episode, check out…

Episode 10: A Rocket Scientist’s Guide to Eating Healthy at a Restaurant with Ivette Rivera Aponte, NASA Engineer

Episode 12: The Ultimate Guide to Meal Prepping Without the Overwhelm

Recipe: My Go-To Sourdough Bread Recipe

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Laila is a Holistic Nutrition Coach and Math Tutor. She is goal driven and mission oriented and is here to support, encourage, and push you towards the results you want, ready to help people of all ages become mission-fit to explore their full potential. As someone with ADHD and dyslexia, she deeply understands the intricate challenges related to creating a new habit and sticking with it. Her online nutrition programs and online math tutoring cater to those with similar difficulties.

To learn more about Laila, or to inquire about working with her, visit

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