How can I get my stepson to try new foods?

We have a split home, & have little man over the weekends. Our five-year-old is VERY picky at what he eats. I think it’s because his mom makes him what he will eat, but I’m not sure. Anytime we ask him to try something new, it’s like he is literally scared and almost starts crying. After a while of conversing with him, he MIGHT try one bite & end up liking it. He doesn’t like any sauce besides “pizza sauce” he eats noodles, rice, soup (without the chicken), pizza & smaller snacks on the side. He loves his carbs. But absolutely has a fit if we even ask him to try something new. It’s harder for us because we can’t keep it consistent since he’s with his mother most of the time.


Dad needs to step up and talk to mom!! Try being adults and working together instead of separate!!


Do you want someone shoving food in your face you don’t want? Ive never had clams, but I know I sure as hell don’t want to try that slimy mess. Just because its a kid doesn’t make them any different. As they grow up their tastebuds will expand. Just put his stuff in the freezer and move on.


Buy the foods he likes for when he’s there. But make a game out of trying new foods. Ask him to try just 1 new thing every weekend he’s with you. Buy a few “prizes” from Dollar Tree for when he tries it. Give him the prize even if he doesn’t like it. Just make trying new foods fun.

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Yoko is a wonderful children’s book about giving new foods a chance. Maybe read this together and who knows but i also know there are some kid shows that go over this as well like Daniel Tiger. Also get him involved in cooking the meal its exciting to taste your own work.


Sounds like he might be on the autism spectrum. My niece is on the spectrum and still eats like this at 18 years old. Its a texture thing with them.

Absolutely make a game out of trying new foods. I had to work through some picky years with my own boys. My boys were raised in a family that hunts game for food so things had to revolve around that. When I wanted them to try salmon, we called it bear food. All red meat was deer or moose meat even if it was beef. It can be adjusted to what ever your step son is into. My nephew who was not interested in trying salmon was all excited to try “brain food” and loved it. He thinks he only likes hot dogs as meat but I got him to eat sausage and kielbasa by calling them fat hot dogs. Pork chops are giant chicken nuggets. He will eat anything I give him as long as it’s framed as something he’s familiar with already. Once they show that they really like it, you can tell them what it is and they learn to not be afraid of trying new things. Also don’t be scared to use his favorite condiment on anything he is trying. We went through ketchup like crazy for a short time just to get them through the phase. I do recommend you still try to make the food approachable and simple to get him started. A protein, a veggie or fruit and a small carb plate is a much easier sell than a salad, a gourmet or casserole meal for most children.

My son was this way most of his life. Wouldn’t even sit next to someone eating “real” food and would get very uncomfortable just smelling our food at times. I seriously thought at one point he might turn into french fries and nuggets he ate them so much but I figured I would rather him eat anything than nothing at all. He is now a healthy 14 year old who comes in the kitchen every time Im cooking and tries EVERYTHING and has started eating a lot healthier in general. I wouldn’t stress it to much unless it starts affecting his health. Getting him in the kitchen cooking/helping and becoming familiar with different foods may make him more comfortable with trying new things. Good luck!

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Feed him what he’ll eat. The last thing you want to do is create an eating disorder or worse(it can happen, don’t @ me, please) or make the child not enjoy spending the time with you. Maybe there are underlying sensory issues that you haven’t recognized yet. If he’ll eat chicken nuggets and wants them every meal, feed him chicken nuggets. It’s not best case scenario, but, if your time is limited, do you really want to spend it struggling about food?


As a stepmom I have this situation as well. Personally I used to worry about this, but after a few years of getting to know him I’ve realized there’s nothing wrong with him not eating all my meals. I’ve gathered an idea of what his taste is like. His likes have also changed over the years as he got older. I met him at 7yrs old and now he’s 10. I like to plan my meals ahead of time when I know he’s coming to visit. I stock up on what he likes and I add a few new things that he eventually tries. Sometimes he likes them and sometimes he doesn’t. Sometimes you have to pick your battles. As an adult there are some foods I won’t eat as well. That’s why I prefer give him a choice and prepare ahead of time. Good luck and I hope you find what works best for you and your family.

My son was just like this. He is 14 now and can still be picky but we work with it. As he gets older he does try things I didn’t make it an issue. But there were some days that if he complained about dinner and wouldn’t eat anything then he don’t eat…ofcourse this was after me catering to him all week long If he didn’t like certain sauces or cheese on food then I would make his plate before adding the ingredients he doesn’t like.

Okay, my oldest son (now 22 ) was a picky eater. As was my two step sons and my youngest son who is now 8. You make up white lies. If you eat broccoli then you will grow tall as trees, eat chicken and you will be able to crow, eat carrots you will be able to see through walls. You eat a bite then act all crazy like you can see through walls, make crowing noises. When they try their bites and it don’t work you just tell them to keep eating it. That you had to eat it for a long time before you got powers.

We had a “One bite” rule. If you ate one bite, and didn’t like it, you didn’t have to eat anymore of it. Pick your battles.

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Wow. I read the comments and pretty much that’s exactly what’s wrong with him. He’s throwing fits for junk. He will eat nutritious food when he’s hungry. If both parents are “picking their battles” and sending him back and forth with the attitude the other parent can handle it… who’s parenting and teaching the child? How to eat


The more you cater to him the harder it gets! Trust me on this my oldest is super picky. When he’s with his dad and grandma they make different meals for him. I absolutely refuse to do this and have since he’s been able to make toast with supervision. So around 5. It’s not about picking your battles. It’s about teaching them to eat properly and heathy. My oldest is almost 11, if he doesn’t like what’s made for him then he has to make his own dinner. I was never catered to as a child and I won’t cater to mine. But I agree dad needs to talk to his ex.

I have a very picky eater. Like extremely picky. He won’t even touch ketchup or mashed potatoes (all three of my kids won’t touch them but my oldest is the pickiest…what kid doesn’t like them!?) Anyway. I don’t force him to eat anything he doesn’t like but if I know he might like it I will have him try it. He now eats chicken and pork outside of being breaded. (Won’t touch beef though) he may grow out of how picky he is but until then having him just try it may help broaden what he will eat.

Honestly this is a very common situation with children. I applaud you for trying. Some things to think about are texture, temp or literally just taste. The dad needs to be the one working with him while you stand on the side and cheer him on. I understand being a step parent is hard but he should take the initiative to talk with the child so he can feel comfortable. There are tons of kid friendly recipes that are simple enough for children to enjoy whilst having nutrients. Please look into that and have the dad speak with the mom. Because she may be going through the same thing and maybe wants to do better too. For all you know she may be feeling exactly like you are right now and all it takes is for the dad to use his voice and speak up. I wouldn’t force the child to eat new foods all the time. Maybe every so often introduce something simple. But if you keep pushing it on him he will develop a bad relationship with food. Goodluck!


Feed him what he loves.


Pick your battles. The child may be food texture intolerant. Or a super taster.?
The only thing that child has any control over is what he eats.
Just give him what he enjoys and tell him that the other food is for grown ups., he will be less stressed and in time will try new things. By demanding he try new things ,he is being stressed out to the max.
He is in an environment not of his making.
Patience is so important… don’t force the boy to do what you think he should. He won’t starve.
As I said pick your battles.

Honestly… daniel tiger. Lol. Episode about trying new things… my son used to turn his nose up to new things. But after watching that with him he now will try a bite of anything. And I tell him if he doesn’t like it its ok to spit it out and ill get hime something different. Anything I put infront of him he will try. And he will be happy he likes a new food or shrug his shoulders n say well I tried mom. And I tell him yup its all I ask buddy.