Trying new foods often begins at the grocery store

Andrea’s daughters are more open to trying foods they get to choose at the grocery store:

I’m sure the majority of parents out there have trouble getting their kids to try new foods. I’ve discovered that "trying" often begins at the grocery store.

My daughters are 5 and 7. The younger eats a wide variety of foods. The older is pickier, but is more apt to try something new.

For the past few months, whenever we go to the grocery store (mind, this is a market-type store that specializes in produce) I have been telling them they can pick ANYTHING they want. But I retain final veto.

At first they made the obvious choices: strawberries and melons. I was cool with that. Last week the youngest wanted a bunch of carrots (!). Their choices have always been good ones, and at home we make a big production out of eating their fruit or vegetable. But lately they’ve surprised me by choosing foods they’ve never had. Their delight is wonderful to behold. Last week my older daughter chose a Pomelo. I’ve never eaten one. And I was a little hesitant.

Should I spend the $2.50 on something I’m not sure about? I was about to say no, but caught myself and agreed. Why not?

We brought it to grandma and grandpa’s house for all of us to try. There were six of us and no one had ever tried a Pomelo before. After some Googling we discovered that it was a kin of the grapefruit, not as juicy but not as sour either. We all tried it and, well, to be honest the reviews were mixed. (But I would definitely use it in a salad!)

Anyway, I wanted to share this hack. I think the lesson here was not lost on anyone. The kids tried something new, and we all learned something in the process.


  1. Elizabeth says

    What an excellent hack! I’ve long bemoaned the fact that we don’t have a garden, with so many people saying it’s easier to get kids to eat something they’ve personally grown. I can’t believe I never thought of using that same concept at the grocery store! I’m sure they feel a beautiful sense of ownership and independence. Good for you for following through with your promise!

  2. Elizabeth says

    Oh….wait….I forgot that I hate taking 3 kids with me to the grocery store. I usually go at midnight when I can go alone. STILL…. I think I can probably plan this into the day periodically as a “field trip” apart from my regular shopping. It’d definitely be worth it to have them try new things.

    No wonder you go to a farmer’s market type of store! They’re not grabbing Dora gummies off the shelves at checkout.

  3. Joe says

    We do something similar to this. My six year old daughter and I go to lunch every Saturday, always to some sort of buffet.

    This past weekend we had Chinese. Nothing fancy or even especially good. But she did try some skewered chicken-one teriyaki, one BBQ and pretty spicy. She had seconds of both!

  4. Dave Crossmier says

    I’ve been doing the same thing with all 3 of my children and I can tell you that it can work. My oldest child actually likes sauerkraut!

  5. Laura says

    Yes! I love doing this! It makes grocery shopping more fun. It can come back to bite you in the butt though – the other day my daughter picked out mushrooms. Yuck! I bravely bought them and everyone gobbled them up (except me – guess I still need to learn my lesson).

  6. says

    What a great idea. I think it is important for kids to learn about good, healthy food at a young age. Having them help pick food at the grocery store is a fantastic way to do so.