Hi. I’m Charlie. Now that I’m 12 years old, I often try new things without being told. Last year I tried jerk chicken in Jamaica, and it was amazing. Last summer I tried conch ceviche in Mexico and, even though it was a bit too limey for me, I felt relieved because at least I tried it and I could say I had eaten conch. But since little kids really don’t want to branch out and would rather just stick to cheese pizza and chocolate ice cream, here’s how to get younger kids to try new foods when they travel:
1. Take your kids to the grocery store in the foreign country. If your kid picks out the food himself, he’ll want to try it. We found chocolate yogurt at the supermarket in Spain, and we ate a lot of it.
2. Promise your kid a treat if he tries a food you want him to try. Tell him that if he tries a bite, you’ll get him something he really wants—like ice cream.
3. Relate the weird food to something that your kid likes at home. If he doesn’t want to try the food in Mexico, tell him it’s like Taco Bell. It’s actually much better than Taco Bell, but don’t say that to the child because then he won’t want to try it.
4. Tell your kid he won’t get another chance to try the food. He won’t be able to get that food anywhere else so, if he doesn’t try it now, he won’t be able to until the next time he goes to that country.
5. Have your kids cook the food themselves. Then they’ll want to eat it. At Rosewood Mayakoba in Mexico we cooked dinner, and we ate all of it, including salsa and guacamole and fish with asparagus.