Fourth of July Food Activities for Picky Eaters

family of picky eaters at cookout

The Fourth of July is a special holiday filled with family, fun activities, and favorite foods. However, for some anxious or picky eaters, an influx of neighbor-made appetizers and grocery store prep foods can be overwhelming. To prep for these big changes, it can be helpful to start with some activities that introduce new foods that will be present while also providing familiar favorites to play around with. Here are a few ways you can get into the holiday spirit while introducing new foods to your picky eater in a low-pressure environment:

star shaped foods for picky eaters

Use star cookie cutters to cut out stars into both preferred and non-preferred foods! Even if your child doesn’t want to eat the food, interacting with it by cutting it into stars is a good way to work toward trying the food in the future. If your child only touches the food, that’s great! Make sure not to pressure your child to take bites of the food if they’re not comfortable. Give positive feedback for any amount of interaction they do! 

colorful food skewers for picky eaters

Make red, white, and blue skewers! Have one of your child’s preferred foods on each skewer. It’s okay if they don’t exactly go together flavor-wise! If you make multiple combinations, have your child rate each one and decide which combination was best! Examples of each color food could include:

  • Red: raspberries, cherries, watermelon, strawberries, tomatoes, red pepper, dried cranberries.
  • White: marshmallows, small mozzarella balls, white cheddar cubes, feta cheese cube, cauliflower, jicama, white carrots, banana, tofu, popcorn, hard boiled egg white. 
  • Blue: blueberries, purple carrots, blue gummy candy.

red white and blue food dips

Red, white, and blue dips! Find dips in each color, or use food coloring to make a red, white, and blue dip. Choose dips, sauces, or dressings that your child generally likes. Have several foods available to dip, with at least two foods your child doesn’t usually like. Using dips is a great way to get your child to try new foods! Dips could include: 

  • Red: ketchup, barbeque sauce, red pepper hummus, tomato sauce, salsa, strawberry jam/jelly.
  • White: ranch, blue cheese dressing, caesar dressing, marshmallow dip, yogurt, whipped cream, white cheese dip, cream cheese, sour cream, goat cheese dip, cottage cheese, vanilla ice cream. 
  • Blue: grape jam/jelly, blue cheese dip, blueberry puree.

red white and blue snack platter for picky eaters

Make a red, white, and blue snack platter! Pick 2-4 different foods for each color. Try to include at least 1 new or non-preferred food in each color. Have your child help arrange them in color order on a platter. Touching the foods to arrange them will be a great start to trying a new food! Have family members make a snack plate with a variety of colors and eat with your child.

These are just a few of the ways you can introduce unfamiliar foods before a family gathering or holiday. For more tips on introducing foods, check out our tips for picky eaters at holiday gatherings!

 

Written by Megan Daly, M.A. CCC-SLP

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