Five Benefits of Trying New Foods

I’m a picky eater, but I’m also a believer in trying new things and trying new things includes trying new foods! I do not always like what I try, but I can say I tried it. I have instilled this same belief in most of my children as well! We enjoy trying new restaurants and new types of foods, in addition to our go-to favorites!

Here are a few of the reasons why I believe trying new foods is a great thing!

1—It allows you to have new experiences

New experiences are great! You get to go beyond your typical go-to activities and food choices to see what else you may like. It doesn’t matter if the new experiences are traveling, food, activities, or friendships, it’s great to try new things to broaden your knowledge and broaden your view of the norm.

There was even dinner entertainment at Restaurant Marrakesh

2—You might actually like it

Yes! You might like what you try! Just like when parents introduce new foods to their babies, it’s good to continue to introduce new foods to yourself and your children throughout the years. Tastes change. Likes and dislikes change. Sometimes you even have to try something a few times to determine if you like it or not. You simply do not know whether you may like it or not unless you try it!

My daughter’s lunch in Adoleboden, Switzerland!

3—It exposes you to new cultures

If you want to try a new Mexican dish and you live in the Midwest, your best option would be to find an authentic Mexican restaurant in your area. When you go to a new restaurant from a different culture you are exposed to their foods and, typically, their ideas for decorations and atmosphere. You are exposed to new customs and new ideas. You are given new choices for foods to try and possibly even ways to eat (ex. Chopsticks). Options are endless!

My son trying scallops in EPCOT!

Part of what we enjoy about Walt Disney World and, particularly, EPCOT is the ability to try so many different foods! On one trip alone my son and I tried food from several different places for the simple fact it was just me and him and we didn’t have to worry about anyone else complaining about what we wanted to try!

My son trying who knows what at Sanaa in the Animal Kingdom Lodge
And even making a new friend while eating!

4—You get new shared experiences with friends and family

Sunday roast in London, England
Sunday Roast in London, England!

I have always encouraged my children to try new foods and we go to various restaurants in our area from other cultures. Some of my children have not always been willing to try new things at first, but we continue to expose them to new foods. Yes. I have that one child who will typically order chicken nuggets and French fries anywhere we go. However, that does not mean I do not continually expose that child to new things and new foods!

My picky child being pleased with his dinner choice that was not chicken tenders and fries!

As my children have gotten older, they are sharing these types of experiences with their friends as well. When my children are on school or scout trips, they encourage their friends to try new restaurants when they travel, even if it’s just a new fast food restaurant that we do not have in the area where we live. This is something we have always done when we travel as a family and something they now do with their friends.

Recently, my seventeen-year-old son invited his girlfriend to dinner with us. We hit the local Greek restaurant (mainly because my husband was not with us and he does not like that particular restaurant) and we got to introduce her to new foods. She discussed her family not typically trying new foods and new places, but she was willing to try.

My son tried to duck!
I went with my go-to favorite–chicken and rice!

We all enjoyed the meal and even ordered dessert, which is not too typical of us, just so she could try Baklava. It was a great experience! We got to enjoy food from another country that we already knew we liked, and she got to experience the atmosphere and food from a new culture and new restaurant. We also talked about other times we had tried new foods and when I first tried Baklava which was at the age of 19 when I took a college trip to Greece!

5—One of the best ways to try new foods is to visit new places!

Travel to a large city close to your home and try some of the authentic restaurants they have available! We particularly enjoy cruises and all-inclusive resorts because it makes it easy to see new countries and try new foods from all around the world. Cruises are also good because they have a wide variety of options and, if you do not like what you chose, you can get something else at no additional cost! That incentive makes my willingness to try new foods even greater because I know I am not out any money if I do not like what I tried.

Additionally, I enjoy visiting other countries, so trying new foods is just a given when you are in a new country! When I took my Girl Scout troop to Europe, we were able to try all kinds of new foods from the countries we visited, as well as food from other countries due to there being such as wide range of dining options. When we visited London, we were able to try some of their typical local dishes, such as fish and chips and Sunday roast.

Fish and chips in London, England
Fish and Chips from a restaurant near the Tower of London!

However, we were also able to try many other foods! One evening for dinner our group split up so that half of us could try food from Spain and the other half (my half) try food from somewhere else. My group found a cute restaurant, not knowing what type of food was being offered, we decided to try it just to see! It was great! I small, cute restaurant, authentically decorated with great food!

However, I learned from that experience that I need to check with my assumptions before ordering. I ordered the chicken kabobs. I figured it was a safe bet considering we really had no idea what type of food we were getting. It was good, but not at all what I considered a “chicken kabob” to be. It was a good lesson in trying new foods and making sure to check any assumptions we may have! I should also note that it was about two years later before we realized we had tried Afghan food! I thought that was pretty awesome and wished I had known that at the time because there is nowhere near where I live to try anything like that!

It is definitely worth the risk to try and do new things! However, sometimes you may like it…..

And sometimes you may not…


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31 thoughts on “Five Benefits of Trying New Foods”

  1. We love trying new foods and try to get our kids to do the same. They both like clams which is surprising for a 2 and 5 year old. Great points!

  2. Love this! You are so right about trying new foods. I agree that it is best when sharing with friends and family. I’m always willing to try something different but the hubby is not. That’s were the friends come in. Lol.

  3. My absolute favorite thing to do when I travel is to visit grocery stores because I love to see all the new foods and snacks. It’s so much fun!

    1. Mine too, especially if we are in another country! I love bringing home “normal” things for my kids…cereal, candy bars, etc…

  4. Yes, yes, yes! I can’t take my family out to eat often…. it gets expensive with 7 kids. So we experiment at home. Half my kids still refuse to try new things. “That looks yucky.” But I have one child who ABSOLUTELY loved the idea of tomatoes. There are SO pretty. But for years, she did not like them. It really frustrated her, so at 6 and 7 and 8, she kept saying, “Can I try it again?” She cracked me up, because it’s the opposite of some of the other kids. Finally, when she was 9, she suddenly like fresh tomatoes. And she hasn’t quit eating them since then.

  5. I live with two very picky eaters, so I completely get this. My husband is getting better at trying new things, but there are some things he won’t budge on. I love to try new places, so sometimes I just drag him along and he sits with me while I try it!

  6. I am beyond picky! I grew up with a really bad eating disorder and ate nothing. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve gotten much better but I tend to find that I’m more willing to try new foods when I’m traveling simply to get the whole experience so #5 on your list is right up my alley. Otherwise I tend to make excuses to not try anything new.

  7. I am so glad to hear about new foods. My kids were eating escargot by the time they were 5 or6. Awesome trip!

  8. Living near Walt Disney World has definitely given us the opportunity to try new foods and new cuisines. We never realized we would fall in love with some of the things we tried. I will say this, though ~ I’m terribly jealous of your adventures to Switzerland and England!!! What great adventures to take with your family!

    1. It was actually my Girl Scout troop I got to take to England and Switzerland and I was very thankful to be able to give them such an opportunity! Traveling has always been my thing before kids and with my kids! So many great memories and great experiences occur with travel!

  9. Food is memorable. When I think of a location with it usually comes a memory of the food we enjoyed there. Some valid points for all those picky eaters out there!

  10. I love trying new foods. If anything it makes a good story! lol While living in Japan I learned to like sashimi (raw fish). I also got to try sea cucumber, sea urchin, and all kinds of fish eggs. Some I liked some I didn’t care for but I can say, I tried it! I love having my children try new things too. The experiences you can have just from food! Boy your food pictures looked so yummy!!!

  11. Great tips – hardest part for me is when I find something I like I want to have it again! When we travel to Disney I use Epcot to explore new foods – one of these years I want to go during the Wine festival!

  12. Oh I love to try new food but my family does not. Especially the kids. But hopefully sometime soon I will get them to try more awesome stuff like you have pictured here.

  13. I am pretty picky too, but I love epcot too to try new foods from different countries. I have pretty much liked them all!

  14. I love trying new foods. It took me awhile to realize what a benefit of trying new foods is. I love going to Epcot like you because everything is right there. I have finally got my daughter to start experimenting with new foods and she has actually found a few new things. Over the last few years I have found that I love Thai food – that wasn’t something I ever thought I’d like but tried it once and now I’m hooked.

  15. I wish you could stop me from eating new foods – I may fit in my clothes better, haha! Love the adventure you get with food for sure.

  16. Excellent article with very valid points…it even made this extremely picky eater re-think her choices. 😉

    By the way, I think that bird was trying to tell your son that he was eating one of his bird-relatives and to put the fork down. 😉

    1. The bird was great! The keepers were trying to get all the animals to go in for the evening and the bird was being defiant! However, I think he would have eaten off my son’s fork no matter what it was if he could have reached it! LOL

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