7 Tips for Getting Kids to Try New Foods

by Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom on April 23, 2014

Kids Try New Foods

Feeding young children can often feel like a battle. Especially on those days when you make a new dish, or cook a vegetable in a different way.

Here are 7 ideas for helping your children to try new foods:

1. Offer a Wide Variety

From the time your child starts eating, you should be offering a wide variety of shapes, colors and textures. This will help your child’s natural palate develop and will give you many options for when your toddler begins to feel empowered to make food choices of their own and begin to resist certain foods. This is a phase that toddlers go through and I encourage you to keep offering a wide variety as they work through this phase. My 15 month old will eat spicy beans, sweet mango chunks, as well as spaghetti and meatballs. I’ll be ready with other options when he starts to make these choices for himself and appears to be moving into the ‘picky’ phase, when in reality he is just learning to make his own food choices. It’s my job as his mother to continue to offer him a wide variety of options to chose from at meal time. I implore you to do that same!

2. Slow Down on the Snacks

Set a limit on the afternoon snack and don’t allow children to eat at least 1 hour before the time you plan to serve dinner. This can be difficult, especially once you get into the kitchen and the smell of dinner takes over the house and makes the hunger pangs increase. Hold tight to this ‘no snacks an hour before dinner’ guideline, as you want to make sure your children are good and hungry when the arrive at the table.

3. Involve Them in the Meal Planning Process

Ask them what they want to eat for dinner and work together to come up with a meal plan that works for you, and includes a number of foods that your child does like.

4. Teach Them How to Cook the New Foods

In addition to including children in the planning process, teach them how to cook their new foods. Talk them through the cooking process, show them when and how to season the meat, or how to saute some veggies to go with your dinner. Related, don’t try cooking with your kids when you’re highly stressed or had a bad day. Everyone will end up frustrated and your efforts will be in vain.

5. The One Bite Rule

At our dinner table, we have a ‘one bite rule’ in which everyone at the table has to try at least one bite of the new side dish or meat. For years, I’ve been serving all kinds of different foods to my boys (the joy of being a food blogger), and have learned that they often balk at how the food ‘looks’ without even giving it a chance to tantalize their taste buds. And because of this one bite rule, my oldest (and pickiest) son turns out to be a huge fan of zucchini. Huh.

6. Switch it up or Repurpose a Favorite

If you’re trying to get your kiddo to eat tomato soup, make their favorite grilled cheese sandwich and then cut it up into ‘croutons’ that you float into the soup. They’ll scoop them out of the soup, have a little taste of the soup and chances are they’ll enjoy the combination. Change up the flavorings on their favorite baked chicken, then cut the chicken into fun shapes and they might not notice the new flavor…or better yet, they might actually enjoy the new dish. If you don’t think that new shapes will work, try a new dipping sauce with the new chicken. Kids love to dip!

7. Keep offering, keep offering, keep offering

…and don’t just fall back on chicken nuggets – please, whatever you do keep offering a wide variety of colors and flavors. Please do not resort to chicken and french fries. Please. I beg of you.

Also, please note that if your child shows extreme eating behaviors, please speak with your physician about your options and getting help to make sure their nutritional needs are being met.

What tips do you have for helping your child try new foods?


Restaurant Coupons & Deals – 4/22

by Jenn K on April 22, 2014

Restaurant.com Weekly Promo Offer 600 X 400

If you are looking for some coupons and freebies to to help you save on dinner on the town, date nights, and for when you need a break from cooking, then you’re in the right spot!

While we certainly know that eating out is more expensive than eating in, it is nice to treat yourself and your family every now and again to a meal out on the town. Our family eats out 2 or 3 times a month, and we’ve been able to do so for less than $60 for the month…in part because of all the great coupons, daily deals, and other offers from restaurants in our area.

Check out the latest coupons, deals and offers that will help you spend less on your next “out to dinner” night!

Restaurant Gift Cards

Don’t forget that you can earn “swagbucks” for searching online and redeem them for restaurant gift cards. Refer your friends and earn faster!

Restaurant Coupons

  • Blimpie Coupon – Buy 1 Get 1 Free Regular Sub WYB Drink (exp: 4/30/2014)
  • Carrows Coupon – Buy 1 Entree Get 1 50% Off WYB 2 Drinks (exp: 5/8/2014)
  • Cinnabon Coupon – Sign up for for free email club and get a FREE Minibon Cinnamon Roll
  • Del Taco Coupon – 2 FREE Grilled Chicken Tacos when you sign up for emails
  • HoneyBaked Coupon – FREE Classic Ham Sandwich when you sign up for email club; select zip codes only
  • Jamba Juice Coupon- 1 FREE Small Smoothie or 12 oz Juice Every Day When You Pay With Isis Mobile Wallet (exp: 4/30/2014)
  • Jamba Juice – $2.99 Small Peach Pleasure or Banana Berry Smoothies (exp: 4/30/2014)
  • Sonic Coupon – Buy 1 Get 1 Free Asiago Chicken Sandwich (login required) (exp: 4/30/2014)
  • Steak Escape Coupon – FREE Kids Meal with Purchase of Sandwich, Fries, and Beverage (exp: 4/30/2014)
  • Stevie B’s Coupon – FREE Margherita Thin Crust Pizza (valid 4/27/2014 only at select locations)
  • Subway – April $5 Footlongs and $3 select 6″
  • Wing Stop Coupon – Free 5 Chili Lime Boneless Wings with Any Wing Purchase (exp: 4/25/2014)

Restaurant Freebies

  • Cinnabon Coupon – Sign up for for free email club and get a FREE Minibon Cinnamon Roll
  • Del Taco Coupon – 2 FREE Grilled Chicken Tacos when you sign up for emails
  • Stevie B’s Coupon – FREE Margherita Thin Crust Pizza (valid 4/27/2014 only at select locations)

Kids Eat Free

  • Bob Evans – Kids eat free on Tuesdays with adult entree purchase
  • Earth Fare – Thursdays from 4 – 8 pm, with $5 adult purchase
  • Steak Escape Coupon – FREE Kids Meal with Purchase of Sandwich, Fries, and Beverage (exp: 4/30/2014)

Thanks to Surviving the Stores and Savings Lifestyle for helping us compile this list!



Best 100 Juices for Kids Book

by Jenn K on April 21, 2014

best 100 juices for kids

We absolutely love fresh homemade juice made in our juicer!  If you are a fellow-juicer or would love to increase the consumption of healthy, yummy, naturally sweetened juice instead of sodas, sports drinks, and expensive juices, then you need to check out my friend Jessica’s new book, Best 100 Juices for Kids: Totally Yummy, Awesomely Healthy, & Naturally Sweetened Homemade Alternatives to Soda Pop, Sports Drinks, and Expensive Bottled Juices!

This 192 page book covers 100 recipes including

  • fruit and vegetable-based juice
  • smoothies (including several dairy-free vegan options)
  • “sparklies” (club soda-based carbonated drinks)
  • icy slushies
  • juice-based ice pops

You don’t have to own a juicer to benefit from this book as about 25% of the recipes can be made without a juicer.  However, to truly get the most out of it, you will want to have a juicer of some sort.  I personally own the Hamilton Beach Big Mouth Pro Juice Extractor and love it!

Currently, Best 100 Juices for Kids is 34% off on Amazon right now priced at only $11.14 with free shipping through Prime or on any $35+ order.  Buy it today and get ready for delicious refreshment just in time for the heat of summer!


Here are some of the latest and hottest printable coupons to help you save this week at the grocery store!


$0.55 off Bridgford Frozen Rolls or Bread

$0.50 off any 2 Campbell's Chunky soups or chilis

$1.00 off any Three (3) Horizon™ Mac & Cheese

$0.55 off any two HORMEL Chili products


$1.00 off any four Minute Maid 59 fl oz cartons

$0.75 off 1 PHILADELPHIA Soft Cream Cheese Spread

$3.00 off Starbucks Macchiato and PEOPLE magazine

$0.75 off any ONE (1) Wesson Cooking Oil


$1.50 off any one ARMSTRONG Floor Care product

$2.00 off Beggin' Party Poppers Canister or Pouch

$0.50 off any Clorox Smart Seek™ Bleach

$0.55 off any Glade Premium Room Spray 9.7 oz

$1.00 off OxiClean Liquid Laundry Booster

Personal Care

$2.00 off any Colgate twin pack toothpaste

$3.00 off two (2) Coppertone Sunscreen Products

$2.00 off any one (1) Excedrin product

$0.75 off any one (1) JOHNSON'S Baby product

$0.75 off ONE Pantene Styler or Treatment Product

$1.00 off REACH Total Care, Dentotape or Flosser

$1.10 off Secret Antiperspirant/Deodorant

$2.00 off any ONE (1) TRESemme Treatment

Be sure to check out all the printable coupons available at Red Plum, Smart Source, Coupon Network and Coupons.com!

Looking for a coupon for an item on your shopping list? Or a coupon for your favorite product? Be sure to check for it in my coupon database!

Never miss a coupon! Get the latest and greatest coupons delivered straight to your inbox, just moments after they are posted!



Free Weekly Meal Plan with Printable Grocery List – 4/21

April 20, 2014

The $5 Dinners Weekly Meal Plan with Printable Grocery List Every week I will post 5 links to archived recipes, plus an additional 1 or 2 recipes for breakfast, snacks or batch cooking recipes.  You can click through to see the original recipe and print that recipe if you like. (Or go green and just […]

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Updated! Grocery Coupon Match-Ups – Week of April 20

April 20, 2014

{Pin by clicking the Pinterest Button below!} This is your weekly (and friendly) reminder to check out the latest coupon matchups for the following grocery stores, drugstores, and big box & warehouse stores like Target and Costco…click on each link to find the current deals, coupon matchups and extra savings offers! Grocery Stores Aldi Dollar […]

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Drugstore Coupon Matchups & Best Deals – Week of April 20

April 19, 2014
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Which drugstore has the best deals this week on food?! Find out…

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Sunday Coupon Preview – April 20th

April 18, 2014
Thumbnail image for Sunday Coupon Preview – April 20th

Find out what coupons will be in this Sunday’s coupon insert…if there are some hot coupons, you might want to pick up a few extra newspapers!

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Featured Pinterest Board: Chicken Recipes

April 17, 2014

“Winner winner chicken dinner!” Chicken really is the winner in many kitchens as a main staple.  Not only is it relatively inexpensive, but it’s a high quality protein that is simple to stretch in meals, is adaptable in so many different kinds of recipes, and is very easy to cook whether on the stove, oven, […]

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Save on Fresh Cucumbers + Favorite Cucumber Recipes

April 17, 2014

New coupons have been added to the free coupon app, Checkout 51, including savings on fresh CUCUMBERS! Cucumbers are on sale for 50¢ each at Sprouts in Texas, so I’ll definitely be adding that to the end of the week grocery list.  Now I need to decide which cucumber recipe to use! Wedge Cobb Salad […]

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