Kids are notoriously picky eaters. Typically, kids that are picky eaters grow up to be picky eaters as adults. One way to combat this problem is to introduce young palettes to a variety of different flavors and preparations. To keep them from resisting something new, make it a fun process. Barbecue is definitely suited for upping the fun factor while introducing new flavors.
BBQ is messy. Kids love to get messy. Perfect combination! Dish up a heaping plate of barbecue and challenge you child to get as messy as possible while eating. You’ll be surprised how quickly they dig in when given permission to get messy. The only challenge will be for you, the parent, to stand back and let the mess happen without itching to wipe hands and face constantly. The best way to combat this is to be prepared with lots of napkins and wet naps. After the child is thoroughly covered in sticky messiness, hand the cleaning supplies over and let him or her get cleaned up. Finger licking should be encouraged first though.
One tip to keep in mind when introducing a child to barbecue is that their taste buds are immature and more sensitive than an adult’s. It might help if you tame the sauce you use. For a Carolina style BBQ, you may want to consider reducing the vinegar or cutting it with something sweet. Additionally, for other BBQ preparations, it may be a smart idea to scale back the heat or spiciness. Gradually increase those things to effortlessly get to the flavor and heat the whole family enjoys.
If you want to introduce a new meat to your child and you know that he or she already likes barbecue sauce, serve that new meat barbecue style. If BBQ is already a favorite flavor in your house, this method should work like a charm.
The complexity of flavors in BBQ definitely expands the taste buds. If you are successful in getting your child to try and enjoy barbecue, you may find that he or she is more open to other new flavors since many of them will already be familiar as a result of the barbecue experience. Or at the very least, you can keep a bottle of BBQ sauce on hand at all times and use it to mask those new foods that your child has no interest in trying.