View Full Version : How to get your toddler to try new foods for cheap/free!

02-02-2004, 02:07 PM
I just realized what a find this was the other day.

Out here we have 2 chains (Fresh Choice and Sweet Tomatoes/Souplantation) that call themselves salad buffet restaurants. Basically you pay a flat fee and get all you can eat of a huge salad bar, pasta bar, soups, pizza, breads and desserts (muffins, fruit and ice cream). Kids under 3 are free, kids ages 3-7 are $1.50. So we can take both kids and we only pay $1.50 for Amy. Adults are full price of course!

The best part is that there is a huge buffet including a bunch of foods that Amy might never normally eat. I pile her plate with stuff I think she'd like, and then I sneak in some things that I want her to try and she sometimes points out things she wants to eat that I might never have thought of. Sometimes she won't eat something new unless it is on my plate too; well at these places that's not a problem!

Thanks to these restaurants I have gotten Amy to try many kinds of new veggies, certain fruits and cottage cheese. And if she behaves herself she gets a bowl of ice cream afterwards. These restaurants also have the advantage that they are the only place we can take Amy and not have to pack a lunch to bring along with us.

The only problem is that it REALLY helps if you have 2 adults. That way one can be up getting food and the other can watch the kids. So it's not good for solo Moms out.

Just wanted to give the heads up!

02-03-2004, 11:36 AM
I totally agree!

I went to Sweet Tomatoes for lunch last Friday with DS, my friend and her 20 month old DD. The kids love it. Matthew eats things he normally won't try at home. We take turns going up to the buffet to get the kids food (one trip for veggies, one trip for breads, etc..). We love it because the kids can eat up a storm and they are still free :)

Kimberly H
02-16-2004, 11:18 PM
I haven't lived near a Souplantation in close to 20 years and I *still* miss it!

02-17-2004, 04:31 AM
Oh, Helen, I have to tell you I tried this, and DS wouldn't touch anything he didn't already eat on a regular basis! x( LOL!! BUT I discovered that DD likes kidney beans and squash! :D So I guess it was a flop and a success all rolled into one! LOL!! PLUS we had the bonus of being able to hide off in the corner kind of near the bathrooms and ended up with other "small kid" families around us!

02-17-2004, 10:54 AM
Oh I REALLY miss Freshm Choice!!!

There's nothing like that here in VA!

02-17-2004, 05:54 PM
You know you should keep trying. Amy wasn't into it too much at first either. But as she kept seeing the selection she ate more things. It's like that old saying that it has to be on their plate 10 times before they try it.... :)

One thing I had done before taking Amy to Sweet Tomatoes was give her soup 'insides'. Since these places have a choice of 5-0 soups you get a lot more variety. She won't eat kidney beans but she will if they are out of the middle of a chilli or minestrone!

Anyhow it's a relief to go somewhere and not have to take a big bag of food for the kids!

02-17-2004, 05:57 PM
Nothing at all? Hmmm.... sounds like a market opportunity to me! These places are always packed around here!

But I'll raise a glass in your memory the next time I go. :)

02-18-2004, 02:06 AM
You are right, and it depends on his mood sometimes, too. Unfortunately the closest Souplantation to us is about 20 miles away, so we don't get there often. I need to somehow remove the fight from our mealtimes I think before he will be more open to different foods. I need to find a different approach that works with him since what we are doing currently just seems to be making matters worse.

I wish I could give him soup 'insides', but probably the only thing he could have is the chicken noodle, which is mostly noodles, which he gets anyway. All the other soups have either milk or tomato in them, both of which are no-no's for his tender behind.

ITA with not bringing food for the kids!

02-18-2004, 12:53 PM
I remembered the tomato but I forgot about the milk! I guess you're right on that. You could try a chicken/beef vegetable soup. That's what I usually make at home. If I'm getting creative I toss in some of those mini raviolis.