Getting children familiar with new foods

I feel for parents that have children who are picky eaters.  I also feel badly for the children because I’m afraid they’ll miss out on a lifetime of something that could bring them great pleasure.  But the greater sympathy probably extends to the parent because I know how frustrating it is to want to provide a nutritious meal but to be constantly turned down by your children.  On the radio I have, many times, discussed ways of helping children become more adventuresome eaters.  But recently I overheard a couple of young mothers visiting on this very topic and I want to share their conversation with you.

One of the mothers was saying that she had found a way to get her child to eat new foods.  She heard (or read) that if a child sees a new food several times (eight was actually the number stated) that the child would grow accustomed to seeing the food and would eventually try it.  So what she had been doing is making the normal foods that she wanted to make for the family.  She would put some of the new food on this child’s plate and just let it sit there.  She wouldn’t push or force her to eat it.  It just sat on her plate with no comments.  The next week or whenever she served it again, she did the same thing.  She said that when she put the food on the child’s plate at that fifth meal the child actually took a bite and by the sixth meal her daughter was eating the food.  Isn’t that amazing?

We all like familiarity in our food.  In this case the familiarity is developed by seeing the new food over and over until it’s no longer a stranger on the plate.  If you struggle with picky eaters it’s certainly worth a try.

pean on plate

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