Your child isn't just being a pain in the behind when she refuses to eat the mystery vegetable in front of her—she's exercising Darwinian theory! Scientists believe that approaching new foods with caution makes tons of sense from an evolutionary perspective. A small portion of a poisonous food might not kill you, but an entire meal just might! So it's prudent to take a nibble from a new food and wait to see if you hit the floor before downing an entire plateful with gusto.
Getting your kid to try new foods is possible, if you approach the topic the right way. Here are a few ways to expand your child's palate:
Consider how you introduce new foods. Kids are more likely to try a new dish if:
—They try only one new food at a time.
—The new food is paired with familiar, enjoyable foods.
—The new food is given to your child in an appealing manner.
—Your child sees family members eating—and hopefully enjoying!—the new food.
—You aren't pressuring her to try the new food.
Try to avoid discouragement if you try these steps and your child still won't even go near the new food. Remember, it can take some time for a child to try something new (recall your first encounter with brussels sprouts!). If you serve the new food again in a few weeks(and maybe even cook or present it in a different manner), you could find that she's more cooperative. Studies have shown that some children need to be introduced to an unfamiliar food a mind-boggling 15 times before they'll actually try it!
Don't bother getting into battles with your child over new foods. Remember days of potty training battles? Yeah—it's just like that!report abuse