Introducing New Foods to Your Child

It can be a struggle getting your child to try new foods. “I don’t like food that’s green” or “Brussel sprouts are yucky” may be common phrases in your home. Here are some tips on introducing new foods to your child. And remember, stay the course! These things may take time.

  • Expect it to take 8-15 tastes or more before a child will like a new food
  • Keep the environment relaxed, social, and positive
  • Allow your child to watch others tasting a new food or look at pictures of the food
  • Praise all attempts at trying a new food no matter how small: touching, smelling, or putting a new food to the lips is considered progress.
  • Introduce fun utensils (salad spinners, push down hand chopper, olive grabber, chop sticks) to get children excited about trying a new food.
  • Allow your child to spit out a vegetable into a napkin if they don’t like it. Offer encouragement for trying a new food
  • Slowly add small amounts of new food on different days with familiar foods
  • Offer foods in different forms (crunchy or soft; hot or cold)
  • Use favourite foods to help decrease anxiety and increase acceptance of new food
  • Use a safe flavor/texture to help introduce a new food
  • Gradually separate the preferred and non-preferred foods at presentation
  • Change the ratio of preferred to non-preferred food

Source: Society for Nutrition Education & Behavior

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