How to get your child to try new foods

How to get your child to try new foods

Most young children are reluctant to try new foods, so don't be offended if your toddler wrinkles his nose and spits out your carefully prepared offering. His initial rejection is a final judgement on the dish.

The old ways are best

Research shows that offering a new food several times, a day or two apart, will probably lead to success. An old paediatrics adage says that the seventh time is the charm when it comes to getting a new food on the 'yes' list.

How to get it done (and in!)

The first time you give your toddler a new food, offer him a spoonful or two, or let him try a small amount on his own. Then give up if you get a negative response. Bide your time and put the dish on the menu again a day or two later. Force-feeding your child will result in him resisting that food and many others too. 'Try' is okay for now.

All the effort is worth it. Research shows that willingness to try new foods and a varied diet lead to healthier lifelong eating habits.

Helpful hint:

Children are more willing to try new foods if they see trusted adults and familiar older children eating them too. So if you turn up your own nose at spinach, don't expect to sell it to your toddler. Good eating habits are a family affair, so stock up on the veggies, fruits and whole grains.

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