Picky Eater or Just Learning to Try New Foods?

If your child refuses to eat certain foods or does not want to taste something new, they're not alone!  Children don't always like new foods right away.  They might need your help in learning to like new foods.  Here's how!
  • Be a good role model.  Do you enjoy fruits and veggies or other healthy foods?  Include them in your meals and show your children how much you like them!  Talk about what you like -- the taste or the texture or even the color!
  • Be patient.  Remember that your child might need to try a new food up to 15 times before they like it and eat it every time you give it to them.
  • Keep trying!  Give your child small amounts of fruits and vegetables even if they do not eat them at first.  Offer your children small amounts of new foods so that you do not waste food.
  • Try making the new food in different ways.  Make up a silly name for the new food or sing a little song about it; your child is more likely to be curious and try it!
  • Pair a new food with a favorite food.  Serve a new fruit or veggie as a snack when your child is hungry.
  • Give children small amounts to taste or play with at first.  This can be as small as a spoonful of peas or cooked carrots, a piece of an apple, or one section of an orange.
Children love to help in the kitchen, so include them when preparing a new food.  Let them help get foods read to cook or eat like tearing up lettuce, scrubbing veggies before cooking, or mixing ingredients for a dish.

Once a month, take your child to the grocery store and let them pick out a new fruit or veggie, then make it for dinner that night.  If everyone gets excited about something new, everyone will have a tasty treat ahead!

For more information and tips about parental feeding practices, visit:

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© Eat Smart, Be Fit Maryland!Maira Gall