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How do you make a child try new food?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

title says it all really.

I was reading the food rules thread and some posters mentioned making their children eat one bite of everything or getting them to try stuff.

How do you do it? 

post #2 of 14

I start with not even a whole "bite" just a very small amount on the end of the spoon.  "Open your mouth!  This is your one bite and then you're done".  I had trouble with my older ones on this.  With my younger one I started as soon as he was eating table food, and it was much easier. 

post #3 of 14

I ask them to give it a try.My picky ds is 8 and will take a bite or 2.I have read that you need to offer the same food atleast 8 times,but I doubt my ds would taste the same food 8 times if he disliked it the first time. I don't push it. I read about the sneaky chef,and mixing ingredients into foods they normally eat. I think my ds will taste anything I try to slip by him. I sitll give it a try.

 

I will offer foods for a taste and hope that they like something new.If not well I will offer something else,but I will still cook/eat things they might have declined in the past.Every so often they will eat something they said NO to a while back.

 

I just don't force foods and punish with ,"Eat this or you eat nothing." My dh is like that but doesn't push me to enforce it.

post #4 of 14

Dd has never been picky, but we started at an early age serving her a very, very wide variety of foods.  Dh is from the Middle East, we love ethnic food in general, and we always just assumed dd would eat what we're eating (we truly eat world cuisine).  From the start we just never really gave her a choice.  (Also, we don't eat fast or processed food, so her palate was developed with real flavors instead of tons of salt, sugar, and chemicals.)  We lived abroad when she was younger, have traveled to some fairly far reaches in her 8.5 years and quite literally she's been in situations where "something else" didn't even exist. 

 

She learned to just put something in your mouth and if you can swallow it, it's something that can be eaten.  (That is, sometimes you eat things that are not yummy to you, but they are healthy and filling and are eaten because it's available.)  She's eaten some very interesting things and has some interesting favorites that sometimes came about having no other option than trying what was presented.  I never had to coax her and she's always known that if she doesn't like something, she can spit it out.  That's only ever happened with one thing... asparagus.  She eats mussels, whole fish (can filet it herself), any seafood, duck tongue, pickled foods, offal, any veg but asparagus, stinky cheese, any herb, any cuisine really.  Some she eats with more gusto than others, but she will always be able to eat what is put in front of her.

 

So it's less about "making" her try something new as it has always it a part of everyday eating in our lives.  I don't know that you *can* make a child start trying new foods if it hasn't been something you've been doing all along.  It has to be a daily behavior that is taught and modeled over time.  I don't think it's impossible, but is more difficult as they get older.  JMO.

post #5 of 14

We ask our daughter to have a "no thank you bite."

post #6 of 14

We don't. We do, however, ask DS if he'd be willing to try a bite and give him the option to spit it out (in the trash) if he really doesn't like it. He's never actually done that, but he seems to like having the option. When we're at other people's houses, I just tell him that he should ask for only what he think he'll eat.

post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post

So it's less about "making" her try something new as it has always it a part of everyday eating in our lives.  I don't know that you *can* make a child start trying new foods if it hasn't been something you've been doing all along.  It has to be a daily behavior that is taught and modeled over time.  I don't think it's impossible, but is more difficult as they get older.  JMO.


This! We eat a good variety, and always have. Even in the womb they were getting fried chilis. I don't MAKE them eat anything. I put it on their plate. And they are allowed to spit it out on the plate if they try and don't like it. For some reason DD tries more, and spits more, while DS tries less, and spits less. Not sure which I prefer. Even if they did not like something, next time we have it, they get a little bit of it again. And sometimes they do like something 12 servings or 2 years later. And a few things they liked before and don't like now. I usually offer 3 things for dinner, and try to make at least one of these items something that they will eat. But if they decide to not eat anything, that is their choice. There is always breakfast in the morning. I wouldn't say my kids are the best eaters, they don't eat everything; but they are not picky eaters either.

post #8 of 14

 

Quote:
 

So it's less about "making" her try something new as it has always it a part of everyday eating in our lives.  I don't know that you *can* make a child start trying new foods if it hasn't been something you've been doing all along.  It has to be a daily behavior that is taught and modeled over time.  I don't think it's impossible, but is more difficult as they get older.  JMO.

 

I really like this. I had my son late in life so I got to watch how a lot of my friends and family did stuff with food. I quickly realized I was not interested in how most of them approached food with their kids-it was always the negative assumption that their kids wouldn't like something rather then a more positive and matter of fact approach to different kinds of food.

 

The only thing I have changed cooking wise is I really dialed back the heat of dishes like curry and fajitas and soups. My husband and I like spicy food but we are being more gradual with our son. Other then that change I simply serve him what we have and we add spice at the table. He is already asking about tabasco sauce.

 

As to making him try something- even just one bite? Not what we do. He is free to choose from what I have provided and free to refuse to eat something.

 

Toddlers need to be offered a food time after time after time before they will consider eating it and that has been our experience with our toddler. Like everyone he has food he has loved from the beginning. But, he has also grown to really like some foods (brussel sprouts and asparagus and mashed potatoes come to mind) after the food being served to him multiple times.

 

I think the key to raising a good eater (and by that I mean a child who knows his own likes and dislikes but is also willing to experiment) is to model that kind of eating as well. There is no force or bribing at all. That turns dinner into a power struggle and I am not interested in having struggles over food.

post #9 of 14

We don't..... but, if we're eating it, it seems much more appealing and at least half of the time, DS will want to try it just because we're eating it and talking about how "great" it is (even when it isn't.)

post #10 of 14

Never *made* our kid try new food. Force feeding is not our thing. 

 

Luckily he is not picky and we are very diverse eaters. We try to live by the rule that it is our job to make healthy/nutritious meals and snacks and his job to eat or not as he feels fit.

 

Offer a variety of foods on a regular basis and most kids will eventually try them. Oh and I second eating and enjoying new foods yourself.  That is the best way to get your kids to try it.

post #11 of 14

I just put a little bit of whatever food I want him to try on his plate. It'll usually take a few days for him to try it.

post #12 of 14

We put some of each food that we are eating on their plates, and we require that they taste it.  We eat a wide varietyof food, and I enjoy cooking.  My dh enjoys gardening.  Food is a big deal around here.  Weekly farmers' markets, etc.

 

And one child is picky.  And one eats everything.

 

Go figure.

post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thank you for all the replies - i forgot i'd posted (3 children, brain like mush).

 

I have one very picky eater, he has always been offered a wide variety and i am slowly getting him to try more by letting him just sniff it or stick his tongue on it. DS2 is happy to try stuff, likes to in fact. They are both so very different.

 

I posted originally because I thought there may be something i was missing with the 'making' comment - i have no idea how you would make someone eat anything unless you sat on them and shoved it in their mouth. So i guess it was a terminology thing.

post #14 of 14

I don't make her try a bite, but I tell her about times in my life when I thought I wouldn't like something and ended up loving it and have been disappointed that I missed out on it because I wasn't willing to try.  Usually she will try new things, but sometimes she'll just smell it, or just lick it or something.  But she's really pretty good about trying new things, and then trying them again a year or so later to see if her tastes have changed.  I had big fights with my parents over "try one bite" and I remember how angry it made me to have them force something on me like that, and I don't want to make my dd feel that.

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