How do I get my daughter to try new foods?

Jeanne - posted on 11/18/2008 ( 11 moms have responded )

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If anyone can give me any creative ideas, I'd love it! My 2 1/2 year old girl refuses to try new foods. We try to instill the rule that our kids need to at least try what is on their plate & if they don't like it, they don't have to finish it. My daughter just looks at something and says, "I don't like it." She'll cover her mouth & can't get her to even try it...and she'll go hungry the rest of the day. Stubborn!!! Please, any tips? She'll eat cold cereals, a few fruits & veggies, noodles, pb sandwiches, & chicken nuggets...that's IT. I have the Deceptively Delicious cookbook and even that's not working because she won't even taste it. Help!!!

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Judith Kennedy - posted on 01/31/2009

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I replied in another thread too so sorry if you've read this. It can take up to 15 times for a child to try a new food. If you put it in front of them- the same food - over and over, they will eventually try it. You can also say - "Okay you don't have to eat 'carrots' for dinner. You can wait until breakfast to eat them!"



And Pam - thanks for the site. I'm going to check it out.

[deleted account]

I strongly suggest you check out the website www.kidseatgreat.com. Dr. Christine Wood is a pediatrician and gives great advice on her website as well as in her book How to Get Kids to Eat Great and Love It.

Hope some of her ideas help.
Pam

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I dish up in very small amounts , enough for the kids to finish everything. Once that's done , they can have whatever they want for 2nds. But they don't get ANYTHING else unless they ate what was on their plates.
With her not wanting to try new things , I taught my (step)kids that they are NOT allowed to spit. So I gave them new things and told them , if you don't like it , you may spit it out. Because their mother doesn't give them new things to try , they were also reluctant to do it at our house , but now they are so adventurous in trying new things.

Susan - posted on 09/25/2009

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We had the same problem. We have a two bite rule in our house. At that age, sometimes we would sit there for an hour before she would try it. Usually she liked it and even wanted seconds. At that age it isn't always the food. We still have the rule (she's almost 9) in our house and very rarely do we need to implement it now. In fact, she has gotten where she tries stuff on her on. Also, when I did "new" foods, I would cook ingredients she liked in a different way first while maybe adding a new ingredient. After a while, they will learn to try without giving a fuss. There has been times that my daughter has tried the two bites and didn't like it. We were okay with that and didn't make her eat the rest of it. I agree with the others....letting her help cook the "new" foods work also.

Lauren - posted on 05/01/2009

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Patience! My son was a great eater until he turned 1. He used to eat every veggie I offered (except for corn). Right after his 1st birthday, he started refusing just about everything. For the longest time, I couldn't get him to eat anything other than chicken, rice, apples, bananas, cheese, crackers, and cereal. We tried the one bite rule and he would gag and fight to the point that he would throw up. He is now 8 1/2 and is finally trying new things. He is only just beginning to like mac and cheese, but hates hot dogs and PB&J. Last night, we ate out and his plate came out with salad on it. He actually ate the lettuce! I was floored! I signed him up for school lunches every day in April, whereas I used to only sign him up for the foods he would eat. I think that has him trying new things because he knows that's all there is. One thing I also did recently was buy gogurt and stick it in the freezer. He won't touch yogurt from the fridge, but he eats frozen gogurt like there's no tomorrow!

Jeanne - posted on 04/30/2009

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Sure, I'd love your recipes! The trick for me is just getting the food in her mouth to try it...once it gets there, I'm sure she'd like a ton more than what she thinks! :)

Christina - posted on 04/30/2009

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Just keep tring...Just keep trying!!! That's what i sing to myself with my little ones and now my oldest is almost 7 and he eats everything!1 he loves the praise of trying something new and loving it! My 4 year old is pretty good at trying especially if there will be fresh fruit for a reward! My 20 month old isn't the greatest eater but I give her vitamins and I know if i stick to trying it over and over and over eventually she too will love to eat healthy! Also i add flax seed and wheat germ and ground carrots and peas to evrything! It hides well in turkey meatloaf and meatballs and homemade cookies with applesauce instead of butter. In oatmeal i add cranberries and raisins. If she is snacking in between meals stop it until she eats her meals! Also don't put too many sauces for some reason kids don't like sauces and like blaander foods until about 5! Hope it helps. I have a lot of natural recipes i've collected and created if intrested!

Lysa - posted on 02/02/2009

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Find any healthy recipe and have her assist in making the meal. 2 year olds can do simple cooking steps such as dumping food you've measured into a bowl, and stirring. She will have pride in the fact that she helped cook the meal, so then there  will be a good chance that she will want to try it!

Gabrielle - posted on 01/29/2009

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We too, have our oldest son help cook or prepare whats going for dinner that night, whether its smashing the bananas with his fists for banana bread (which he loves) or dropping crushed garlic in the brussel sprouts... yes, he eats them. We also have this rule... we will all try what "mommy" has prepared as long as we have tried them... that goes for my husband as well, whom HATES brussel sprouts but is warming up to my variation. Hope this helps... best of luck!!

Anne - posted on 01/26/2009

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Sometimes it is not the food itself, it is the oppositional stage she is in. Can she help you cook and pick out a veg to put in the pan? Offer her a choice "we can have this or this, which one should we have"? You are doing your best, and it is AMAZING how stubborn they can be!

Michelle - posted on 11/19/2008

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I have the SAME exact problem!!!!! She won't even try it and then she'll stop eating because I won't offer her an old stand-by. (ours are cheeseburger, nuggets, applesauce, noodles, quesadilla...)



I do try to repeat offers over a couple of days, but so far that has not made any progress.

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