If your child likes a food, find something similar to offer. If it’s a flavor, a sauce, or a food prep technique, be mindful of using or including that familiar characteristic, making that link to new foods… (This notion of “chaining” or “bridging” similar tastes is common in the selective eating and sensory world.) Don’t forget that all the bridging won’t work if you are still battling over eating. Key is to offer the food in a pleasant, neutral way, as part of meals and snacks. And avoid praise if your child tries it…
Yogurt: M is not a breakfast food kind of kid. She recently started eating peach Fage 2% Greek yogurt, refusing other flavors that I enjoy like blueberry and strawberry. I have also offered Stonyfield Smoothies before, the flavor I like, which is the mixed berry. I’d be happy to include more yogurt and the smoothie drinks to help round out breakfasts and snacks on the go.
So, it finally hit me. I’ll try offering peach flavored smoothie, and I can enjoy them if she doesn’t. I offered the smoothie with snack the other day. She tried a sip, said, “Ew, I don’t like it!” and walked away. Ten seconds later, she tried another sip. Then drank about half the bottle.
I made no comment, and I enjoyed the other half with my lunch the next day.
M is overall an adventurous eater, but this scenario helps illustrate a few things:
- the initial reaction is usually negative to a new food
- wait… don’t rationalize, or try to sell the smoothie (as in, “But the peach is like the yogurt you like, you’ll like it!)
- familiar flavors can be the bridge to new foods
Have you seen this work?