Everyone knows that children have to be exposed to a new food a million times before they’ll actually eat it.

It can be tough when you’re in the trenches, but… Multiple Tastes is your Goal.

For the record, the actual number of exposures isn’t exactly a million. It’s more like 10.

Research shows, though, the number varies depending on how “difficult” the food is to like. Research also shows that most parents give up after 4 or 5 attempts. But that’s because most parents are confusing tasting with eating. You’re not doing that. (Please tell me you’re not!)

The easiest way to get your children to the right number of multiple tastes is to let them think they’re conning you!

Tell your kids that they can taste “new” foods as many times as they want. And as frequently as they want.

Your kids will think they are getting out of tasting a “new” food. You’ll know they’re getting the number of exposures they need! It’s a win-win.

1) The same food doesn’t always taste the same. Nature mixes it up. 

  • Taste test different kinds of apples, either over time or side-by-side. Then…
  • Point out that even the same kind of apple can taste different. Some are sweeter, some are crispier.

2) The same food can be prepared in different ways.

  • Even the same recipe yields different results when the chef isn’t a machine. Taste test the same recipe over time or side-by-side. Read How Brands Bite You In the Butt!
  • But foods really taste different when the chef intends to prepare them differently. Taste the same food prepared three ways: raw apples, baked apples, candied apples.

3) Food tastes different when you eat it.

  • Food obviously taste different when you use a condiment like ketchup. But…
  • Food also tastes different as you eat it. Pay attention to the way something tastes when you first put it in your mouth. Keep chewing. Pay attention to how the taste changes. Now do the same experiment with your kids.

By now you should be in the swing of encouraging tastings.

Remember, now is NOT the time for eating. It’s the time for developing your children’s confidence, ability and sensory awareness.

  • Here is a list of questions to stimulate conversation.
  • Here is a list of vocabulary builders.

~Changing the conversation from nutrition to habits.~