Here’s an idea: if you want your child be more open to new foods, bring him to a new playground, have him wear a new jacket, and then give him a new …

What better day to talk about new than New Year’s Day?  It’s not just a day to think about fresh starts, but also a day to consider how you bring new into your child’s life.

Research shows that

  • Kids who are the most afraid of trying new foods are also reluctant to try new experiences. Improve how your child handles new in general and you will improve how she handles new foods too.
  • Fear of new foods isn’t related to how much your kid actually likes something. It’s related to how much he expects to like something. Expectations rule the day.  That’s why exposing kids to lots of new experiences translates into a willingness to try new foods: it teaches them that new can be fun, exciting, and, yes, even tasty.

The best parenting advice reports that kids crave routine because they thrive on knowing what to expect. But that doesn’t mean things have to always stay the same.

The routine kids need revolves around the shape of their day: the timing of meals, the behavior that’s expected of them and bedtime habits – new experiences fit nicely within this structure.

Put lots of new into your child’s life so handling it becomes a habit and your struggle to introduce new foods will be half over.

~ Changing the conversation from nutrition to habits. ~


Source: Pliner, P. and K. Hobden. 1992. “Development of a Scale to Measure the Trait of Food Neophobia in Humans.” Appetite 19: 105-20.