The 10th (or 30th) Carrot- Getting Kids to try New Foods

by Meri on August 1, 2013


I’ve learned over the years as a dietitian and now as a mom that it’s important to continuously introduce the same food over and over to small children. Eventually they’ll try it. This worked quite well when my kids first started exploring foods as 6 month olds. After a few introductions they would play with it and eat. Great!

As toddlers the road with Poppie has been a bit more difficult. She is a true picky eater with about 8 foods she’ll accept because of some sensory integration issues (textures freak her out) and being born with a choanal atresia (bone blocking one of her nostril openings) affecting her sense of smell. We’ve managed creatively this far but I sort of gave up hope about the keep serving the same food item over and over. While I still serve her variety every day she just doesn’t try new things or try certain foods more than once. The kid hasn’t touched any sort of meat (beef, chicken, fish) in over 2 years. 

Then…the most miraculous thing happened. Mr. asked me for a full carrot (one of his favorites) when Poppie said, “oh…I want one too”. This isn’t my first rodeo. Usually when she does this she’ll take a bite and set it down saying she doesn’t like it. However, on this day (that will go down in the 3Tomatoes history book), she ate the entire carrot. Not a baby carrot but a large. sized. carrot. 

I was of course so excited I wanted to dance a little jig but kept my cool. I had this feeling that maybe this was one of those days and I wouldn’t see a repeat of the same progress. Low and behold, she’s continued to eat carrots. Amazing. Now when she eats I am just so elated. I mean, it’s just a carrot right? But for a kid who only eats peanut butter and jelly and frozen blueberries it’s a really big step. I don’t want to make too big of a deal out of it in front of her because she gets embarrassed if too much attention is thrown her way so I was like, “hey, that’s cool you like carrots now” and wandered around the corner to do my little jig. 

Moral of the story? It may not be exactly the 10th exposure to a particular food but perhaps the 30th that they will at last try it and enjoy it. Keep up the variety, you never know when they’ll eat that carrot or other food item you’ve been diligently serving!

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