Having a little tike running around the house can be a blessing. Watching your child grow up is one of the most beautiful things in the world. As they grow up, there are new challenges that parents have to face. One of these challenges is getting them to try new food.
Children often reject new food as they are growing up. You cannot expect your child to keep having milk and instant cereal. There will come a time when you would want to introduce them to fruits, vegetables, and other food items. This article explores why children reject food and how you can help them accept new flavours.
Why Is My Toddler Rejecting New Food?
You must have seen your child taste things that are not meant to be eaten, such as their crayons, sticks, and all sorts of things that they shouldn't be consuming. This is not because they are hungry but has more to do with their intense interest at their early ages. This phase lasts from 12 to 18 months.
After this, they enter a new phase of food neophobia, i.e., the fear of new foods.
Scientists believe that neophobia is built into DNA. It is embedded in us to prevent humans from ingesting poisonous items. This response is natural, but toddlers can be trained to ignore it. It is advised not to give your child substitutes if they refuse a new food. This can result in your child growing up to be a picky eater.
Toddlers will eventually start trying new foods, but parents need to maintain a calm mind and patience and help them through this growth phase.
Tips On How To Get Your Toddler To Try New Food
We must understand that they are children, after all. Several tactics can be employed to help your toddler try new foods. Some of these tips include:
- Your child might see a new food as risky. To help them see it is safe, try tasting the food in front of them.
- Toddlers love games. Try creating a game out of the food to capture their interest. Activities such as "build your own taco" night can be a great way to help your toddler experience new flavours.
- You can often avoid giving them the new food on its own and sprinkle the food such as cheese or chia seeds to introduce them to the unique taste.
- It is essential to keep trying to get your child to try new food. Although your child might refuse, you need to attempt to serve it to them first in a creative way to get them to try it.
- If nothing else, offer them only to hold, lick, smell, or take a small bite and slowly move on up from there.
Children can often make dinner time challenging, but this is not their fault. Parents must stay patient and help them try new foods, introducing them to new flavours. It's important to understand your child's core reservations and not force them to eat foods they feel an aversion to.