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New Food. Shmew Food. Revolutionary Ways to Get Your Kid to Eat

I have news for all of you trying to get your “picky eater” to try a new food.

Well, more like a secret to share…

…or maybe just a pet peeve…

I am so tired of reading “how to” parenting posts on getting “your picky eater to eat”.

You know, what? Sometimes the issue is a lot more then being “picky”. In fact, most often your picky eater has a lot more going on in his brain development that makes these “how to” posts kind of a waste of time.  The messages my son’s brain receives when he puts a piece of steak in his mouth are remarkably different than the messages my brain receives when I bite into a piece of steak.

His obstacles are more than a behavioral quick.

As my oldest child (at six) begins his journey in Feeding Therapy {due to his sensory processing make up and subsequent food aversions}, I have discovered and read loads of research that I look forward to sharing with you!

My first post on Feeding Therapy – What I Learned at our First Feeding Therapy Session – gives an overview of a What to Expect, Steps to Take, and Resources to review. This post offers an alternative approach to encouraging your child to try a new food.

Encourage a Child New Food

I read an article that offered a different way to approach the “No Thank You Bite” or the “Just Try It” command. I truly appreciated the perspective the author introduces to the reader. The author offers an alternative approach to getting children to try new/non-preferred foods. She has many great points in the article Re-Define “Try It”.

Related Read: A Letter to Special Needs Parents that Will Break Your Heart & Inspire You

I especially like her point about breaking down the approach to food into many steps, and then celebrating each step (no matter how small or big) the child takes towards taking a bite and swallowing the food. I felt refreshed after reading this article. I feel motivated and excited, rather than overwhelmed by my son’s food aversions. I hope you can take a bit of that emotion with you, too.

How to Encourage Your Child to Try a New Food

25+ ways to help kids try new foods without commanding them to do so

  • Take a walk through a market or grocery store. Talk about the food.
  • Examine the new food
  • Research the new food
  • Create art with food (Seed Mosaics are a fun example. Create a “Parts of the Plant We Eat” exercise.)
  • Learn with food (Cracking nuts or crushing cloves as a Practical Life work, for example)
  • Play with food (Many adults have a tough one with this one but your child’s brain will devour it.)
  • Model eating the new food
  • Model eating A new food
  • New food in the same room
  • New food on the dining table
  • New food in a serving dish near the child’s table
  • Have new food in a special bowl but not on the child’s plate
  • Have the new food on the same plate as the meal, but use plate with dividers
  • New food on the child’s plate
  • Smell the food
  • Touch the food with a fork
  • Touch the food with a napkin
  • The child passes the food to another family member
  • The child serves the food to other table members
  • The child feeds parents, sibling, friend, pet
  • Remove the food from the plate or from touching the familiar food
  • Use regular plate and allow new food to stay there
  • Kiss food
  • Lick food
  • Put food in mouth and take it out, appropriately
  • Put food in mouth and eat it

For loads more detail and background on thinking about alternatives to “Just Try It”, please read this article Re-Define “Try It” by Marsha Dunn Klein, MEd, OTR/L. I am a parent and a teacher who reads a ton about this topic. I am not a professional in this field. I offer some knowledge from what I have gathered from th experts in the field.

Thank you! Marnie

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