A while ago we asked you on Facebook for your biggest challenges when it comes to having a picky eater in the house. We called in Elizabeth Pantley, best-selling author of The No-Cry Picky Eater Solution to help solve your problems. We’ll be sharing them over the next few weeks.
I have a 7 year old daughter who only eats fresh fruits and vegetables, crackers and cereal and milk. She will not eat pasta, bread, any type of meat, peanut butter, yogurt, or anything cooked or “mixed together”. She is genuinely scared to put “different” food in her mouth. Would love suggestions on ways of introducing her to new foods. — Holly P.
Hi, Holly. Children trust familiar things in their lives and can be suspicious of things new and different—this applies to food, too. A picky eater often has to be exposed to a new food as many as ten to fifteen times before even tasting it! Look at expanding your daughter’s diet as a year-long process. Pick two or three new foods and put a tiny bit of a new food—such as two chickpeas or one Brussels sprout—on her plate along with regular favorites, once or twice a day. Don’t expect her to eat it, and don’t comment if she pulls it apart or mashes it. Allow the experimentation—it’s the first step to acceptance. Once a food becomes familiar gently encourage her to try a bite.