If you were about to launch a new product, you would advertise for it, right? You wouldn’t expect people to buy it right away. Your potential customers would have to see your product multiple times to become familiar with it and maybe end up buying it.
It’s the same thing with children and new, unfamiliar food. They need exposure. They need time. And then they need more exposure. In short: They need to become familiar with the new type of food before accepting or even liking it.
Two important facts about food exposure:
- It takes 15-20 times (or sometimes more) of exposure for our children to become familiar with a new food
- Exposure is not only “to taste something”. Seeing others eat it, poking it with your fork, smelling it, touching it – it all counts as exposure.
So, when you children reject new food at the dinner table, try not to worry too much about this. Instead:
- Accept that they didn’t go for it today.
- Keep serving it (along with some foods you know they like)
- Tell them that maybe next time they want to try the new food