If your toddler is a “picky eater,” you are not alone; 25% of parents in the U.S. are dreading feeding times, and that number is increasing. So how do we create all accepting omnivores in our kiddos? Well, the researchers say to start as early as possible.
The Rule of 10: Your child should try a new food 10 times, before deciding whether they like it or not
How do you decide if your child likes or dislikes a food? Researchers have probed as to how children make this decision. Their findings: children need multiple exposures to new foods before they accept it. Studies have looked at infants acceptance of vegetables, as young as four months. Results showed that after 10 opportunities to consume the vegetables, all infants significantly increased their intake.
While other studies showed that the average parent only offers their child a new food 3-5 times, less than half the times of the recommended opportunities!
Children like what they know, and eat what they like
Children’s food preferences and intake patterns are shaped via early experience with food and eating. Giving your a child a wide variety of food tastes is crucial to creating the omnivore.Exposure to food is generalized. That means, if you start out by giving your child only sweet purees (carrots, sweet potatoes, pears, etc.) and then try something bitter (like broccoli), they are most likely to reject it the first few times.
Don’t shy away from spiced up foods! Children’s experience with food influence their preferences and the amount that they consume. Research suggests that the earlier and broader the experience, the healthier the child’s diet.
So, San Francisco moms: what are you waiting for? Check out the weekly menu at Fresh Baby Bites and start giving your child a broader experience with food... and get lots of these fresh, delicious, and local tastes... remember your tot needs 10 opportunities to try it!