Comment and discuss the blog post: Kids Like Broccoli
If you say ”My kids won’t eat that”, then they surely will not eat it. Every person is programmed to be able to eat the same foods as every other person on earth. There are minor differences, like food allergies or intolerances (though some of these may be caused by limiting a child’s diet early on). But if a child doesn’t like some food that other children eat, then the problem is the way the child is being fed.
At first, children are very skeptical of any new food. This has a strong evolutionary purpose. Children who will eat large quantities of any new plant or food are likely to poison themselves early on. When a child tastes a new food, it is very common for the child to make a face and immediately spit the food out. This is part of the learning process. If that food was a leaf from poisson oak or poison ivy or hemlock, the child would have a negative reaction and would learn to never eat that again, but would not have consumed enough to kill him.
But if the food is broccoli, there will be no negative reaction. The second time broccoli is introduced, the child might chew it a bit or actually eat some. The following time the broccoli will probably be eaten normally.
When parents mistakenly think that a child who spits out a new food is programmed to dislike that food for life, the food will never be offered again, and the child will “not eat that food”. This is becuase of the parents’ approach, not because the child is actually programmed to dislike the food.
So, the key to getting your child to eat a varied diet is to introduce many new foods to the child, one taste at a time. Do not consider initial rejection to be a sign of lifelong dislike. Consider initial rejection to be the first step in getting the child to trust a new and mysterious food.