East Tennessee Children’s Hospital: How to help picky eaters try new foods

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Having a picky eater in the house can be stressful, but there are lots of things you can do to help your more persnickety kid be open to more foods.

According to Rachal Wall, a clinical dietitian at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, kids start saying no to foods when they’re around one-and-a-half years old.

Wall says exposure is important and even if kids are not eating a certain food, parents should try and still offer it to them.

“When I say exposure, that is offering it to the child at least ten times. That is ten different times that you make that food that you are offering it to them. So, that can be a long process. It’s totally fine that your child doesn’t eat a bite on the first, or fifth try. Just keep offering and don’t give up.”

Rachal Wall

Wall also says parents often try to get kids to just have a taste, but another option is to ask kids to use their other senses; have them smell the food or describe it, just to get them familiar with it.

Offering the food with something you know they do like can also help.

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