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DEALING WITH FOOD REFUSAL


If you've ever found yourself saying "my baby tried broccoli and does not like it", you are not alone. 
 
Refusal to eat new foods like broccoli is normal toddler behaviour and part of learning to eat. The good news is it doesn't mean your child will never like broccoli.
It can take many exposures (some say up to 20 or more) before babies and toddlers feel ready to accept and eat a new food. Picking up the food, squishing it, tasting it and spitting it out are all typical ways toddlers learn about and accept new foods.
It is important to stay positive. Here are a few tips: 
Talk about what is happening. Try saying something like "That is called broccoli, you tried it and it has a different taste doesn't it?" 

Set a great example. Let your child see you enjoying vegetables. 

Continue to offer the new food. Offer broccoli (and other new foods) in calm, no pressure manner. At future meals when broccoli is on the menu, keep offering it to your toddler. Try putting another piece of broccoli in front of her and saying "see what you think" without any pressure.
Get creative: Try preparing the food in different ways. 
 
Avoid coaxing, bribing, tricking. Pressure from adults to eat certain foods or amounts slows done the process and often makes food refusal worse. Toddlers can smell an agenda a mile away!
For more information on the how to feed toddlers see www.ellynsatterinstitute.org

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