I read an article from a health magazine once that kids need to be introduced any food 17 times before they will try it. I thought that was very absurd. Of course, I was still single back then when I read it. I do believe it now, 100%, if not 17 times, more.
A couple of days ago at a family gathering, I saw Dai Bee (my older son) holding a strawberry. I thought he was playing with it or passing it around to people. Nope! He was actually eating it, one after another. With many variations (strawberries dipped in chocolate, strawberry-banana smoothie, strawberry cake), I tried to get him to eat it before numerous times (I lost account). He just wouldn’t budge. I wasn’t sure if he saw everyone else eating it, or that it was the only bowl of fruit on the table, and decided to give it a try. Anyway, that came as a shock, and once again, proved the theory of having kids try the food over and over. As for my younger son, Ah Lo, who just turned 3, I will just have to try 2 times harder to get him trying new things because he’s a bit more stubborn.
To get Dai Bee to eat carrots, we told him carrots can make your eyes see very far. We told him his when he was much younger. Every now and then, he’ll tell me “look, I can see all the way to the beach, because I eat a lot of carrots.” Whenever Ah Lo sees his older brother, he tends to put it his mouth.
Dai Bee has gotten much better trying out new food. I remembered an incident from a trip to Japan. He was fussing over not going out to dinner with us. Of course, he had no choice. Anyway, that night, we had Japanese style Italian food (yeah, sounds weird, but boy it was heaven!). We cleaned up the plates in record time of 35 minutes. After the meal,Dai Bee told me, “at first I didn’t want to go to dinner with you guys. I was glad I did because the food tasted delicious.” Ever since then and throughout the trip, he was very willing to try out new food. Whether he likes it or not, he still tried it.
Parents, if you child doesn’t like it the first time, doesn’t mean they will never eat it. Just keep trying whenever it’s available. Also, make different variations, steam, stir fry, bake, whatever just to get them to try it. I even bought special cutting tools (at dollar stores) to make the vegetable look fancier. Never stop trying…
“Today I’m thankful for the variety of fruits and vegetables available for our consumption.”