Getting children to try new foods and tastes

Australian chef Bill Granger shares his best tips for getting fussy kids to eat and try new things at the dinner table. 

The thing is with children, it can take up to 12 times for them to accept a new food. Biologically, humans are taught to refuse new foods. It's a bit of protection against being poisoned, basically. So, don't be disheartened by a fussy eater in the family!

My first tip is not to make a big deal out your child's eating habits and definitely don't force kids to try or eat anything. I always praise my children for trying something new, even if they didn't like it. I say "Good on you for trying. It doesn't matter if you don't like, you don't have to eat it."

My best advice is don't make a big deal about food because you don't want to turn food into a battle. You also don't want your child developing a complex relationship with it. So when they're young, try to keep things light and positive.

If kids don't eat dinner don't worry about it, it's no big deal. They'll have a big breakfast. Kids can go without a meal, you just can't worry about it, which I understand is hard! But believe me, they'll be back! 

My eldest daughter is amazing - she eats everything - and the younger one, Ines, eats most things, while my youngest, Bunny, took a while to eat things that weren't white. They all go through that stage of only eating white things, so don't be disheartened by it. It's only a stage.

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