How many parents out there think their child is a picky eater? When I meet people and they ask what I do, as soon as I say “nutritionist,” one of the most common discussions that arises is about the difficulties in getting a particular child to eat healthfully or “normally.”
Children can seem funny about food. But it’s important to keep in mind that for a child, eating is truly a learning experience and is ever-evolving from infancy all the way into adulthood.
Babies and children approach new food with caution are said to have neophobia, which means fear of something new. Although we might not go so far as to say they are truly phobic (a bit extreme), children need to be exposed to new or unfamiliar foods about 10-20 times before they begin to accept it. There are many theories behind this, one of which being that caution to the unfamiliar is an inherited survival mechanism to ensure food’s safety.