What To Do When Your Kids ‘Don’t Like The Taste’ of Food

kids unhappy eating

You finally got your kid to taste that food and then….. “I don’t like it” 😔 You may get sad, or even mad about this reaction. Both totally normal feelings by the way! In this guide, I break down exactly how to approach these situations!

1. Understanding the Palette:
Christine emphasizes the importance of recognizing the role of a child’s palette in shaping their food preferences. She explains that a palette refers to the flavor experience in the mouth and encourages parents to engage kids in conversations about what they see, promoting an awareness of colors, shapes, and sizes.

2. The Power of “Yet”:
Christine introduces the concept of the word “yet” to reinforce the idea that a child might not like a certain food “yet.” She highlights the need for repeated exposure, explaining that it takes time for a child’s brain to decide whether they enjoy a particular food. By removing the pressure and emphasizing the learning process, parents can instill a growth mindset.

3. Tracking Progress:
To make the journey more engaging, Christine suggests the Food Explorer’s Log Book that records a child’s reactions to different foods over multiple attempts. The chart helps visualize progress, ensuring that parents and children recognize the evolving nature of taste preferences without resorting to external rewards.

4. Adapting to Changing Taste Buds:
Christine dispels the myth that taste buds change every seven years and acknowledges the variability among individuals. She advises parents to stay open to reintroducing foods periodically, emphasizing that a dislike at one point doesn’t mean a permanent rejection.

5. Expanding Flavor Horizons:
Parents are encouraged to diversify their child’s palate by gradually introducing new flavors and textures. Christine shares her personal experience of transforming her husband’s initially limited taste preferences by incorporating small adjustments to familiar dishes. She emphasizes the impact of these subtle changes on expanding a child’s acceptance of diverse flavors.

It’s so important parents realize that they have the power to transform mealtimes positively. Small, consistent steps are really the key toward making food fun and stress-free. Every action contributes to significant, lasting changes. Fear around food is natural, but should not control your child’s healthy eating habits.

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