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Ask an Expert - Picky Eaters

My twins are very picky eaters. I worry about them getting the nutrition they need. How can I get them to try some different foods?
Ask an Expert - Picky Eaters

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By Ardith Burnt, Ph.D., L.R.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Health, Nutrition, and Exercise Sciences, NDSU

You have to offer new foods regularly and encourage them to try the new foods. Getting children to try new foods takes more than one or two attempts. In fact, you may need to offer children new foods up to 20 times before they will accept it. Making sure that you don’t give in and only offer tried and true favorites is important.

Ruts are hard to get out of for adults and children alike. However, you will find that after a while of consistently trying new foods, the twins will look forward to the new flavors. Finally, having the whole family eat the food that you are encouraging your children to eat is important (modeling desired behavior). If you are concerned about nutrition, you might want to try cold cereal for breakfast. Many of the low-sugar, whole-grain cereals are packed with vitamins and minerals. Limiting treats is another thing that might help the twins be more likely to try new foods.

Filed under: 2009 esph magazine
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