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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How do I get my daughter to try new foods?

    I have a 7 yr old daughter with multiple allergies ( it feels like just about everything!) She is anaphylactic to nuts but also is sensitive to alot of other foods. She is very restrictive with what she eats as when she was younger there was a massive list of foods she was allergic to. She is over weight & refuses bluntly to try any new food because she has had so many reactions to so many foods. The only fruit she will eat are apples & occasionally watermelon. The only veggies she will eat are carrots, potato & corn. I don't know how to encourage her to try new fruit & veg when she is so stubborn! Any ideas gratefully accepted! Thanks
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  • 1


    Ellen Moran

    Dietitian, Nutritionist

    Ellen Moran is an Accredited Practising Dietitian who promotes credible nutrition information, tailored to your personal health goals and needs. She has a special interest … View Profile

    As a dietitian, I am not big on food rewards such as ‘no dessert til your dinner is eaten’ (as this can set up bad eating behaviours later in life), but I am all for tangible rewards such as adding stickers to a sticker chart or special coupons such as earning a sleepover date with a friend, or picking the next family DVD to watch if children try a new food.  
    That way, if your daughter wants to earn your praise and such rewards, she will have to attempt to at least try a new fruit or veg, and as long as she’s given it a go, reward her. The more desensitised she becomes to the food, the easier it will be to keep it in as a regular part of her diet, and then you can both pick a new food to start experimenting with next!

  • 1


    Melissa Adamski

    Dietitian, Nutritionist

    I am an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) and Accredited Nutritionist (AN) with a passion for food and good nutrition. I also have my own private … View Profile

    Great response by Ellen! Also remember that children learn by example so if they see you eating the food (and not just one one occasion, but all the time), then they are more likely to try it themselves.

    And never give up! Just becuase a child rejects a food once, doesnt mean they are going to dislike the food forever- keep giving them a small amount of the food a few times a week on their plates (sometimes no bigger than a 50c piece). This way they are always exposed to it but you are not trying to force a full plateful into them- making them hate it. Over time they will begin to get used to the taste a even like it.

    Hey… it worked with me and broccoli!

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