Introducing New Foods

  • Situation

    My son will not try any new foods. When I even ask him to just take a bite of something different he starts yelling. How can I get him to try something new?

  • Summary

    When introducing new foods many children have a difficult time. Taking small steps and reinforcing the desired behaviors can lead to success. Implement a reinforcement program for tolerating new food on the plate, touching with fingers, smelling, touching with tongue and tasting the new food. Consult with your doctor with any concerns regarding your child’s nutritional health.

  • Definition

    Introduce new foods by implementing a reinforcement program for desired behaviors from tolerating the food on the plate to tasting the new food for a period of 2 weeks.

  • Quick Facts

    • Child's Age: 3-5, 6-10
    • Planning Effort: Moderate
    • Difficulty Level: Moderate
  • Pre-requisites

    reinforcement system

  • Process

    1. Select a new food that is similar to a food your child likes.

    2. Set up a reinforcement program using the appropriate motivators and system that works for your child (stickers, tokens, checks) and reinforce your child when he/she completes each of the following steps.

    3. Tolerates a new food item on the plate.

    4. Smells the new food item.

    5. Brings the new food to lips.

    6. Touches the new food with tongue.

    7. Takes a taste of new food.

    8. Tastes the new food every day for two weeks.

    9. If efforts to introduce new foods that continue to be met with resistance, consider consultation with an occupational therapist, speech therapist or behavioral health professional.

  • Documents and Related Resources



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