#29 - Why Your Food Introductions Aren't Going As Well as You Hoped

Jun 18, 2023
#29 - Why Your Food Introductions Aren't Going As Well as You Hoped

Hello! Welcome back to the Food Explorers Podcast episode #29, I’m your host Sam, and I am really so glad you are here. Over the past couple weeks this podcast has really started to grow and I am so thankful that you decide to spend your time learning here with me. If you’ve been loving this podcast, I would be so grateful if you would take a moment to leave a review. These reviews tell Apple and Spotify to introduce this podcast to other parents just like you, so they can start ending mealtime battles too. 


Let’s get to today’s topic...


Sometimes introducing new foods feels downright defeating.


We all know this scenario: you prepare a delicious meal, you're excited to introduce a new food, and you think, "This will be the time they like it!" But as soon as you place it in front of them, they cry out, "I don't want that!" or "I don't like it!" And just like that, mealtime turns into a battlefield.


I know this leaves you with the thought “WHY”, “WHAT AM I DOING WRONG.” Well, there are several reasons why food introductions may not be going as well as you hoped.


Let's explore a few of them together:

  1. We tend to jump the gun sometimes. We're so eager for children to try new things that we push them too quickly. It's important to remember that each child has their own unique pace and comfort level when it comes to trying new foods. This is especially true if you are at the beginning of your journey - your child might still be extremely cautious and guarded. According to the SOS Approach to Feeding, children gradually become more comfortable around foods in a sequence of developmental steps. First, they need to be comfortable seeing it, smelling it, interacting with it, and touching it. From there, they can progress to being more comfortable with the food around their face, tasting it, and biting it. In general this sequence is looking→interacting→smelling→kissing→licking→ biting. I like to think of this like walking up a flight of stairs. Would you ask your child to jump from the first floor to the fifth floor? No, that would be so overwhelming. Instead, we help them go up step-by-step. It’s the same with new foods. Instead of jumping right to take-a-bite we can help them gradually conquer each step. On the other hand, forcing or pressuring them to move too quickly to the top floor of biting can lead to resistance and fear.

    Imagine if someone placed a plate of an unfamiliar food, like crickets, in front of you and demanded that you eat it. You might feel overwhelmed or even anxious. You’d probably want to poke it to your fork, or touch it to your teeth to test it out before digging into a bite. Children experience these same emotions when they're put under similar pressure. So, let's take a step back and give children the time they need to feel comfortable and explore new flavors and textures. This is where sensory food play comes in. As we discussed last week, sensory food play can be used to help children feel more prepared and ready to eat a food. 


Now, before we continue, I want to remind you about an exciting resource that I've created just for you. It's called "5 Sensory Food Play Ideas to Help Your Child Become a More Adventurous Eater." And the best part? It's completely free! This resource provides practical tips and fun activities to engage your child's senses and prepare them for becoming an adventurous eater. So, if you haven't already, be sure to download it today by clicking here: https://www.drsamgoldman.com/5-sensory-food-play-ideas 

2. Another factor to consider is whether the food you’ve chosen aligns with their body. Children have different sensory and oral motor skills, and what may seem easy for one child might be challenging for another. Some kids may struggle with certain textures, while others may have difficulty with complex flavors.

It's crucial to be mindful of your child's current stage and adjust your food introductions accordingly. Start with simpler foods that are familiar to foods they already know and love. For example, if they love cheerios, could you start introducing some change with another brand of cheerios, or a new flavor? Gradually introduce new textures and flavors, allowing their palate to adapt and expand over time. These really small wins add up. Remember, it's a journey, not a race.


  1. Kids have limited exposure to new foods. As adults, we take for granted that we can look at a food and pretty much predict what it will feel and taste like based on our previous experiences. Children are still in the learning part of this process. Children naturally tend to be cautious when it comes to unfamiliar foods - this is biological - it’s not them being difficult. It can take multiple exposures for them to become comfortable and accepting of new flavors and textures. I personally think of all foods as an acquired taste. Over time, our  brain becomes more used to the flavor and texture, and doesn’t send out alarm signals. Sometimes, we may introduce a new food once or twice and assume they don't like it because of their initial reaction. In fact, research shows that most parents give up after 3-5 times. However, it's essential to provide repeated opportunities for them to try and experience a variety of foods. Some children can take months, or even years to become more comfortable with a food. Others can take just a couple days. By consistently exposing them to new flavors and textures, we give them a chance to develop a taste for diverse foods over time.


Remember, every child is unique, and their food preferences will vary. By approaching food introductions with patience, empathy, and a non-judgmental attitude, we can foster a positive and healthy relationship between our children and the foods they eat.

Patience really is key here. Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither is a diverse and adventurous palate.


Celebrate small victories along the way, even if it's just a single touch or taste of a new food. Each step forward is progress, and every mealtime can be an opportunity for growth.

Well, that brings us to the end of today's episode. I hope you found these insights helpful and encouraging. Remember, you're not alone in this journey. Many parents face similar challenges, and with the right approach and mindset, you can create a positive and enjoyable food exploration experience for your child.

Thank you for tuning in to the Food Explorers Podcast. Don’t forget to download your Freebie Guide 5 Sensory Food Ideas to Help Your Child Become a More Adventurous Eater at https://www.drsamgoldman.com/5-sensory-food-play-ideas. I’ll see you back here next week!




  1. Sosapproachtofeeding.com
  2. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/8937338_Prevalence_of_picky_eaters_amongInfants_and_toddlers_and_their_caregivers%27_decisions_about_offering_a_new_food



***This post/podcast is not sponsored. The opinions and content of this blog/podcast are unique to the writer unless otherwise stated. No compensation is received for the links shared. All contents of this episode are based on our personal opinions and experiences.

Disclaimers: The information provided by SAMANTHA N. GOLDMAN, LLC (“we,” “us” or “our”) on theot4me.com, drsamgoldman.com, and samantha-goldman.mykajabi.com (the “Site”) is for general informational purposes only. The Site cannot and does not contain medical advice. Any medical information is provided as my/our personal experiences is not a substitute for professional advice. Accordingly, before taking any actions based upon such information, we encourage you to consult with the appropriate professionals. We do not provide any kind of medical advice.



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