Food Neophobia is the fear of trying new foods (Neo = new, Phobia = fear). Both children and adults can suffer from Food Neophobia, but children tend to be more neophobic than adults, as they have not got the familiarity with as many foods yet. It actually affects over 50% of children and peaks between the ages of 2 and 6.
Food neophobes are less likely to try new and different foods. The good news is that it can be overcome, or at least reduced, by exposure to foods. This includes seeing the food more often, trying little bits of food, seeing others enjoy it, and playing with it! All of these can take the fear of the unfamiliarity away.
So let's have some fun with this! Take a food that your child does not like as much and let them just play with it. No eating required, just crafting or messing about with it. Depending on the age of your child one or more of the following may be fun:
- Make stamps from potatoes or broccoli
- Make a cauliflower or carrot into a superhero
- Use a cookie cutter to make little shapes from a cheese or butternut squash
- Make a pretty picture by shaping (and glueing) peas and sweetcorn
- Have a teddy bear picnic and feed all the teddies some delicious greens, served with honey - of course!
I would love to see your creations :)