One of the most common problems faced by parents is how to inspire their children to taste a new food--to try just one bite! Natalie Rigal, a child psychologist who has extensively researched questions of taste, explains the often complex attitudes children bring with them to the dinner table and offers parents creative ways to get children to approach eating with the same curiosity and enthusiasm they display toward other activities. Using her own experiences as well as the latest research in the field, she shows that children’s tastes, which often manifest at a very young age, are connected to an intricate combination of family habits and social influences. She reveals why most children prefer sweet foods to salty ones, familiar foods to new ones, and why children often prefer the meals they share with their grandparents and friends over those with their parents and siblings--and what parents can do about this.
Rigal explains that the aversion children express to most foods can be overcome by learning how to speak with them about what they are going to be eating--not just its flavor, but its consistency, appearance, and the sound it makes when eaten. She shows that encouraging a child’s natural instinct to experiment can provide the inspiration needed to try even those vegetables that are most universally loathed by children such as lima beans, broccoli, and brussels sprouts. Finding pleasure in eating has been shown to be the secret to “why French women don’t get fat.” It is also the secret gateway to getting your children to eat the nutritious foods they need.