If your child is refusing foods, it is time to talk some sense into them!

If your child refuses everything new that comes onto their plate, they might have entered their neophobic phase!

What is this new disease? Rest assured, it is not a new disease but only a phase during which your child will tend to refuse to taste any new food.

More than one step…

18 months old: Children are willing to taste everything and it is a great moment to introduce new foods, even those that mom and dad like less.

24 months old: Introducing new foods is harder because half of all children become difficult and show signs of neophobia.

2-3 years old: Children tend to refuse several foods, both new and known!

2-5 years old: Children accept to eat only specific foods.

To everyone’s taste

Keep in mind that each child develops their own tastes. Every child is unique! It is best to avoid insisting too much when a child refuses to taste something because it could take up to 8 to 10 attempts before they accept to try anything new. Insisting too much can cause reluctance and make it much more difficult to make them try new flavors.

Five senses on your plate

Take advantage of the preparation of meals and moments sitting at the table to awaken your child’s senses. Indeed, visual, auditory, tactile and olfactory sensations give a lot of information on the food. By explaining in simple words, your child will eventually learn to express what they like and dislike in specific meals. I love 5 to 10 servings a day invites you to discover fruits and vegetables with your 5 senses in a free brochure designed for children.

By Marie-Ève Nadeau, Nutritionist trainee level 4, McGill
Nathalie Regimbal, RD
Christine Gadoneix, RD
Dieticians and nutritionists
Manger Futé

Source consulted in November 2012:
GLOUCHKOFF, Alexandre. (2010). Pourquoi l’enfant refuse certains aliments.

Nathalie Regimbal

Nathalie Regimbal is a dietician-nutritionist and mother of 3 kids. She oversees Manger Futé, a team of people passionate about diet that empowers those who want to feed children healthily. To demystify nutrition and diet, Nathalie gives advice on the show La Cantine on Channel V. In addition to her collaboration with, you can read her articles in several print and online magazines. Among others, she is a collaborator in nutrition for Yoopa and Célébrons magazines. To make meal time easier for families and initiate kids to cooking, Nathalie has worked hard to write inspiring books: the best-seller Du plaisir à bien manger… 80 recettes gagnantes pour les familles, and the Mandoline series of illustrated cook books for children, the latest one having just won the prestigious prize of the best French Healthy cooking book from the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards 2010. To help with meal preparation in daycare centres, the team of dieticians at Manger Futé offers classes and coaching. Manger Futé has also published the practical guides Élaborez rapidement un menu équilibré dans votre service de garde and Élaborez rapidement une politique alimentaire. Discover Nathalie Regimbal's books: Du plaisir à bien manger – 80 recettes gagnantes pour les familles Mandoline – J’ai ça dans le sang! Mandoline – Développe tes défenses naturelles!

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