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If you are having trouble getting your little one to eat new foods then read on! New research conducted by Reading University has discovered that children that look at pictures of new foods, are more likely to try and eat new foods. Children seemed more willing to look at new fruits if they had seem them in pictures, so they wondered if looking at pictures then encouraged encourage children to actually eat them.
Only a small sample was taken - just ten children - and each day they looked at a picture book containing some new fruit and vegetables. They were then offered the unfamiliar fruit and vegetables they saw in the picture book and some new ones too. On the whole, if they had seen the pictures in the book of unusual fruit and vegetables before being presented with them, they were more likely to eat them!
This suggests that showing children pictures of healthy food could well increase the chance of them actually trying and eating them! All those posters in nursery schools and libraries advocating healthy eating may really have a beneficial effect if the children see them often enough!
More research is being carried out to test this further... but its great news for those with fussy eaters.
Why not try it at home! Make a 'New Food Booklet' with your little one. Find pictures of unfamiliar fruit and vegetables in a supermarket brochure, the ones they print with their special offers. Cut them out and stick them on some pages to make a booklet. After a few weeks of looking at the book together on a daily basis, see if your child is willing to try one of the fruits. This could be the end of fussy eaters driving their poor mothers to distraction... even if it isn't a cure for toddlers unwillingness to eat everything you give... at least it will be a fun sticking and gluing activity to make a homemade book together.
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