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Just a spoonful of a different food helps you develop a taste for it…eventually

The other night I served broccoli with our meal, and one of my sons, after eating all his broccoli grabbed another piece from the serving bowl and popped it in his mouth.  He then exclaimed, “Yummy!”

This was quite a shocker to me.  You see, Jacob (age 12), has high-functioning autism and kiddos on the autism spectrum often have reservations about the type of food they eat.  When he was little, he wouldn’t touch noodles or meat.  Now he eats both…and broccoli, I might add.  How is this possible when these kids don’t like to vary their diet?

I read an article many years ago that talked about how you have to try something 10 times before you develop a taste for it.  So, going off of that, I began setting aside a small little bowl with maybe 2-3 spoonfuls of our meal in it for Jacob and Nathan (our other son with autism).  They had to eat at least that much of the meal.  That is how I introduced beef stroganoff, chicken alfredo, kidney beans, and even broccoli.  You should see the servings these kids eat of stroganoff now that they are in their teens!!!  They are eating me out of house and home:).

It has been a blessing to our family to be able to have things that EVERYONE will eat.  Granted, there are still things like potatoes that I need to work harder on introducing to their diet.  I think it is a texture thing with the potatoes, but I will keep trying.  There is always room for improvement.

About the author, Tamara

Tamara K. Anderson is a speaker, author, podcaster, and is a professional in HOPE. She has four children who struggle with autism, ADHD, anxiety, visions issues, and all bring her great joy.


  1. The Atomic Mom on 01/12/2015 at 10:01 AM

    Thanks for this. We are trying this with our older son James, who, although not autistic, is very picky. When he turned 6, I told him, he would have to start trying more things. So far he as been amenable to trying things even though I see him really freaking out internally about it. His pickiness has served him well with his food allergies, but I have to remind him that everything in our house is safe for him. Joyce

  2. Tamara Anderson on 01/12/2015 at 1:18 PM

    Hang in there Joyce! It is so hard when they don't want to eat things that are good for them or safe for them to eat. This is something we have been working on for years. So, I wish I could tell you it is just magical and happens quickly, but it is a slow process.

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