The study, conducted by researchers Clare E. Holley, Emma Haycraft, and Claire Farrow, and published in Appetite, suggests you can transform picky eaters as long as you have enough time and persistence. It all comes down to the “Three Rs”:
- Role modeling
Essentially, you need to offer the particular food they don’t want to eat at different meals (so it becomes commonplace and not some strange exotic item), show that you enjoy eating the food, and give them praise for trying it. If your goal is to get someone to eat healthier, you don’t want to reward them with sweets or junk food, but a little encouragement in the form of kind words can still go a long way. Over time, the Three Rs will break down their mental barriers. They may not decide they love the food, but they’ll get to a point where they’ll eat it without complaining.