Some picky eaters are afraid to taste new foods. This is often worsened by adults who insist the child try the new food. Often, forcing a child results in a self-fulfilling prophecy of not liking the new flavor.
Consider serving a new food but excluding your picky eater. Let the picky eater know that she will not be asked to try this new food because she is not old enough, etc. Tasting this new food is a privilege that the child has not earned. If the child asks to taste, decline. In a few days, serve the food again. This time mention that the child might get the opportunity to try it but in the end do not allow a taste. The third time around if your child asks for the food, allow only a tiny portion (smaller than an adult bite). Again, this food is a privilege. If your child does not ask for it after several opportunities, place a tiny portion (3 peas) on her plate. Do not mention the new food. Simply eat yours and perhaps ask someone other that your picky eater if they would like seconds. Continue to place minuscule portions of these new foods on your picky eater’s plate being careful not to mention them. Eventually, your child will either discretely try it or ask about it. Your reaction is key. Try not to care. If eating is a way for your child to show his independance, appearing nonchalant is your best weapon. The secret taster is trying not to loose face. Do not mention that she tried something new. Next time that food is served, give a larger but still small portion. If he asks why he is being served such a small portion, gauge your reply carefully. If she tastes it an still appears not to like it, then her avoidance is probably based on true preferences. Each of us has foods we dislike. However, research shows that children are more likely to accept a food if they have tasted it before.