Paul and I are doing our best to make sure Ian is exposed to different foods. As all parents are aware, cake is more than acceptable to a hungry toddler. Cookies, ice cream and french fries, ditto. Brussel sprouts, well, umm...you have to draw the line somewhere, right?
Different articles state it takes several attempts, perhaps around 15 times, before a baby/toddler gets used to a new food. Armed with this information, Paul and I face each meal with determination. No matter how often Ian refuses to eat a particular fruit or vegetable, protein, or other food group, we continue to put it on his plate.
Another frustration we are aware of, is the fact that a toddler will refuse to eat favorite foods on a whim. This does not mean he suddenly dislikes it, just that he wants to exercise his power to say no. After all, toddlers thrive thinking they have control. We can't force Ian to eat, but by golly we can continue to put those foods in front of him. The idea behind this is to let him think it's his choice to eat those vegetables.
Persistence is key. Articles claiming it takes about 15 times to acquire a new taste, are understating it ten fold for flavors along the lines of say brussel sprouts and broccoli. Those are some strong flavors to get used to! Be that as it may, we continue to put those lovely greens before our charming little fellow. And guess what, he's come around to liking some of them. Look at the picture carefully and you'll notice Ian happily eating broccoli. There are even floret fragments on his chin to prove it! Trust me, this didn't happen overnight. It didn't even happen within a month. He's probably seen broccoli at least 20 times before even trying the stuff, quickly spitting it out with a declarative, "BLAH!"
At that point, he was at least willing to keep trying broccoli, although for a long time it kept being spit out. Eventually he started swallowing the horrid, ahem, I mean wonderful stuff. He even eats the left overs while still cold. Crazy I tell you, and I'm loving it!
Today, Ian's eating broccoli and tomatoes. Tomorrow he may eat red peppers. As for lima beans, we've got a long way to go, but we keep trying. Poor Ian, he's going to have a lot of beans staring him square in the face during dinner.