In our 7th grade class another one of our students is having a similar experience this spring. Hunter has always had a hard time trying new foods. He will rarely eat what we cook and he gets serious anxiety just sitting at the table while the rest of us eat. He never has a bad attitude and is always willing to clean up, do the dishes, and help prepare the meal, so he can sometimes slip by unnoticed. In one of our mealtime conversations Hunter realized that he didn’t dislike foods so much as he was afraid of trying them. I asked him if he could remember the first time he felt scared to try something new. He said it was in second grade when a teacher forced him to eat something he didn’t like. I asked him if he could remember trying new things before that and he said he could. He said he used to love trying new things (maybe even too much, as he once tried to eat a quarter).
I asked him to make a list in his journal of all the vegetables he had tried at GG and then to check the ones he liked. It turns out he had liked 4 out of 5 vegetables! I asked him, based on those statistics, what the chances were that he would like the next veggie he tries at GG; “an 80% chance” he said! He must have liked those odds because this spring we are experimenting with vegetable recipes. First on the chopping block, carrots!