When Your Baby Won’t Eat Peas


My baby hates peas! He doesn’t seem to like a few other vegetables, either. Is there anything I can do to get him to like them?

Dr. Greene's Answer

“My baby hates peas!” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard it. In an exciting study of babies with a demonstrated dislike for peas (perhaps you can picture the expressive faces of the babies enrolled in the study), each was fed peas as the first bite of solid food for the day. If the baby made a disgusted face or spewed the peas, the peas were not continued that day, in favor of other foods the baby liked. The peas were not force-fed. By the end of only 10 days, 85% of the pea-haters had become pea-lovers! They literally giggled at the sight of peas! Take the time early on to give your bundle of joy a delight in peas, green beans, carrots, squash, and sweet potatoes.

The best way to get your infant to eat any new food is to desensitize him or her to the taste. You can accomplish this by using the new food for the first bite of solids each day for 10 days straight.

Never force a child to eat more of a new food than she or he is ready for, but always be ready to scoop up more if the child is still interested! Some new tastes take longer to acquire than others, but continuing to expose your child to small amounts of healthy foods (that the adults in your family eat) will pave the way for good eating habits in the years to come.

Published on: January 08, 1999
About the Author
Photo of Alan Greene MD
Dr. Greene is a practicing physician, author, national and international TEDx speaker, and global health advocate. He is a graduate of Princeton University and University of California San Francisco.
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