Observations of an Apprehensive Eater:
We took this lunchbox on a play date to the zoo with a fellow dietitian friend and her two young girls. They had hummus in their Bentgo boxes and offered to share. Claire chose the bell pepper first to dip! My eyes instantly locked with my dietitian-mom friend's; trying to convey the happy dance I was doing inside without letting my daughter see how totally stoked I was! She could've dipped a chip first (a more favored and familiar food), but she had seen me dip bell peppers in hummus many times before to know that was a fun option also.
Once she dipped it, she had a slight pause then offered it to me. I asked her if she was sure she didn't want it first, then eagerly took it. Keeping it fun, sporadic, and light-hearted, I didn't want to push it. The fact she even picked up a pepper slice today felt like a win in and of itself.
If you have an apprehensive eater, aim to observe the delicate balance of encouraging exploration and celebrating (slow) progress. For children who are apprehensive about new foods (AKA food neophobia), give them the space to explore without the pressure to eat. It may just be dipping a pepper 20 times and giving it to you before they decide they too want to try this fabulous combo themselves!