When should I offer new foods to my fussy eater with autism?

It’s a question I hear a lot. My answer is so simple it’s hard to believe that it will change your life, but this one little adjustment is sure to have a monumental impact on your child’s eating and both of your lives. Ready for it?

How Often to Serve a Picky Eater New Foods

All the time.

At every opportunity.


Picky Eaters and New Foods

Serving new foods to a particular eater with autism can result in meltdowns, messes, and miserable meals.

I know that serving new foods to your child can be a challenge. Having new foods on their plate will challenge your child’s sensory needs, mess with their routine, and push them outside of their comfort zone.

Serving new foods will challenge your time, patience, and persistence.

You still have to serve new foods consistently.

Your child cannot learn to eat new foods and expand her diet if they are not regularly meeting new foods.

Therefore, it is imperative to offer new foods to your child at every eating opportunity.

Try these tips to expand your autistic child’s diet by consistently introducing new foods.

How To Serve New Foods to Autistic Picky Eaters

  • Offer at least one and up to two new  foods at every meal and snack.

  • Keep portions of new foods very small.

  • Alongside new foods serve one to two favorite or frequently accepted foods.

  • Reduce the portion of the favorites just a little bit.

  • Continue to serve the same one to two new foods repeatedly. Once is not enough to develop a preference or willingness to try.

  • Limit eating between meal and snack times.


Too many picky eaters don’t get the opportunity to experience new foods. Consistently serve a new food to your picky eater at every meal and snack to increase her exposure and comfort. Having new foods on her plate will challenge your child’s sensory needs, mess with her routine, and push her outside of her comfort zone, but that’s good.


Begin incorporating very small portions of new foods into your child’s meals. If it seems like too much work to prepare new food all of the time, look to leftovers, your meal, freezer foods, and odds and ends.

And! Personalized Support

If you want an individualized approach to help your child try new foods without a meltdown, consider my autism nutrition coaching program. Schedule a free coaching call..

* Do you have your FREE Picky Eating Guide yet? *