Alex Guarnaschelli Had The Perfect Advice For Getting A Teenager To Eat Anchovies

Most of us experience a change in palate between childhood and adulthood. In other words, as we grow up, we try new foods and acquire new tastes. That broccoli we hated as kids now tastes pretty awesome, especially when roasted with garlic. The oatmeal we refused is now pretty exciting when it's baked with cranberries. Those fish sticks? Well, we still may not like fish sticks, but we do like fish.

Additionally, research has shown that kids are more sensitive to sour and bitter flavors than adults (via Parenting Science). And because kids are still growing rapidly, they instinctively want to eat high-energy foods like sweets, rather than leafy greens.

Unfortunately, most kids come to associate new foods with being forced to eat them. Being told to eat your asparagus is only going to make you not want to eat the asparagus, right? Trying new foods should be exciting and of free will. This is why chefs like Guy Fieri and Alex Guarnaschelli recommend letting kids try a wide variety of new foods of their own accord, even at a young age. And Guarnaschelli has one big tip when it comes to getting kids to try protein-packed anchovies.

Let your kids try new foods at their own pace

Most parents have probably wondered at one time or another why their kids are so picky about eating. When one parent posted on Twitter, "How do I get my teenage daughter to appreciate the value of adding anchovies to aglio olio, etc?" Alex Guarnaschelli, one of our favorite Iron Chefs, responded with some surprising advice. She said, "Leave her alone. She's a teenager. Let her watch you eating them. She'll come around. Or she will simply appreciate that you left her space to find her own culinary tastes" (via Twitter).

Guarnaschelli has a daughter of her own, so she's no stranger to parenting woes. Other Twitter users agreed with her advice, sharing their own stories. One person commented, "I didn't force my kids to eat anything. They tried in their own time. And now that they are teens/20s, they are open to try anything. And best of all they love to cook and try to make new things."