I went to a talk a few years ago on fussy eaters (run by a dietician and clinical psych). They said that it can take as many as 20 tastes to get used to a new flavour. It's important to keep putting the food on their plate and making small requests such as one bite or three peas. When they can do the small request you can increase what you ask. Keeping in mind there can be genuine taste dislikes (as opposed to fussiness) so if they have tasted something 20-30 times and still say they don't like it, they probably don't.
I think if your DS is voluntarily tasting what is on his plate that is a great start.
I have a 5 year old kid with autism and one issue for him has been food. Also I have a copy cat 3 year old and a one year old. The 5 and 3 year old would survive on cheese and bread if I let them , I've had many nights in tears after putting effort in to make something yummy only for them to refuse.
whats working for me now is putting all food in serving bowls and giving them empty plates . I always have salad ( that's why the Incredible Hulk is strong and green you know!) and seperate pasta and seperate sauce ( so they ponder it ) I say ok choose what you want and they choose. If they eat plain pasta and that's it it is no big deal. I'm done with making food an issue . Mostly now they at least try foods as they have control. They may gag and spit it out but at least they tried . I guess I just stopped pushing them . There can be sensory issues around food, my child with autism cannot cope with hot food so I tell him now that it will cool down and to try it if he wants.
Hope that helps , took a few weeks for them to try something new.
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