I spend a lot of time caring for a three-year-old that is a pretty picky eater. However, the stuff he does eat is generally fairly healthy stuff. Lately he has started gagging on food he isn't sure about before he tries them. Normally, I'd just continue with the "you need to try it" thing (as would his mother - her parenting style is actually quite similar to mine which is REALLY nice!) However, the thing about this one is that they are honest gags followed by coughing and sometimes even a little throw-up. I think he just gets himself so worked up in his head about how it will be awful that then when he tries the thing it really is that awful.
One example is at a party he gagged on peanut butter and ritz cracker sandwiches (one of his absolute favorites) because they were made to look like spiders with two raisin eyes (he loves raisins) and eight crunchy chow mien noodles (which his mom had picked off already). That example alone isn't a big deal, but it definitely shows how it is really in his head and not about actual taste or texture.
Has anyone else experienced this? what did you do?