...The vessel in which the food or drink is served is of greater importance than the food or drink itself.
Example 1: The subject (one 19 month old female heretofore known as "Sofia") is offered a sippy cup with water in it. Though she frequently accepts said sippy cup with milk in it, she flatly refuses to take more than the one sip of water from it, leading this researcher to believe that the child does not, in fact, like water. However, Sofia is then offered a second drink of water, this time from her mother's gigantic purple water thermos that she uses to down unnatural amounts of water while at work for the purpose of staving off the dreaded UTI. This time, the subject happily downs several ounces of the stuff, while simultaneously getting several more ounces of it all over herself and the carpet.
Example 2: Sofia is offered a bite of delicious macaroni and cheese florentine that her mother spent hours (or at least a half hour) slaving over the oven to prepare. She sees green and immediately turns her head, with a look upon her face that clearly indicates she will not be trying any of it, even though this researcher knows she will love it if she can just get one bite of the stuff in her mouth. Thinking, the researcher gets up and rummages through the cupboard until she finds a baby food jar. She smashes the macaroni and cheese florentine into the jar and then offers it to the child. The child sees it coming from the baby food jar and is tricked into trying it. The researcher is correct. She loves the macaroni and cheese florentine.
Fascinating stuff, this parenting.