picky eaters

Picky Eater: Tips to Help Kids Eat!

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Picky eaters can be tough! Some kids like to live on a diet of mac and cheese and hot dogs, while others prefer grilled cheese and chicken nuggets.

Then there are others that will eat a wide variety. Who knows why some kids will eat anything under the sun and some kids will only eat a few options. It can become worrisome if they are getting all the nutrients that they need to grow if they will only eat a few items. Even more so if those few items do not include any fruits or veggies.

picky eaters

I have been lucky so far – for the most part, my kids are good eaters. Although for the last few months, my son has been on a fruit strike. He wouldn’t eat a single piece until recently, after eating everything under the sun 6 months ago. Here are some things I’ve done that have helped the kids to eat a variety and get my son back into fruit.

Picky Eaters Need Lots of Options

picky eaters

It’s a good idea to give your picky eater plenty of options. I like to give my kids 3 or 4 different options for each meal. I try to offer one or two things that I know that they like and one or two things that are either new or that they have not shown a great interest in. This way, they are getting enough food that I know for sure they like, but also provide an option of something else.

Don’t Only Give Picky Eaters What They Like

If you only give a picky eater things they will like, they will never have a chance to branch out and learn to like something new. When babies start a new food, it is said that it can take up to 10 times for them to like any given food. I feel like kids can be the same, especially if they are not exposed to it – they will never like it if they never have it to try!

It’s also true that if toddlers are hungry enough, they will eat what’s in front of them. So by adding some foods that they are not familiar with or that they may act like they don’t like, if they are really hungry, they will eat it.

If a Picky Eater Refuses, Try, Try Again!

picky eaters

Keep giving picky eaters food that they may not like if they refuse it a time or two or five. Even if kids refuse to eat food a few times, don’t give up trying. Remember that fruit strike my son was on? Well, even though for weeks, or even months, he would not touch a piece of fruit, I continued giving him some with his meals. I tried all different kinds – banana, watermelon, strawberries, blueberries, cantaloupe, grapes. It would sit untouched on his plate, but I persisted in giving it to him.

Then one day, I look, and he’s eating his cantaloupe, and then his banana. Then another day he nibbled on some watermelon. He is nowhere near back to eating all the fruit he used to, but he is back to eating cantaloupe and banana most days. So I give one of those and one of the ones he isn’t thrilled with. I’ve caught him trying the others and I’m hoping soon enough, he will put those back in the mix as well.

It’s the same with any kind of food though – keep trying and don’t give up on it! Try these tips and hopefully slowly your little one will start to expand their world of food!

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9 thoughts on “Picky Eater: Tips to Help Kids Eat!”

  1. My kiddo really likes the divided plates, too. They allow me to offer greater selection than just throwing it altogether on a single plate. My kids got my “gene” of not wanting food to touch so plates like this also help greatly! I like your tip of offering a few things you know they like BUT also a few things they don’t or haven’t yet tried. Great idea! I’ll be giving these a try with my toddler this week!

    1. My son will use both but it’s funny – when I give him a divided plate, he wants to keep everything in the right section!

  2. I have one picky eater even though it is weird because he loves things other kids don’t. It is hard thanks for reminding me to keep trying

  3. I have kids who are off and on again picky… sigh. Right now, what’s working for us (and we’ve shared this “rule” with Grandma and Grandpa too for when they’re at their house, and they like it too) is the “no thank you bites.” They have to take three “no thank you” bites before deciding if they really don’t like it. My youngest has found quite a few foods that he otherwise would have said “yuck!” too. (That’s another thing not allowed… the words “yuck!” “gross!” “I don’t like that” “I hate that”)

    1. I love this rule! It’s a great way to get kids to try something and make sure it’s not just a one and done thing.

  4. My kids really love those divided plates, too! Totally agree that giving multiple options can lead to success. Thanks for sharing your tips!

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