Picky Eater-5 Tips to Help Your Picky Eater

A photo from above a child eating cereal, to attribute to the article of picky eaters
Photo by Providence Doucet on Unsplash
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You can’t get your child to eat what you make, you find yourself cooking different meals to satisfy everyone at home, you have tried and tried to get your child to eat vegetables and you just keep getting rejected.

Finally, you decide that for dinner, you make your child’s favorite dish, spaghetti with meatballs. You serve it and your child scrunches their nose and says yuck! UGH! How frustrating.

Does this sound familiar to you? You are not alone, I promise.

The most common concern from meeting with parents is that they have a picky eater at home.

So let’s dive into these 5 tips to help your child to become less picky.

1. Routine

Children thrive on routine, and mealtime is not an exception. How you create a mealtime routine will determine your child’s feelings about food. What do I mean about feelings?

That is that your child will either feel interested in trying new foods or feel completely uninterested.

A typical routine for your toddler can be:

Breakfast: 7:00 AM

Snack: 9:30 AM

Lunch: 12:00 PM

Snack: 2:30 PM

Dinner: 5:00 PM

Snack: 7:00 PM

This schedule is just an example and may differ based on your child’s eating habits (three meals or several small meals) and family lifestyle. 

The point is that a child on a schedule is more open to trying new foods and less likely to have a meltdown if hungry or fussy.

2.  Consistent Exposure

What I tell parents is, Your job is to offer a variety of foods, and your child’s job is to sit and decide if they will eat or not.

However, If your child does not eat at this meal, they will surely eat at the next or the one after. Avoid: Spoon feeding (if they can feed themselves already), cooking a separate dish, offering juice or milk at mealtime (you may offer these at snack time).

3. Be a Role Model

Whatever you eat, your child will eat. If you don’t like vegetables don’t expect your child to happily volunteer them into their mouths. Eating together as a family is a very good way for your child to understand the dynamics of mealtimes.

4. Allow a little play

Your child may take 10-12 times to see a new food before willing to touch it, smell it or eat it. Allow your child some time to touch food, smell it, taste it and return it to their plate. This is their way of becoming familiar with foods and one day they may surprise you by just eating it.

5. Don’t Give up

You will have feelings of despair, frustration, concern for your child’s health but hang in there. Continue to try new foods, cook them in different ways, present them with different foods,

Now as a mother, I know that sometimes you just don’t have the energy to read all those wonderful books on how to deal with your picky eater but if you feel you may have some time.

I recommend reading: Helping Your Child with Extreme Picky Eating: A Step-by-Step Guide for Overcoming Selective Eating, Food Aversion, and Feeding Disorders (Affiliate Link). I thought it had great detailed advice on how to deal with picky eating.

Stay tuned as I continue to write about Picky Eaters and how to help.

Until next time

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