6 Tips for Feeding Picky Eaters
My toddler’s favorite meal consists of hummus and tofu. He clearly didn’t inherit my taste buds, which is probably for the best. While Logan is a pretty good eater most of the time, we still have our share of the picky eater syndrome (and it looks like I’m not the only one). Like a lot of kids, Logan loves something one day and hates it the next. Here are some of my picky eater tips that will help avoid mealtime battles.
1. Allow your child to explore. At around 7 months, Logan experienced his first solid food (a Chiquita banana of course) and he wasn’t quite sure what to think of it. I encouraged him to play with his food, to try it out at his own pace and learn about different textures. When I introduce a new food, it takes a week of exploring before Logan will eat it. I just keep offering it to him.
2. Have breakfast for dinner or vice versa. Logan is not a breakfast food kinda guy, so I’ve started serving dinner leftovers from the night before for breakfast with success. There is no law that you have to have pancakes and eggs for breakfast.
3. Make mealtime fun. Serve sweet potato giraffes or Chiquita pineapple chickens. Logan is really into fish at the moment, so I picked up a fish cookie cutter and he’ll eat almost anything as long as I cut it into the shape of a fish. You can also try color themed meals. One day all of the food you serve is red, the next day green, and so on. Allow older children to help out in the kitchen, I bet they’ll be more willing to try a new recipe that they helped with.
4. Have healthy snacks on hand. Logan has shelf space in our pantry and refrigerator, filled with things like raisins and apple slices. He knows he has access to these healthy snack options at all times and can eat whenever he’s hungry. Some mornings he’ll graze through breakfast, snacking on mini meals and he’ll refuse to eat a big meal. Not a battle I’m going to pick.
5. Try different textures and temperatures. Maybe your child won’t eat cauliflower raw but will eat it in puree form. Logan hates cooked peas, but will eat them straight from the freezer. On that same note, experiment with foods you personally might not particularly like. Your child might just surprise you and become a tofu fanatic.
6. When everything else fails, sneak in the fruits and veggies. There are those days that your child just plain refuses to eat anything remotely resembling a vegetable. Try hiding vegetable or fruit puree in your recipes. I’ve snuck in broccoli, peas and pear puree into spaghetti sauce successfully.
What are some of your picky eater tips?