Peter Piper wasn’t this Picky, was he?

How many of you know a picky eater? I’m sure if you think really hard you will think of a child or even an adult who refuses food often or eats the same food over and over. Picky eaters tend to form in the one year to toddler age gap, but don’t fear there are ways to encourage new foods and habits in order to steer the picky eating in another direction. So, what can you do as a parent to help your picky eater?

  • Without being forceful but frequently offer new kinds of foods. More exposure to a food item will increase the chances of your child trying it and eating it.
  • See if your child has any food sensitivities and keep them in mind when preparing meals.
  • Offer your child different textures in their food, see if they have any aversions to mushy or crunchy textures and try to intertwine them if they do.
  • Put new food items next to the foods your child already likes and encourage them to touch, smell, lick, or taste the new food.
  • Involve your little one in preparing the meal, being a part of the experience gives them the opportunity to expand their curiosity
  • Offer safe “finger foods” that they can pick up and eat themselves.
  • Offer your child a spoon to hold while feeding them. This gives your little one a sense of responsibility and control
  • Set your little ones’ meal out before they eat.
  • Do not force your little one with the “two more bite” rule, when they show signs of being done go ahead and remove the food.

Parent’s don’t feel defeated in the world of picky eating. The best advice I can give you is to be patient and understanding. I can guarantee you that you yourself didn’t like broccoli on the first try! So, take it day by day and remember if you find that the aversions continue to grow, go ahead and talk to your child’s health care provider about any of your concerns!

Image credit: Getty Image Stock