Many toddlers go through a stage of picky eating. As a parent, it can be frustrating when your toddler suddenly stops liking foods they’ve always enjoyed or they’re no longer as open to trying new foods as they once were. For my kids, it’s like a switch flips… in the matter of a day they go from literally trying to eat everything they find, to not eating their favorite foods. They’re suddenly eating with their eyes instead of their bellies. Having gone through this twice and knowing we’ll probably be there soon with our youngest, I wanted to share 4 tips for picky eaters – these are the tips I’ve found helpful when dealing with toddlers who are picky eaters.
5 tips for picky eaters | toddlers
- Let them help. This looks different for every age, but it has been a game-changer for us! From helping “wash” fruits and veggies, to measuring out ingredients, to setting timers or dishing out servings, there is a job suitable for each age. Having just worked to prepare something for themselves leaves children feeling in-control and proud. This has also helped lower the frustration I have seen from my toddlers. Many times they would request something, I would make it and then they’d throw a fit that it wasn’t what they wanted. Turns out, it just looked differently than it had the last time they ate it. Letting them help me has eliminated those fits!
- Try fun shapes with food! Cookie cutters are for so much more than cookies! We like to cut our sandwiches, cheese, veggies, fruits, and more into fun shapes. We even cut them into puzzle pieces and it makes mealtime more fun and interactive. Some of my toddler’s favorite shapes have been stars, hearts and Disney’s Mickey Mouse.
- Ditch their plates and try something non-traditional instead. My kids love to snack. (Me too, if we’re being honest.) Changing up the way I serve them a meal, to make it seem more snack-like, has been great. We have so many serving dishes and platters we RARELY use, so this has given them new life. And hey, it doesn’t need to be anything fancy, ice cube trays work perfectly, too!
- Try a reward system. Use a sticker/chart system to reward them for trying a new food, even if it’s only one bite! It’s a great way to teach them that trying new foods can be fun.
- Enlist the help of their favorite characters! As a child, I remember seeing my favorite character on a box of cereal or a snack and HAVING to have it. I didn’t care if it was the most boring food in the world, I wanted it because it looked fun! Using their favorite characters, like Disney’s Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, can be a great way to get them excited about mealtime.
We all LOVE bread in our house and white bread (made with whole wheat) has always been our go-to. Brownberry Organic White Made with Whole Wheat Bread is the perfect base for our snacks or sandwiches because it is soft and smooth in texture. It has the perfect taste that doesn’t overpower your other ingredients. Made with Organic whole grain as the first ingredient, this bread is plant-based and provides a good source of Vitamins A, D, & E. It’s specifically baked with picky eaters in mind! They’ll love it because it’s yummy and the packaging features Disney’s Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse. And parents will feel good about it because it is both USDA Organic and Non-GMO Project Verified. It’s also freshly baked using renewable wind energy.
Have you dealt with a picky eater? Have any of these tips helped you? What are your picky eater’s favorite foods?
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