Top tips for picky eaters
If you feel your toddler is a picky eater, you are definitely not alone. Be patient – picky eating is a normal part of toddler development – they are developing the power to choose. Here are some tips to make the process a little easier:
- Extend an invitation: Invite a child who is a good eater to dine with your toddler;
- Provide variety: Offer a selection of both new and familiar foods—and let your toddler choose. This helps them feel like they are maintaining their independence;
- Don’t push: If your toddler refuses a particular food, never force them to eat it or finish it, even if it’s a food they have previously loved. Instead, move on to a different food and try that food again at a later time;
- Minimise distractions: Turn off the TV and other electronics during meal times to allow your toddler to focus on their meal.
- Be persistent: Keep offering foods again and again—it can take about 10-15 tries for your toddler to accept a new food.
- Make it attractive: Cut foods into different shapes or use a cookie cutter. Wafer thin apple slices and star shaped sandwiches can add a little bit of excitement.
- Change up the scenery: Mix things up by having a meal outside or in a tent. This can help alleviate any negative feelings towards meal times at the table.
- Get into a routine: We all know how important routines are for toddlers. Develop an eating routine of regular meals over the day, and healthy snacks in between. But remember appetites vary, some days they will be less hungry, and that’s ok.
- Relax: Keep meal times stress free. Your toddler will pick up on your body language. So stay happy and keep smiling
For more advice, see our tips for exploring new foods