Updated: Aug 23, 2020
Feeding your toddler can be quite exhausting at times. Especially when you have a picky eater. It sounds cliché, but the best thing you can do with a picky eater is continue to try, try and TRY! Often times, we as parents get frustrated with the process. Trust me I've been there and it gets tough but luckily most children grow out of picky eating habits by the time they turn five according to the CDC.
There are two very important things to have when dealing with a picky eater, an approach and a meal plan. Having these two things will ultimately aid you in helping your child in the process of becoming a more well rounded eater.
Finding an approach was the hardest thing for me as a parent. Mainly, because my son was not originally a picky eater. He use to eat just about everything but that changed when he turned one years old. It was like a ripple effect, even foods that he liked, he started to refuse. So I tried these tips:
Try eating the food first to show them your child you like it. Then, let them try it. Do not force them to eat anything!
Make lunch time fun! Try funny faces with the foods on their plate. It may help them get excited to eat it.
Let them feel in control. Give them a choice of different foods to try. Let them decide on which food they would like to try.
Serve new foods with foods you know they like. Want more tips for picky eaters, click here!
So on top of having the right approach, think about your child's favorite items they eat. Think of the textures of the items they eat. Food texture is defined as those properties of food that are sensed by touch in mouth and hands. Try to put together a meal plan that includes an item from each food group and texture. All food groups have certain textures It is important to ensure your child is able to familiarize themselves with textures so that new items can be introduced to them.
Option 1: Sliced bananas, fruit flavored oatmeal and glass of milk.
Option 2: Yogurt parfait with berries and a slice of wheat toast with nut butter and milk.
Option 1: Meat loaf/ meatballs cut into small pieces, mashed potatoes and sweet green peas with apple juice or milk.
Option 2: Vegetable Soup, grilled cheese slices, sliced apples and water
Option 1: Raviolli, green beans, sliced carrots milk or water
Option 2: Grilled chicken cut into small pieces, penne pasta and milk
Option 1: Cheese crackers or cheez-it grooves and water
Option 2: Apple sauce, dried pear crisps and water
These are only suggestions and each child is different. I find this chart to be quite helpful when planning out Tristan's meals to ensure that he is getting the nutrition he needs.
Let me know what meals work for you and your picky eater!