My Toddler is a Picky Eater – Help!

It’s exciting when your toddler starts eating solid foods. You get to introduce her to lots of new things. There will be foods she likes and ones that she doesn’t. But many toddlers develop an aversion to new foods or only want to eat one certain food at every meal. This often happens around the infamous “terrible twos.” Some parents fear that their child will not get proper nutrition if they are picky eaters.

What many parents don’t realize is that toddlers do not need to eat as much as you might think. Growth slows down around two years of age, often resulting in a decrease in appetite. So your active two year old might fill up with just a few bites.

A lack of fruits and vegetables in the diet is also a source of concern for lots of parents. These food groups are trouble spots for many toddlers, and they do contain lots of healthy nutrients. But as long as the child is growing normally, there is usually no need to worry.

Introducing New Foods

It is not uncommon for a child to refuse to eat new foods. But if you offer a food consistently, your toddler will be more likely to try it eventually. Putting a small amount of the food you want her to try on her plate a couple of times each week will usually result in her taking a bite at some point.

Another approach is to ask your toddler to try one bite of a new food. Knowing that she only has to take a single bite makes it less intimidating. If she says she doesn’t like it, wait a few days and ask her to try a bite again. If after two or three times she still doesn’t like the food, it’s time to move on. Keep trying foods in the group she is lacking in until you find something she does enjoy.

Eating the foods you are trying to get your toddler to eat is a good way of teaching by example. Be sure to let her know how much you enjoy them. If she doesn’t see other family members eating the foods that she sees on her plate, she won’t be interested in trying them for herself.

Get Your Toddler Involved

Letting your toddler choose between items in the same food group makes her feel like her opinion matters. You could even let her choose some healthy foods at the grocery store. If it is her idea, she will be more likely to try it with an open mind.

Letting your child help cook is another way to get her involved in her food choices, and even young toddlers can somewhat help in the kitchen. A recipe book with pictures will allow you to choose recipes together. You can go to the store together and get the ingredients, then come home and prepare the dish. Kids are usually eager to try things that they helped make.

Picky eating is a frequent source of friction between toddlers and their parents. Setting a good example with your eating habits and casually but consistently introducing new foods may help your child broaden her horizons. If not, take comfort in the fact that picky eating is usually a phase that your child will outgrow.

Our Favorite Tshirt Collection