How to Handle a Picky Toddler
Updated: Jan 15
Written by: Ellie Messler
Has mealtime with your toddler turned into a stressful and overwhelming experience? Are you worried about your child’s lack of food consumption?
If you answered yes to either question, first and foremost, know you are not alone! Hundreds and thousands of parents around the world will worry today about their picky eaters. And while negotiating with a three year old may seem like an impossible task, there are things you can do to make mealtimes more pleasant for the whole family.
Here are five practical tips for dealing with a picky eater.
1. Always make sure mealtimes are pleasant.
While it can be easy to lose your patience when your child yet again won’t eat any of their food, showing your frustration will only make matters worse in the long run. Try your best to stay positive, despite how you may feel.
2. Try, try, and then try again.
Always offer a variety of foods, despite the fact that your child may often refuse to eat them. It can take 10 or more tries of a certain food before a toddler with accept and like it. Just because they wouldn’t eat their vegetables yesterday, doesn’t mean they won’t today! Persistence is key.
3. Offer a variety, but never force.
Forcing a child to eat a specific food will never bring the results you desire. Always offer your child everything at the dinner table, but if they choose to only eat the bread and butter, that’s ok. They may try more of a variety in the future, and they will likely one day surprise you but gobbling down their broccoli!
4. Pay attention to how much milk and juice your child is drinking.
They may be drinking a lot more calories than you realize, which is why they don’t seem hungry at dinnertime. A toddler should only be drinking about 2 cups of milk a day.
5. When all else fails, just feed them the chicken nuggets and don’t feel bad about it!
There seems to be some foods that all toddlers enjoy, and sometimes (a lot of times), it’s ok to just stick with those when you really want to make sure they are eating a full meal! Macaroni and cheese, applesauce, pizza, these are all things my toddler will eat large portions of, and that’s great! Don’t feel bad for sometimes just sticking with the same things you know they like.
While having a picky toddler can be exhausting, just know that by keeping mealtimes positive and continuing to offer a variety, your picky child will eventually eat just fine and everything will be a-ok! It is totally normal for a child to be hesitant to try new foods, and you are doing nothing wrong. Always feel welcome to stop by Pomegranate Market and our employees will be happy to help you pick out some delicious and nutritious foods for your kiddos.