How should I handle my toddler's picky eating? Picky Eating


toddler girl at dinner table looking angry
It can be frustrating when your toddler turns up his nose at almost every food you offer. Here are some suggestions for handling picky eater problems.

Stay Calm and Offer Choices

"Create a calm environment with minimal distractions during meal times. Ideally your child will be seated at the table with the family (or a high chair) without toys or television. Next, provide a healthy meal with two to four foods for your child to eat. Allow your toddler to choose what items to eat and how much of them. While it can be frustrating if your child refuses to eat certain foods sometimes, it's okay! In fact, it's normal." -- Jessica McGee, MS, RD, clinical nutrition manager at Children's National Health System

Don't Worry -- It's Just a Phase

"It's toddlerhood. They will change. And if not? Fine. They are people too -- we all like different things."

Let Her Cook With You

"My daughter is a better eater if she's munching on something she helped me cook. Find some fun and healthy kid-friendly options and get your child involved before the meal. Good luck, momma!"

Make Food Fun

"I cut sandwiches with cookie cutters, use food coloring markers on bread, and make funny faces with the veggies on their plate to be creative and fun. This way it's not about the food -- it's fun family time."

Try Probiotics -- If the Doctor Okays It

"Probiotics helped my son tremendously with picky eating. His problem was he felt full all the time. The picky eating remains, but I have seen a significant improvement in tolerating a taste test and even trying new things on his own in school."

The advice on CafeMom aims to educate, inform, and provide a range of solutions to the issues moms care about. It is not a substitute for consultation with a medical professional or treatment for a specific condition. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem without consulting a qualified professional. Please contact your health-care provider with questions and concerns.