How can I get my picky toddler to try new foods? Picky Eating

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toddler boy smiling and eating yogurt
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You can get even the pickiest child to try new foods, but it might take some time -- and creativity! Try some of these useful tips.

Keep Offering

"It's normal for toddlers to be wary of new foods. Add one new food as part of two to four foods offered at every meal. Did they throw it on the floor? That's okay! Some children won't try a new food until they've seen it up to 10 or more times. Keep offering those green beans and let her see the family eating and enjoying them too." -- Jessica McGee, MS, RD, clinical nutrition manager at Children's National Health System

Cut Them into Fun Shapes

"My second child wouldn't eat any sandwich, so I started using cookie cutters and cutting them into shapes. Then I found a sandwich press that had Mickey Mouse on it. I can even sneak in veggies, and he never says anything."

Get Creative With Prep

"I made my picky daughter baked, breaded green beans for lunch today and called them 'green french fries,' and she ate them!"

Don't Push It

"I believe that picky eating is just a normal part of development, and there's nothing parents can do to change their children. Providing pleasant meals without pressure seems to help. I believe that [when] children are ready they will start to try new foods."

Offer but Don't Force

"You want her to try some of an orange? Just put the slices on a plate and leave it out for her to try. Don't make a big deal of trying new things -- just leave it out there. Sometimes they don't like you to see them trying the new thing or they'll want to be strong-willed about it."

Try a Food Chart

"I have a friend who made a food chart and her son has to try a food 10 times and write that on the chart before he can say he doesn't like it. She rewards him for this. I think it's a great idea."

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.