How can I make fruits and veggies more appealing to a picky eater? Picky Eating

boy and girl eating fruit

A picky eater, by definition, refuses to eat almost anything you want him to eat. And healthy choices -- fruits and veggies -- usually top the refusal list. Here, a feeding expert and moms share the tricks that worked for them to get kids interested in eating fruits and veggies.

Know Your Audience

"Play works! When you play with fruits and veggies, they become more fun and less intimidating. Use slices of fruits and veggies as food spoons! You can use an apple slice, a carrot stick, or celery as a 'spoon' to dip into their favorite yogurt or applesauce.

"Prepare fruits and veggies to be at your child's preferred textures. If your little one likes crispy and crunchy, serve fresh veggies. If your child prefers purees, make a veggie mash." -- Molly Dresner, certified speech-language pathologist and feeding therapist, New York City

Kids Love Dips & Sauces

"My kids will eat almost anything if I put it out on the counter with their favorite dips. When all else fails, cheese sauce is good too."

Make Mealtime Story Time

"I like to tell kids a story about the food on the plate: how the farmer worked to plant and harvest, how the farm looked, how rain and sun was needed to kiss the plants. This works for me!"

Cut Out Fun Shapes

"For fresh vegetables, slice them in interesting shapes and let kids make pictures on their plate. Then add a little dip, and they eat their pictures."

Cook Soup

"I cut veggies into small pieces and make soup with them. My kids love chicken noodle soup packed with veggies or veggie soup with tomatoes."

Get Sneaky

"I sneak in the veggies through other means: veggie popsicles, sweet potato pancakes and bread, zucchini bread, and crackers with veggies in them."

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.