Best Mom Tips for Getting Picky Eaters to Eat


If you have a picky eater at home, you know firsthand how frustrating and stressful mealtime can be, especially when fruits and vegetables are involved. Relax, you are not alone. Lots of children are picky eaters. Here are some tips from CafeMoms about how to make sure picky eaters are getting the nutrients they need...

Getting picky eaters to eat is a topic recently discussed at length in Advice for Moms. Here's some smart advice from CafeMoms:

  • Randi02: Dip is a good thing! Tonight we had baked chicken and asparagus. My kids both ate the asparagus, but my 20 month old didn't seem too excited about the chicken. I got her some salsa, and she dipped the chicken and ended up clearing her plate.
  • Beatlemama: My son is 20 months old and a picky eater...I refuse to make him two or three different things per meal just to find something he wants...I decide which foods I'm going to offer him, then I let him choose to eat them or not. He is always offered a fruit, vegetable, protein, and grain. Often he will initially refuse, only to eat it after he realizes I'm not going to fix him anything else. Some meals he chooses not to eat much and that's okay, too. I don't want meal time to turn into a power struggle, so I don't force the issue.

  • Nenasam: I give my son something light for lunch—mostly yogurt, oatmeal (I cook it with some water, then place it on the plate for him to eat since he likes finger food), fruits, and sometime mac and cheese. For dinner, he eats whole wheat pasta and chicken nuggets, or sliced turkey, or hot dogs (non-fat and no salt). Sometimes I give him rice with any of those meats. Or scramble an egg and add some of the shredded ham in it.

  • LilahandElliot: Try making a fruit smoothie for breakfast...when my DD was that age, she loved it!
  • Rkoloms: Frozen foods are fun to play with and will get eaten—like peas, blueberries, and corn. Chunks of avocado and tofu are loaded with great nutrition, and are fun to squish between little fingers...I have never met a toddler who wouldn't eat hummus (lots of calcium, protein, good fats and iron), you can mix it with a mashed egg...Offer cut fruits with yogurt dip, fresh veggies with hummus or salad dressing, cooked whole wheat pasta and veggies with marinara or peanut sauce or cheese sauce.

Thanks to all the moms above for these great ideas! Do you have any tips for getting picky eaters to eat?

Related Posts:

Picky Eaters -- Should You Reward Them?

The Next Food Network Star's "No Thank You Bite" Rule

Encouraging Your Toddler to Play With Food: Good Idea?

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cafemama cafemama

I have luck with making food sound fun. Broccoli spears are trees. Peas are balls. It seems to do the trick (sometimes).

Cafe... Cafe Jenn

I have been fortunate to not have picky kids but once in a while my kids don't want to eat what I cook, so they are given the option of either eating it or not. 

Unfortunately, my husband usually feels sorry for them and will offer them other food if they don't eat much of what I made, but I always make sure it's nutritious like fruit or a vegetable.

Agent... AgentBrez

ive tried the dip tip. all my 3 yr old does is lick the dip off. she has recently started eating baby carrots, so thats the only veggie right now. besides veggies she is also bad about meat. but is great with dairy products, carbs and fruit.

aiden... aidensmomma508

This makes me laugh! LOL my son only eats popcorn chicken for meals.

Steph... Stephanie5278

I find that if my picky eaters help prepare the food they are more likley to want to try it.

jussy11 jussy11

Agree with cafemama, it definitely helps to make the veggies sound FUN!  While it's important not to encourage playing with your food, sometimes a moms gotta do what a moms gotta do!

cafem... cafemom319

I am a very picky eater so holiday's are especially hard for me. Instead of sitting at the dinner table and pretending I'm not hungry, I now bring my own food to the table with my own holiday spin :)

Bobbi... Bobbie277

Dinner time was a constant battle in trying to have my son eat vegetables.  A friend of mine suggested serving those ready to eat broccoli, potatoes and cheese dishes.  I'd add some fresh broccoli and carrots so he didn't realize the difference.  I'd also make him a "Krappy Paddy" which he loves because Spongebob eats them.  I'd make a veggie burger instead of beef burger with cheese, ketchup and pickles. 

Kravgirl Kravgirl

i was a picky eater when i was little - dont try to force your kids and try to act as if the food tastes much yummier than it is!

Funck... FunckyMama

I have found that establishing a more solid routine (i.e. eating at same time each night, no TV/radio during dinner, etc.) has really helped focus the kids on their meals and become less picky about what they are eating.

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