How to Deal with Picky Eaters and Our Top 5 Tips

Remember these tips for how to deal with picky eaters to help ease your stress!

Photo by @ariavan2019, featuring Pink Rose Collection

Picky eaters were probably sent here to make their parents’ lives miserable. I would know – I was that kid. In a lot of ways, I’m still that kid. No matter how hard you try to instill good eating habits with your kids, it may start to feel like nothing is working. That’s why we rounded up our top tips for how to deal with picky eaters! Moms have enough to worry about without adding a picky-eating toddler to the list.

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Healthy Tips to Try with Picky Eaters

  1. Avoid rewards. As your frustration develops, it’s easy to resort to bribing your kids to eat certain foods or clean their plate. Try not to give in. According to the Mayo Clinic, using dessert as a reward could also promote the idea that dessert is the best food. Instead, make small desserts something given throughout the week rather than a reward or bribe for good eating habits. 
  1. Don’t take orders. Sometimes, you have to play bad cop with your kids. Rather than making them a separate meal because they don’t want what the rest of the family is eating, encourage them to sit with you at the table, even if they don’t eat. Of course, dealing with picky eaters is more difficult with a toddler. Regardless, the best way to deal with picky eaters is to not give in to every demand for mac and cheese. 
  1. Try dips, sauces, cheese and creative serving styles. When in doubt, cover it in cheese! That’s my motto, even as an adult. If your kids struggle to eat their vegetables, try giving your picky eater something to dip them in. One of the most popular ways to deal with picky eaters is dressing up healthy foods in a way kids will find more appealing. Cut or arrange foods in fun shapes, roast vegetables with cheese, chop them finely into a pasta sauce or dip them in ranch. Every kid will be different!

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  1. Let kids help. Toddlers LOVE to help! Deal with picky eaters by letting them pick out fruits and vegetables at the grocery store, then buy the ones you approve. Let them help wash and prepare certain foods so that they feel involved. This easy step may make them more willing to try new foods.
  1. Set a good example. Last but not least, you can’t expect your picky eater to make better food choices if you don’t set the example first. You can’t serve your kids broccoli while you and your partner enjoy a veggie-free pizza. Eat a variety of healthy foods in front of your kids to show them how to enjoy them.

When in doubt and struggling to deal with a picky eater, consult a doctor! Log your kids’ food for a week and share with your doctor to ensure their struggles with food are not impacting their development. Hang in there, moms of picky eaters! We know you’re trying your best.  

Do you have any more tips for fellow moms to deal with picky eaters?!

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