Satisfying the Picky Eater’s Appetite

As parents, we want to give our children the best opportunity to help them grow and thrive. As your toddler continues to develop, their newfound independence includes choosing their own foods and creating a palate of likes and dislikes. Breakfast, lunch and dinner time can all seem like a never ending struggle to feed your picky eater. Parents, be assured this is a common phase in your child’s growth and will not last forever.

Aside from patience, here are a few tips to help feed your picky eater and some super foods that could help fill the nutritional gaps you may be worried they are not receiving.

  • Keep ThinkstockPhotos-177849015snacking to a minimum. Spoiling your child’s appetite with non-nutritional snacks in between meals can hinder your goal of trying to have them eat your healthy meals. If snacking is inevitable, try healthier options such as vegetable crudites or items that are protein packed.
  • Introduce new foods slowly. It may take several tries to actually have your child take on a new food- be patient.
  • Small portions can lead to big results. Remember, your toddler’s stomach is as large as their fist, which is pretty small. Small portions can make a big difference in their diet.
  • Involve your child. Allowing your children to be a part of the prep and cooking process can help ease any anxieties they may have towards trying new foods.
  • Keep your child interested but don’t bribe and never use food as a reward or punishment.

Lastly, try sneaking in those super-foods into their meals which can offer nutritional benefits without the fighting:

  • EggsThinkstockPhotos-164660677
  • Yogurt
  • Tomatoes
  • Black Bean
  • Cabbage
  • Fruits
  • Spices: Cinnamon and Basil.

If you are really concerned about your toddler’s eating habits, keep a food and drink journal over the week. Ensure your child has had something from each of the four main food groups. These include starchy foods, protein, dairy products, fruits and vegetables.  If you know your toddler has eaten foods from each group, you probably shouldn’t worry.

Speak with your pediatrician if you need advice or support. They can check your toddler’s weight and height, and are likely to reassure you that there is no problem. If there are any issues, they will give you tips and advice to help you get back on track.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.