Is Your Toddler a Picky Eater?

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Does your kid enjoy chicken tenders, french fries, macaroni and cheese, and all the other “typical” kid foods?  Yeah, mine too (except, strangely enough, not so much interested in mac and cheese).  Well, if you’d like to get your little one to eat a wider variety of foods and add more nutritional value to his or her diet, try out these 10 suggestions:

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1) Make vehicle sounds as the spoon heads toward his mouth.  It’s as if they forget you’re trying to force the nasty substance into their mouths.

2) Try the copy cat method.  If your child prefers to mimic one parent over the other, maybe try having that parent eat said food and show their enthusiasm about it.  Or, does your child enjoy watching other children?  Try Copy-Kids Eat Fruits and Vegetables DVD.  I reviewed that recently and found my daughter trying more foods after watching it.  You can read my review here.

3) Offer a reward for eating.  We’ve either had to give a small treat right after dinner or offer 1 m&m per bite of dinner.  If you do the bite for bite, be prepared to sit at the table much longer.

4) Start with a small portion of something you know he eats.  On occasion, if we feed our daughter a small portion of fruit or yogurt, it wets her appetite and gets her to eat dinner.

5) Is snack time too close to meal time?  Maybe your kid isn’t eating because she’s snacked on too much unhealthy stuff just before a meal.

6) Don’t offer the bad stuff.  I really mean, try not to make it a habit that they fall back on for everything.

7) Give him choices.  Try offering a small variety of options that you want him to eat … sometimes making their own decisions gets them excited about eating something they wouldn’t have before.

8) Let her help you cook.  Stirring the food (or using her hands to help mix) may give her a sense of ownership and make eating what she made more fun.

9) Introduce and reintroduce those foods.  Make it non-optional to try it on occasion and be sure to be as positive and enthusiastic about the food, even if it’s something you don’t care for.

10) Mix them in.  Sometimes mixing those vegetables into a casserole hides them enough to make it pass!  I’ve even heard of pureeing vegetables to put in sauces for an added nutritional bonus.

None of these are fail proof, but what IS when a toddler is involved?  These are some of the suggestions we have tried and none work all the time (except the m&m trade off in this house).

Did you try any of these, and did anything work (or not)?  Anything you would add to the list?


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