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My child is such a picky eater! How can I still keep him healthy?

Mealtimes with my toddler are the worst part of the day because he never seems to like what we give him. How can we still make sure he’s eating enough?

Re: Mealtimes with my toddler are the worst part of the day because he never seems to like what we give him. How can we still make sure he’s eating enough?

The Bump Expert

Most toddlers do get proper nutrition when their parents serve a variety of foods -- even if it doesn’t always seem that way. And his pediatrician monitors his weight to be sure he’s getting enough. But, unlike adults who often eat out of habit or boredom, toddlers only tend to eat when they’re truly hungry.

If your goal is to have your toddler eat more at mealtimes, make sure he's coming to the table with an empty stomach. That will probably mean cutting out any afternoon snack -- even if it’s just a glass of milk or some crackers, which may be more filling to him than you think.

Another idea is to get him involved in the process of choosing and preparing foods for upcoming meals, in both the supermarket and the kitchen. If he feels like he participated in getting the food ready, he’ll be more invested in the next step: eating it.

New foods are scary to toddlers, who've only experienced limited tastes and flavors in their lifetime. So manage your expectations when introducing a food he’s never seen before; it may take inspecting it on his plate over the course of several meals before he’ll actually put it in his mouth -- so don’t force it. And, in the meantime, instead of catering to your child’s unhealthy wishes, be sure you always offer a selection of healthy choices so that those foods become most familiar to him.

Finally, and most importantly, eat healthy yourself. Not only will this benefit your toddler as he follows your lead by modeling his own healthy eating habits after yours, but it will also benefit you.

The Bump Editors

My child is such a picky eater! How can I still keep him healthy?

Quantity isn't always as important as quality. My LO is 19 months and I give her chewable vitamins. She eats pretty good but, to make sure she has the right nutrients I add the vitamins. She loves them! If your LO chews ok it's fine to give them. Just keep an eye on him until it's gone.

missjessy24 |

My child is such a picky eater! How can I still keep him healthy?

I do agree with setting the example. My little one drinks water because I do. He eats apples and other fruit because I do. He always pulls my hand down so he can put whatever I'm putting in my mouth in his. Many of my friends say they can't get their kids to drink water. I got one of my friend's son to drink water by giving him praise and smiling. Never make face or assume they are making face because they don't like the food or water. They just never tried it so they don't have a taste for it yet. Also I've noticed that just because he doesn't want to eat something now doesn't mean he won't eat it later.

ladycat303 |

My child is such a picky eater! How can I still keep him healthy?

Make it fun and different. Make smiley faces in their food, or something fun. Also set an example. If you want you child to eat their veggies then you eat yours and make a big deal of how good they are. If nothing else works, smother food in ketchup, kids will usually eat anything if it has ketchup on it. haha.

mommytoconnor |

My child is such a picky eater! How can I still keep him healthy?

My son has been very good about eating all kinds of foods. He will eat a subway sandwich with lettuce, tomatoes, onions and bell peppers. He eats almost anything except pickle chips and olives. I think part of it is that my hubby and I both eat a wide variety of foods, so he has been readily exposed to lots of food varieties. And we try to serve them in different ways. My sis-in-law adds carrot shavings to spaghetti to get her super picky eaters added nutrients. I saw a recipie for a tomato sauce made by blending cauliflower in with the tomatoes, making a puree/sauce good for in pasta, or on bread like a bruchetta. Try to hide it like that until your kid gets the taste for those foods. And there will be days where no matter what, your kid is not going to eat a particular food.The other day, my son would eat nothing but a hot dog. We first tried mac and cheese, peas, bread (which he loves), and some other things too. Nope. Finally, exasperated that he refused a single bite of anything, daddy made a hot dog for himself and sure enough, he had to make 2 so our son could get one too. That was all he'd eat that meal. So we supplemented with far better nutrients in that night's meal.

Firebirde072 |

My child is such a picky eater! How can I still keep him healthy?

My 2 sons, ages 18 months and 2 1/2 are very much so differnt when it comes to food. I am a food fanatic. Im one who likes to make sure at EVERY meal the get something from eat food group. I will always offer it to them, even if they do not eat it. I also give them a chewable vitim just to give them what they dont want. My 18 month old will eat anything i put in front of him, Wheres my 2 1/2 year old used to eat so well. He would eat salads and veggies, but now..he wont touch a veggie, or eat alot of things he used to.

sargent85 |

My child is such a picky eater! How can I still keep him healthy?

My 12 month old won't eat any table food other than things like cheerios and crackers. Anything else we offer her gets inspected for several minutes, then thrown onto the floor. She doesn't even taste it. We've tried a wide variety of foods, and offered several times over the past several months. She still just prefers baby food, which I will still give to her to make sure she's getting something in her tummy. Has anyone else struggled with this?

lkblackstock |

My child is such a picky eater! How can I still keep him healthy?

Try plain yogurt with fruit he likes. My daughter is pickey too so I give her pedisure as well. Let him try a little bit before you give him a lot to see if he likes it. Hope this helps :-)

MommaHunt2657 |

My child is such a picky eater! How can I still keep him healthy?

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sbguge |