Feeding picky eaters

Feeding picky eater


‘Not hungry’, looks bad’ or ‘will eat later: That’s what I was always hearing from my little one when it was meal time. I tried many things to get her to eat such as:

“I will give you a gift if you eat”. Found out she ate a bit and then wanted her gift. Not interesting and quite expensive.

I will give you a candy”. Who have not tried that to get his kid to eat? The doctor was mad at me: “A food should never be used as a Reward or Punishment”. It encourages obesity!! I felt so bad!!!

I ran out of ideas!! So I asked her kindergarten teacher: Does my little one give you hard time when it’s meal time. “Absolutely not but she loves listening to music when eating and she wants to put her servings by herself!!”  I have never thought of that. I tried it at home and guess what: it worked. Not from the first day of course but there was some improvement. You can’t change a picky eater in a glimpse of an eye.

It’s all about:

Distract them and play dinner time games: Try to make meal times, fun times. I know it’s hard when you come back from work, tired and the only thing you want is to relax. But, we started playing music on meal times. My husband started joking and it relaxed all the family members.

A food should never be used as a Reward or Punishment: Avoid this behaviour completely as food should ideally never be used to shape behaviour or build character.

Let them help you:  My little one started helping me dressing the table, putting meals in her plates and it worked.

Eat Together and be a role model by Setting Examples-It is of utmost importance that you yourself eat healthy and display good dinning manners if you want your child to do so. Practice what you preach and they would imitate you! There is no pleasure like the pleasure of watching your child eat. Go ahead and try the possible permutations to get your child to eat.

34 thoughts on “Feeding picky eaters”

  1. Growing food with kids helps a lot too. My son won’t eat leafy greens, but he’ll eat anything herbal from the garden. The next step is offering him young dandelion leaves. He and his sister (6 & 3 respectively) love “yard snacks.” Small tomatoes, green and yellow beans, berries, herbs… All are eaten straight off the plant while they play. And they love having a say in what we plant. My son insists that we grow soy beans. And they can hardly wait for me to get them cooked so they can eat them. One year it was eggplant. This year we want to tackle carrots and potatoes (which do well in containers – limited yard space). Making kids part of what’s on their plates goes a long way towards them eating it.

  2. I found this post interesting. We have major meal time issues with my fiance’s son. We have tried EVERYTHING! He is 4 years old and will cry if you put any food in front of him that is not chips, chicken nuggets and peanut butter sandwiches. This is because this is all he eats when he is with his Mom (my fiance has his son every weekend). She will give him Cheetos for breakfast, fruit snacks for lunch and peanut butter sandwiches for every dinner. She brags that he eats with her when she gives him a plate of chicken nuggets. She basically told us to give him whatever he wants as long as eats. What is worse, is that she is claiming that his doctor is telling her to do this. His son has been sick every weekend we have had him since before last October and I know his poor diet is playing a big role in that. We don’t know what else to do.

    I am your newest follower from FMBT. Love your blog! You can find me at:


    Have a great day!


  3. Excellent Post!!!

    I am now stumbling you back from STT and apologize for being a wee bit behind on doing so.

    Thank you very much for stumbling me!

  4. Friend, picky eaters? Common in our house. Most of my nephews and nieces are such. Whew! Sad…

    we wish coupons are available were we are so that we can enjoy sharing them with others, too. It helps you financially, right?

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    Mike n Luisa

  5. I have a very picky boy and we’ve tried EVERYTHING. On the other hand, I have a very adventurous girl and she makes his eating look even worse! She will even ask to eat his leftovers (which is something we’re really trying to discourage).

    I’ve got to hope that the older he gets, the more interested he’ll be. We still keep trying though.

    I stumbled your post, mine is here http://www.familyfriendlyfrugality.com/2011/02/tot-tuesday-leftover-valentines-day-card-craft/

  6. My daughter was super picky and failure to thrive as a toddler (worst combination ever). We got through it and my daughter is now a fantastic eater who eats better than her mother. She knew that if she ate a good dinner she got desert (something very small) and if she didn’t she didn’t. So she ate and she tried things that she now loves. She also has the best attitude about sweets I’ve seen in a kid her age because of it.

    I stumbled your post, mine is http://booksyourkidswilllove.blogspot.com/2011/02/book-banners-are-at-it-again.html

  7. Terrific, that is just what I was shooting for! Your article just saved me alot of digging around

    I’ll make sure to put this in good use!

  8. Little Bit is only a year old and already shows signs of being picky. I just keep offering him the food over and over. I was reading at this age you have to introduce a food many times for them to accept it. I said the big words when I was pregnant. Little Bit will eat what I give him or he will go hungry. Now I know better and if he wont eat what I lovingly prepare he eats a cereal bar and yogurt for dinner. Pick the battles and win the war, right?

    I am a new follower from Making Friends Monday. I hope you will take a moment to come and say hi! Have a blessed week 😀


  9. Lots of times my daughter will eat things until she hears someone say something bad about it then she hates it forever! She’ll come back from school claiming she doesn’t like corn or cereal just b/c some a kid said something negative about it…silly girl. Stopping by from todays hop. I’m glad I dropped in you have a great blog
    -tara from undeserving grace

  10. I have a four year old, terrible eater at our evening meal. I’m at a loss of what to do about it, I insist her supper stays on the table until she gets hungry enough to eat it and my husband undermines me and gives her cake. Oh well, it could be worse.

    Thanks for finding my blog today. I dropped by to say hello and to follow you

    Happy Thursday!

  11. Newest follower from the hop! 🙂 I have a picky eater too, she’s 10 and it never seems to get better only her dislikes change with age.

  12. Great advice…as I have a couple picky eaters here myself.

    Just wanted you to know I’m here via FMBT to return your follow. Have a great week!

  13. I have a picky eater too. When it comes to lunch time if she does not eat her lunch I will not read her a nap time story. It’s nice to know I am not the only one struggling.

  14. I have tried everything. I don’t know what else to do. Honestly. Mine is 23 months and He will go 24 hours without eating by his own choice. I’ve tried taking away the things he loves to eat which are not all that good for him, and replacing them with things that are healthier, and he simply refuses. I did apparent no no’s by just fixing him something else and if he didn’t like that, fix him something else. I’d prepare so many things I had to throw away. He’d rather stand in a corner and cry. So I did what one mother suggested. If he doesn’t like what he is served, then he doesn’t eat. He will eat when he is hungry. That doesn’t work with my son either. He would actually starve to death if he had to eat a vegetable even with ranch or ketchup. He just licks the ranch or ketchup off the carrot or cuccumber leaving the vegetable. He hates pasta. All he will eat are eggs and things with cheese. But no vetabables with cheese on them. PLEASE HELP!! He’s so skinny! Only in the 3rd percentile in weight.

    1. Hi Heather,

      It must be hard for you!! Honestly my little one was not as picky as your sweet son. In my opinion, we can’t force a child to eat. So if he does not like vegetable, don’t insist right now. I think the most important thing for now is to get your child to eat and help him grow. If he loves eggs and cheese, maybe you can serve him scrambled eggs with cheese and vegetables (in purees). Maybe, you can serve him mashed potatoes mixed with ketchup!!
      My daughter loved juice and milk, so I served her milk shakes with bananas. But I did not put a lot of bananas so that she does not notice.
      My doctor used to say : Keep on trying!! Hope this helps!!!
      Have a wonderful day

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