Tips to Overcome Toddlers Picky Eating
Toddlers and picky eating are like two peas in a pod. This subject is one of the things I see Moms complain about the most. Their toddlers are picky eaters and they want ways to overcome the pickiness. Or how to make a toddler want something besides nuggets, fries and pizza. Those are my daughters top 3 choices she asks for at every meal.
After working in a Daycare and working on classes to obtain my CDA one of the biggest things that you learn is to just accept that Toddlers aren’t going to eat everything, and sometimes we just have to let them eat nuggets, pizza and fries until they’re sick of it.
Picky Eaters fall into Four Categories
Sensory Dependent Eaters
Taste, touch, or smell, are the main reasons toddlers won’t eat these foods. An easy tip to overcome this, is disguise to food in or as something else.
Ashlynn typically won’t eat fish when I make it. She will spit it out and say “Mommy, that’s gross.” So I always serve sides with it that I know she will eat.
Last night we had friends over for a game night, and our friend Brandon said he wanted to cook dinner at our house for us. I of course, didn’t object. He cooked catfish, and breaded it. It was delicious. Because Ashlynn doesn’t like fish, I only gave her macaroni and cheese with broccoli. Brandon gave her some of his fish, and she loved it. So much so, she asked for leftovers for lunch today.
Lesson learned: My 3 year old likes fish when its breaded.
These are the toddlers that don’t like new foods. They need to try something several times before they enjoy it. And sneaking in a new food into their favorite food is the end of the world to them.
It’s okay if toddlers don’t want to try a new food, or say they don’t like it. Just keep offering it to them, but make sure to also serve something that they do like.
Ashlynn isn’t always a big fan of new foods, but I know that she will always eat broccoli or corn on the cob if we make that with dinner.
Food on the plate can’t be touching other food on the plate. Each food has to have it’s own spot, and cannot, under any circumstances, be mixed together, unless the toddler was the one to do the mixing.
I haven’t experienced this with either of my kids yet, however, growing up, my little sister was like this for years. Nothing could be touching, when we would dish up her plate for her, we had to be extra cautious to make sure nothing was touching when we dished it up, and in the process of carrying the plate to her at the table.
Eventually she grew out of this, and so will your toddler.
This isn’t a category that I’ve personally experienced, but these toddlers have to have their food prepared specific ways.
With these toddlers, the best things to do is to prepare the food the way that they are requesting it.
Important Things to Remember
Toddler years, are the years when children are starting to develop their independence. One way they do this, is by deciding what they will and won’t eat.
Did you know that children are born knowing when they are hungry, when they are full and when it is time to stop eating? Think about your toddler when they were a newborn, they let us know when they wanted to eat, and when they were done. Toddlers are the same way, just more vocal.
Provide your toddler with a variety of nutritious foods to choose from. They get to insert their independence in deciding what to eat, and parents are reassured knowing their toddlers are eating nutritious foods. Also, allow your toddler to decide how much of the food they want to eat.
Toddlers in general, don’t like trying new foods. On average, it takes a toddler 10-15 times before they may even start liking a new food. Don’t force them to eat it, and just keep offering it to them at other times.
Have meals and snacks at the same time every day. Therefor, toddlers aren’t snacking right before dinner and refusing to eat dinner because they’re full from the snack they just had an hour before hand.
As long as you’re doing these things, then relax Momma, you’re toddler is getting the nutrition they need…. even it it seems like they aren’t, and everything is a phase and they will move on from it soon enough.
I recently wrote an article on 15 Healthy Snacks for Toddlers, check it out for some fun, easy on the go ideas for snack times.
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