Most parents will probably agree that a hungry child is a cranky child and the last thing you want is a fussy child all day long. Toddlers are naturally picky eaters so the first thing you need to do when trying to get a picky toddler to eat is to relax. If you have patience they will pick up on it and may end up trying out something you are offering. Having creativity, patience, and understanding that this is a part of the growth process can make things just a little easier. It’s usually somewhere around two years old that some toddlers get very particular about what they eat. The key is if you find something they like give them more of that and slowly start to introduce other things but always paired with what seems to work. And remember to keep portions small because they have little tummies. About a fist full of food is a good portion for a toddler. You can also try out these food tips for a picky toddler.
LEAVE A SNACK TRAY OUT
Toddlers are going through an independent phase so it’s important to leave out snacks or their food on a little table. Keeping it accessible will also get them used to seeing it. They may knock it on the floor at first, smell it, and play with it but that’s ok because it’s all a part of food exploration. You can even pretend to eat some yourself just so they know its to eat. You can use a bowl or a dish with compartments and it’s important that they get enough water too so don’t forget to leave out a sippy cup.
GET CREATIVE WITH THE FOOD
If you can make the food look like shapes or characters or even a smiley face it’s more intriguing than just plain cut up food. You can cut up little apple and strawberry pieces and make a smiley face on a plate. Some other healthy foods that you can get creative with are avocado boats, steamed brocoli trees, bananas, cereal in the shape of o’s, and cheese blocks. You can even make a game with the cheese blocks where you stack one and eat one and repeat so they can see it. Another fun breakfast idea is to make the pancakes into shapes, or numbers.
LET THEM COOK
Getting toddlers involved in the food process usually makes it more appealing for them to eat. Allowing them to be little chefs is the perfect way to get them excited about food. You can invest in plastic cookie cutter shapes and let them help you press down on a sandwich to make shapes. You can also let them stir batter with your hand helping. If cooking isn’t cutting it and you have the resources and space to plant a garden, then try it out and let them help. When they see the process of a seed growing into delicious fruits and veggies and the care and TLC that goes into that process they will probably get excited about eating it.