Make Food Fun: Picky Eater Strategy

Mother and daughter decorating holiday cookies

If you have a picky eater on your hands, one great way to entice little ones to try new foods is to make eating them fun! Here are some ideas to try at home: 

  • Try turning everyday foods into shapes and animals, such as slicing a bagel and arranging it on a plate to look like a slithering snake or using cookie cutters to cut sandwiches into hearts, stars or dinosaurs. 
  • Shrink family-size recipes into personal-size versions. Children will feel special having their very own bite-size pizza. 
  • Make a face! Use fruit and veggies to spruce up a boring sandwich with eyes, ears and a mouth. 
  • Let your child help you prepare the meal. If they have a hand in making it, they’ll be more inspired to taste it. 
  • Encourage your child to play with their food! They can build a mountain out of their mashed potatoes or a veggie train out of their peas and carrots, and then have fun eating them up! 
  • Always serve at least one of your child’s safe foods.  
  • Serve family-style meals. 

Remember, don’t ever bribe or force your child to eat the food on their plates. This can lead to disordered eating and make your child feel unsafe. Reach out to a registered pediatric dietician or feeding therapist for additional help if you think your child may be an extreme picky eater. 

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