Mom Remade

tips for picky eaters

Mind-Blowing Tips For Picky Eaters to Eat Everything (or Almost Everything)

Sharing is Caring!
  • 1.3K
  • 11
  • 6
  •  
  •  
    1.3K
    Shares

Do you need tips for picky eaters in your house? These tips will help your child eat everything on his plate…well, almost everything. I bet you’re thinking, “Ha! Ha! She has never met my child. This will never happen.”

Yep. I get that.

But we all start out the same way when we are born. We neither like nor dislike anything when we come out of the womb. Something changes at one point or another. From my observation, the change happens when a child becomes a toddler.

Pin for later!

tips for picky eaters

Somewhere between the age of 1-3 years old a child starts developing an opinion and says “no” to about everything. This is a normal phase, but it can be difficult when your child says “no” to food. Eating is the ultimate power trip for kids. They say “no” and you can’t do a darn thing about it. Or can you?

In this post, I am going to share with you tips for picky eaters my pediatrician gave me. You will be amazed at how well it works.

How Do Picky Eaters Eat?

Before I tell you the secret to getting a picky eater to eat everything,  I would like to come to your world and talk about how picky eaters eat, ie. your picky eater. Perhaps there are a few things you do with your kids when it comes to mealtime.

My first guess…you might be making separate meals? You have one meal for you (and your spouse), and then you make another meal for your kids. Am I right?

And, I bet I can guess what your kid’s meals look like. Perhaps something with pasta, corn, potatoes, white rice, pizza, chicken nuggets, hot dogs, carrots with ranch, maybe green beans (canned-most have added sugar), applesauce  (with corn syrup), flavored yogurt (sugar), cheese, and peanut butter/ jelly (most have sugar) with no crust?

Oh, and ketchup.

Some of you only wish your child ate that many foods. I know many of you have kids who only eat four or five things on this list. Perhaps you have taken your child to the doctor recently because he is not eating enough. And that’s when the doctor intervened and suggested Pediasure to supplement his diet.

How did this happen? What went wrong?

RELATED: Parenting: 3 Biggest Secrets I Wish I Knew When My Kids Were Young

difficult family relationships

 Purchase your ebook or paperback on Amazon or at your favorite digital store. 

The Ugly Truth About Your Child’s Diet

The truth about your child’s diet is that he’s eating mostly sugar. If you go back and take a good look at your menu, you will notice that corn, rice, potatoes, pasta, nugget coating, pizza, commercial fruit/yogurt, and bread turn to sugar once in the body.

Look at your ketchup too. Yep, lots of sugar. No wonder he’s a picky eater. He is trained to eat sweet stuff. 

Now read your Pediasure can…more sugar. After water, sugar is the second ingredient, and then corn maltodextrin. Corn maltodextrin is refined sugar and a preservative. Read the rest of the ingredients in Pediasure. It includes a whole bunch of other stuff produced in a laboratory.

Did you realize this is what your child is ingesting daily if he is on Pediasure? Here is the ingredient label to Pediasure so you can see for yourself.

tips for picky eaters

So what do you do? You may feel trapped and scared to try anything else. Don’t worry, I was close to this point with my firstborn too.

I was kinda feeling like a failure because I didn’t want to try the tips for picky eaters. Frankly, I was scared to do anything. But I had to do something.

When I was about to buy the Pediasure, I looked at the ingredients and decided to do things differently. It was in the store I had an epiphany.

I realized I wanted to be the fun mom who made yummy food all the time. It turned out that it wasn’t the best thing for my son.

I had no one to blame but myself. I created a picky eater by feeding all the carbs (sugar) to him. He had developed a taste for only this type of food.

Somehow my choices evolved into a toddler in charge of mealtimes. Ugh!

Wait, what?

Yes, he was in charge, not me. I realized I had to shift the power back to me and retrain his taste buds to eat things other than high carb foods.

Perhaps this is what has happened to your child too. So what tips for picky eaters will actually work?

RELATED: 37 Funny Mom Quotes and Sayings That Will Make You Laugh Out Loud

Pin me for later!

tips for picky eaters

Tips For Picky Eaters

Here are tips for picky eaters that my pediatrician suggested.

First, he said to feed my son what the rest of the family was eating.

That sounded simple. The only problem was I knew my child wouldn’t eat it. He said, “Don’t worry, he’ll get hungry…eventually.” He reminded me that when kids get the flu or some other sickness they will go two or three days without eating much.

What, starve my child? No way! I didn’t want to do that. It sounded like a bad mom hack. 

But I listened further.

Second,  he said that if my son refused his dinner, don’t make a big deal about it. Just say okay. But tell him there is nothing else to eat. He has the choice to eat it or not.

If he doesn’t eat it, then wrap it up and put it in the refrigerator. 

Third, serve it for breakfast the next morning. If he refuses, then serve it for lunch, and so on. He WILL eventually eat it.”

So I tried it. And it worked.

My son ate it for lunch the next day. He never went a full 24 hours without food. My son didn’t wither away, go into cardiac arrest, or anything else. The only thing he did was eat healthy food.

I had to do this only a few times before he learned he wasn’t in charge anymore. We never had problems after that.

How the Tips For Picky Eaters Worked Out Over the Years?

Over the years, my kids have developed preferences. And that is okay. I wanted to make meals fun, just not carb-loaded, and only on their terms. They didn’t particularly like eggplant and mushrooms. I tried not to make those things since they ate everything else.

Let me give you a list of things we ate at my house (still do): collard and turnip greens, salad, cabbage, summer and winter squash, broccoli, tomatoes, spinach, beets, turnips, celery, carrots, avocado, kiwi, tomatoes, star fruit, papaya, cantaloupe, honeydew, coconut, asparagus, spiraled zucchini, spaghetti squash, etc.

You get the idea.

Yes, my kids actually liked them all. For real!

I did this with both of my kids when they were young. Because I addressed the problem early, they had a very diversified palate all the way through their childhood and teen years.

It was a bonus when they visited a friend’s house. Parents loved having them over because they were easy to feed.

Pin me for later!

tips for picky eaters

How Do Picky Eaters Eat When They Are Teenagers?

If you have older kids the plan I gave may be difficult to do.

You still need to only make one meal at mealtime for the family.

You are not a short-order cook.

If your teen decides not to eat it, no big deal. Always have fruits, veggies, and protein available if he gets hungry. Nothing else.

Snacks: Have a basket for each child. Put one week’s worth of snacks in it. Don’t buy more than that. (Blame it on the new budget you have put in place.)

Your teen can eat the snacks all in one day or spread them out over the seven days. Not your problem if it is gone before the week is up.

The point is to guide your teen to better choices when it comes to processed food. You don’t want a huge power struggle, so you may have to do it slowly over time. It is more important to have a good family mealtime than have meltdowns over food.

Just don’t make separate meals! That’s not preparing your child for the real world.

*Don’t worry about what they eat outside your home. It’s not worth trying to manage it.

How to Stop Raising a Picky Eater?

The only way to stop raising a picky eater is to positively reinforce new habits. You can retrain taste buds to like healthier things if you work at it.

I read once that picky eaters are not born, they are made. After the transition I saw with my own child, I have to agree.

Of course, if you don’t eat healthy food, you probably won’t have a lot of success getting your kids to eat healthily. You are the best example for them to eat right!

I hope these tips for picky eaters helped you.

*Before you try this, ask your pediatrician if these tips for picky eaters are okay for your child. I do not want to be the cause of any harm that could come from skipping a few meals.

Do you have tips for picky eaters? 

 

Got Family Problems? There is Help and Hope!

Are you experiencing family problems or even estranged? Are you feeling shame, anger, or rejection? Check out my book Estranged: Finding Hope When Your Family Falls Apart on Amazon or at your favorite digital store. 

This book not only talks about my seven-year estrangement from my Christian family, but it also gives solid tips to help you with your own family problems. Break free from your pain. Allow God to heal you no matter what has happened in your family of origin. There is hope when your family falls apart.

Estranged: Finding Hope When Your Family Falls Apart book with a single tree on the book

Creating Family Memories Book

Get Creating Family Memories. This book will help you manage your family in a way that allows more time to be intentional with your kids.  It includes a schedule too. You can get it at your favorite bookstore.

A farm scene with a farmhouse upside down sitting on a grass field with a lake in the background.

Join Christian Family Living Facebook Group

Continue the conversation on Facebook and join the group Christian Family Living. This is a place for Christian women to share their experiences and get helpful tools to navigate the Christian life. We love to laugh, cry, and encourage each other to live out our faith one day at a time.

50 thoughts on “Mind-Blowing Tips For Picky Eaters to Eat Everything (or Almost Everything)”

  1. We use this method at our house and it works well too. I have come to appreciate that even though my kids seem like picky eaters to me, they actually have incredibly broad palettes and just have a few things they don’t like (why do those always have to be the things that I crave the most!) We don’t make separate meals, but because everyone in our big family has different tastes, most of our meals are “deconstructed” and each person assembles the mix of food that they like – healthy options only though. We just don’t keep products with added sugar for the most part, and they know not to expect it. Thanks for the detailed post; I’m sure it will help a lot of parents with picky eaters.

    1. It’s so nice when I have people validate this strategy. I. One across so many picky eaters that I wonder if I am the only who did this! Keep up the good work, Sophie.

  2. Thank you for sharing these helpful tips. Particularly liked the idea of giving them their snacks for the week once, this will help them learn how to manage their resources.

    1. Chioma, I hope this will help you. I think managing resources can translate into managing money some day. Getting a picky eater to eat everything is not easy. Thanks for your comment.

  3. I love these ideas so much! My dad and brother treat my mom like a side-order cook and I hate seeing that because she is not their personal chef. She is a wonderful lady who needs to stand up for herself and use these sorts of tips. And as a nanny, I think that toddler tips are wonderful too.

    1. Kristin, I think we can get trapped into feeling loved when we cater to others. Unfortunately, it can get out of hand. We end up running out of energy and raising entitled kids. Thanks for your comment.

  4. How old was your son when you tried this on him? My son is about to turn two and I’m wondering if he is too young to understand.

  5. I love your pediatrician’s suggestion! My kids are not picky at all, but I’m going to have my niece and nephew for the summer, and they are the world’s pickiest kids! It seems like they eat nothing! So I’m a little worried… This is great advice, though!

  6. I had friends ask me the same question too. I don’t have a picky eater. We’re proud to have a boy who eats whatever’s on the table ever since he learned how to eat by himself. Here’s the thing though, when we sleep over at his grandma’s house, it’s when the things start to change a bit. Because you know how they are – they want their grandkids to eat, so they make sure they cook separate meals for him. But over and over, I tell them, “you don’t really have to make separate meals for my child. Whatever’s on the table, he’ll eat it.” And guess what, he does – every time. And they get surprised EVERY SINGLE TIME. lol

    1. I had that happen too. They were so surprised my kids would eat whatever because the other set of grandkids had to have everything laced with ketchup or cheese! Thanks for your comment.

  7. Great tips! My doctor shared many of these tips with me when I had my oldest. Even now that she is 9, we still have defined meal times and I only make one meal for everyone.

  8. Sheena Moncatar

    I don’t have kids yet but I took care of my little brother and my little sister. No problem with my little sis because she was a good eater, no problem with giving her a balanced diet. However, the case was different with my little brother, he was very picky and sometimes he would want to have the same diet over and over again. I had to find ways to make him love whatever our mom has prepared.

  9. Oh wow that tip actually makes sense. I can’t even imagine how much work parents have to do to make some food especially the healthier food, more exciting when kids are young.

  10. My two daughters are complete opposites on food. Our youngest is three and will try anything once and generally likes everything new. Our oldest has never enjoyed food and it’s almost painful to sit for a full meal because she is so picky. These are excellent tips!

    1. Thanks. I hope these suggestions will help you with the picky eater. I am sorry it is so painful. Family meals are supposed to be a time to get together and talk and laugh. it is hard when the picky eater is so difficult. Thanks for reading.

  11. I finally realized this with my second kiddo! I waited way too liking to do this with my first! Until I was tired of acting like a restaurant! My second eats so many more foods!

  12. I remember, as a kid, when my mother made me plain instant oatmeal. I used to eat all of the flavors in the box but would not touch the plain. She once sat it in front of me for each meal for two days before throwing it out and giving up. If she would have added a bit of syrup or brown sugar, I would have eaten it. I was stubborn. And, plain oatmeal is still nasty.

    1. Yeah, I get it. It is hard to know how to best break a habit of stubbornness. I found that if there was a power struggle in other areas, it came out at the dinner table as well. Sorry that didn’t work so well for you. Thanks for reading.

  13. I love this post. Such great information on taking proper charge of meal times. I love the structure of the post – how you linked picky eating to manners and a healthy lifestyle. You also addressed the teen habit of binging with your snack basket idea. Thank you for sharing. I think more informative posts of this type would help to make parenting easier.

    1. Thanks for your comment. I did have a hard time with my kids binging before dinner and then spoiling it when they were teens. I found the tip with the snack basket when I was researching this post. I think it would have helped me a lot. It seemed to work for the person who suggested it.

  14. Great advice! I try my best to do this with my kids. Some days, i cave and make separate meals and some days they eat what we eat. I wish I had done this from the get go.

    1. It is hard to stop a habit. I hope by reading this you will be more aware of what you are doing. It is a choice every day on what you want to do with your kids. Thanks for reading.

  15. I wish I had read this before my first! This is such great advice. We cleaned up my son’s diet when he started having health problems before his second birthday. He’s almost four now and our youngest is almost two. Our youngest has only ever had a whole food diet. When healthy food is the only option, they learn to love it because it tastes good and they understand it helps them feel well.

    1. Kathryn, I am so glad you brought up this point. I didn’t even go into the issues of health problems from eating all the sugar. I think this is why so many kids have ear infections and other sicknesses. And you are right, whole foods are yummy. You just have to develop a taste for them. Thanks for reading.

  16. This is great information. Sometimes kids being force to eat something they didn’t like can set them back (mentally). And as adults, they are afraid to go to the grocery store, eating disorders, or doesn’t keep much food in their home (only enough to live,, light fruit, bread, water). One of my twins was also a picky eater, and after seeing what I have in the therapy field I changed my entire thought process about forcing her to eat. Thankfully, she outgrew it. Every person is different though.

    1. Tren, I can see your point if there were an ongoing battle with forcing your kids to eat. What I suggested only took about 3-4 times to do. There were never any other food struggles after that. And he was 2 when we did it.
      I think there are years and years of food struggles and conflict when a child is picky. It seems that is what would bring more eating disorders. I would be curious to know if your clients had more issues because of conflict over many years or if it stemmed from 3-4 times when they were young.
      Also, I suggested that if your child is older you have a snack basket and fruits and vegetables always be available. That way the child still has choices. If a child has no direction on food choices, he is always going to pick the unhealthy version. That doesn’t seem like good parenting. As parents, our job is to teach our kids to make good choices in all areas.
      Also, neither of my kids ever struggled with weight or eating disorders. That has to speak for itself.

  17. Great information. We do the same thing with our 1 and 2-year-olds. They almost always eat what we are eating at the same time that we do. Not only is it healthy, but we get to spend family time together too.

    1. Yes, another really good point. I am all about family time at the dinner table. Eating a separate meal tends to make kids eat at separate times. When my kids were older sometimes they would not be hungry because they had already eaten at a friend’s house. We would still invite them to sit with us at the table and visit.
      Good for you for keeping your mealtime together as a family.

  18. Thank you very much for such useful information! now the day is not easy to make picky eater to eat something they really need!

    1. Nancy, thanks for your comment. I think parents cater too much to their kids. The kids seem to run the house more than the parents. I hope my suggestions will put kids back at the table and have a family eat together one meal so mom is not exhausted trying to cook for everyone.

  19. Not easy to get picky eater to eat everything, just have to try and error and make the food as attractive or interesting as possible

    1. Yes, there is a certain amount of display tactics that you can do, but at the end of the day, broccoli cannot be cut into fancy shapes. It is just broccoli. Kids who develop a taste for healthy foods will have a better chance of being better eaters than those who just eat carbs.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.