Five Ingenious Ways to Feed Even the Pickiest Eaters


Oaklee’s Guest Post by Harriet Foster

If your child is a picky eater, don’t despair. You’re not alone! Most children go through a fussy phase with regards to their eating, so it’s certainly not unusual or anything to worry about. Nevertheless, there are a few things you can do to make sure your child eats a balanced, nutritious diet. Here are five of them:

Lead By Example

Research suggests that children mimic their parents’ eating habits. If they witness you being picky, eating irregular meals or, even worse, not eating, it’s more likely they’ll develop undesirable eating behaviors.

When you lead by example, you encourage a healthy attitude towards food, and show your children how enjoyable meal times can be. For best results, eat with your children. Prepare the same meal for all of the family, and sit down to enjoy it together. If you’re a picky eater, try to expand the range of food in your diet, and encourage them to do the same.

Make Food Fun

Children respond well to things that appeal to their vivid imaginations. When you make food fun, it’s easier to encourage them to try new things and appreciate the different food on offer.

There are many ways to make food fun. You can use cookie cutters to make fun shapes, give different fruits and vegetables imaginative names and characters, or add a variety of colors to each meal to make their plates more visually appealing.

This article from Good Life Eats provides lots of interesting ideas to help you make food more fun for kids. Check it out if you need some inspiration!

Let Them Help

Studies have revealed that children are more likely to eat their food if they’ve helped to prepare it. Where possible, provide your child with opportunities to get involved in the kitchen. Encourage them to ask lots of questions, and make cooking fun by creating stories about where the food has come from.

If your child seems interested and engaged during the preparation of meal, they’ll be more likely to enjoy eating it, so capture their attention and make cooking fun!

Be Sneaky

If your child seems averse to eating vegetables, there are plenty of ways to sneak them into your child’s diet. Parenting blog Parent.Guide has several healthy smoothie recipes that sneak extra vegetables into sweet, fruity drinks for children, such as their Kiwi Baby Smoothie, which blends kiwi with apple, banana, grapes and spinach leaves.

Be Patient

The final way to feed a picky eater is arguably the most important: be patient. If you constantly bring up your child’s picky eating, and try to force food upon them, you’re likely to make the problem worse.

Instead, stay calm at meal times and accept that your child might not always eat what’s offered to them. It’s likely that they’ll grow out of it eventually, so it’s important to ensure you don’t prolong this phase by inadvertently encouraging their behavior.

Reward your child for positive behavior, but refrain from punishing them if they decide not to eat everything you’ve prepared for them. As frustrating as it can be, it’s perfectly normal for children to be picky with their food. You should also refrain from calling children picky eaters in front of them. If they hear this, they’ll be more likely to believe it themselves, and it’s possible that they’ll use it as an excuse for not eating in the future.