19 Tricks To Try With Your Picky Eater

Because kids canʼt subsist on chicken nuggets alone.

1. Insist on “No thank you” bites.

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Make it a rule that your kid can refuse to eat any food but only after taking three “no thank you” bites. Note: Itʼs okay if they cry through each one.

2. Emphasize the foodʼs benefits.

Remember how much spinach you ate as a kid because you thought itʼd make you
strong like Popeye?

3. Purée fruits and vegetables.

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Jessica (wife of Jerry) Seinfeld wrote a book on how to sneak fruits and veggies into picky eating kidsʼ favorite foods by puréeing them. Itʼs no surprise her kids are picky eaters - their dad largely subsists on cereal.

4. Serve small portions.

Big portions can be intimidating and leave kids thinking, “I have to eat all of that?!” Small portions, on the other finger, are easier to get through.

5. Show your kids someone cool likes it.

My daughter refused to eat carrots until my friendʼs cool son ate one in front of her.

6. Cut out between meal snacks.

This way kids come to the table hungry and are more likely to try new food.

7. Let them share your food.

Kids get way more excited about eating your food than their own, so let them have a bite or two off your plate.

8. Check out “Today I Ate A Rainbow!”

“Today I Ate a Rainbow” is a $19 kit that turns eating into a fun game. The website says it will “get your kids ASKING to eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables…we guarantee it!”

9. Donʼt take no for an answer.

Itʼs easy to give in and serve your picky eater their favorite food, but that will only make it harder to convince them to try new foods later. Stand your ground - even if they only take one bite!

10. Sprinkles are your friends.

Dashing sprinkles atop any food will make kids more likely to eat it. Sprinkles on veggies may sound gross, but if it gets your kid eating, who cares?

11. Model good eating.

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Show your kids you have a healthy relationship with a wide variety of food and it will encourage them to branch out.

12. Make eating fun.

Try cutting food into cool shapes or drizzling some sauce onto a dish to make a smiley face. Check out this list of bento ideas for picky eaters.

13. Keep your cool.

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Getting upset will only turn mealtime into a war zone and cause your kid to dig in even deeper.

14. Never forget that boys are disgusting.

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Tell boys that foods like broccoli and brussel sprouts will make them pass gas and theyʼll suddenly be interested in eating them.

15. Let your fussy eaters help cook.

Give your kids a few simple tasks during preparation and theyʼll feel a sense of pride in the food on their plate.

16. Let them grow their own food too.

Plant a family garden and your kids will be excited to try the results of their hard work.

17. Bust out the dip.

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Serve challenging or unfamiliar food with a delicious dip. Just make it clear up front there will be no “dip only” dining option.

18. Stop saying your kid is a picky eater.

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The more you say it, the more your kid will believe it. Instead, try to be positive about your kid’s eating habits even when their pickiness is driving you bonkers.

19. Lastly, donʼt worry about it so much!

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Your kids arenʼt going to starve, and it wonʼt be long before mealtime has become their favorite time.

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