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Picky Eater? Read My Tips

Christine Coppa

My friend and her one-year-old son were over on Saturday and she was amazed as she watched JD pop cherry tomatoes into his mouth as a “snack.”

“My son eats three things: Pancakes, chicken nuggets and pasta,” she sighed.

I don’t have this problem. From day one JD always ate a variety of foods and among them, his favorites are fresh fruit, raw and cooked veggies. He LOVES romaine with shredded carrots and olive oil + vinegar.

My friend asked me for some tips to get her son to try new foods. Here’s what I said:

  • Get a cool plate Use a fun sectioned plate and make it colorful. Add corn, carrots, grapes cut in half—and something you know he’ll eat like chicken or pasta.
  • It's a family affair Eat with him and be excited about it! I try really hard to eat with JD as much as I can. We count our cherry tomatoes and eat our roasted chicken and steamed green beans like a dinosaur would—ROAR AND CHOMP! (Hey, it works!)
  • Shop together Bring your kiddo to the store and get him excited about shopping for wholesome foods. JD and I visit an indoor farmer’s market every weekend (the clerks know and love JD!). Not only does he get his own basket, but we also go over colors and items. It makes shopping fun! We talk about making a big fruit salad together and “the rainbow of color” that will magically appear in the bowl. FYI: Farmer's market produce shopping is way cheaper than buying your stock at the grocery store.  
  • Veggies galore! We order pizza once a week—and I serve it with steamed broccoli and salad. 
  • Be smart about packing lunch As for daycare/preschool eating: I send things I know JD will eat without push. For example, I don’t send leftover steak, meatloaf or grilled chicken for lunch. He’ll eat it with me at home, but it takes a nudge and some silly talk. For lunch I pack all-natural, white meat nuggets, veggies, fresh fruit, turkey sandwiches, pasta or soup. I always pay for pizza Friday, too. 
  • Relax Your child's palate will perk up one day. If you're super concerned, talk to your Ped and make sure you're giving a vitamin (JD will only take gummies, so don't feel bad if you're on the gummy train too! Yum!) 

Do you have a picky eater? Share some tips to get picky eaters eating and exploring new foods. PS: Tonight we're having steak, mexican rice w/ peas and salad. What about you? 

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