Tips for Picky Toddlers

It is no secret that A1 is a picky eater. All toddlers are. As much as I may gripe about it, I’ve had my successes with feeding her as well. Here are some methods we’ve used that worked well for us:

1. Make a face. No, with your food, pas avec le visage. Tonight, I made a smiley face using grapes, carrots, and blueberries. Score!
2. Mix it up. I initially thought that A1 would have her certain staples, and she does—to a certain point. Rotating the foods she does like goes a long way, an increases our chances for success.
3. Use operant conditioning, toddler style. We don’t go entirely B.F. Skinner on our kid, but we do tell her, “If you eat, then you get more bible (songs). No food, no bible.” We’ve only used this when she won’t touch ANYTHING on her plate.
4. Specify a number of bites. This works for kids who can count. A1 knows what “Take two bites of strawberries” means. After you do this, walk away. If the child takes a few bites, victory!
5. Imitation is the best form of flattery. Eat the things your toddler eats (unless it’s stage 2 Gerber chicken—gross!). If she drinks milk, you drink milk. If you want her to eat carrots, YOU eat carrots. If you hate carrots, pick something else.
6. Don’t give up hope. This should be number one. The kid will eat something.
7. Give them only the choices on their plate. You are not a short order cook. I used to do this. You have enough meals to make and enough people to feed. They need to understand that what’s on the plate will not change—unless it’s consumed.

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