How to Get Picky Eaters to Eat Real Food: Tips and Tricks

toddler eating© middelveld / Getty Images Signature / Canva

It can be tough to get picky eaters to eat anything other than processed junk food. However, with a little bit of effort, it is possible to get them to start eating real food. In this article, we will discuss some tips and tricks that can help you do just that!

1. Start with small changes – gradually add more real food to your child’s diet instead of processed foods

If you’re struggling to get your picky eater to try new foods, don’t despair. picky eating is normal for toddlers, and there are plenty of strategies you can use to encourage your child to branch out. One approach is to start with small changes.

Gradually add more real food to your child’s diet instead of processed foods. You might start by adding a few extra pieces of fruit or vegetables to their plate at meals. Or, if they’re used to drinking milk with every meal, try substituting water or 100% fruit juice instead. Over time, as your picky eater becomes more accustomed to trying new foods, you can slowly increase the variety and amount of new foods you offer.

With a little patience and persistence, you’ll be sure to see some progress.

2. Introduce new flavors and textures slowly, so your child can get used to them

As any parent of a picky eater knows, getting a child to try new foods can be a challenge. The key is to introduce new flavors and textures slowly, so your child can get used to them. Start by offering a small amount of the new food, and let your child decide whether to eat it or not. If they seem interested, offer a bit more. If they turn their nose up at it, don’t force them to eat it. instead, try again another time.

With patience and persistence, you’ll eventually find foods that your picky eater will learn to love. And who knows, they may even surprise you with their adventurousness.

3. Make mealtimes fun and relaxed – no pressure to eat everything on their plate

Dinnertime with a picky eater can be a struggle, but it’s important to remember that toddlers are still learning about food and their bodies. It’s okay to offer new foods and encourage your child to try them, but don’t force them to eat everything on their plate. Remember, mealtimes should be fun and relaxed. Creating a positive relationship with food is more important than making sure your child finishes their dinner. If you’re looking for ways to get your picky eater to try new foods, here are a few ideas:

  • Let them help you cook. Toddlers love to be involved in the kitchen, and they’re more likely to eat something if they’ve helped make it.
  • Serve familiar foods alongside new ones. If you’re introducing a new food, try serving it with something your child already knows and likes.
  • Be patient. It can take 10-15 tries for a child to decide whether they like a new food. Don’t give up if they don’t like it the first time.
  • Offer a variety of textures and flavors. Some picky eaters prefer foods that are bland or have a smooth texture. Others like foods that are spicy or have a lot of flavor. Offering a variety of options will help you figure out what your child likes.

With a little patience and creativity, you can make mealtimes fun and relaxed for everyone involved. Who knows, you might even discover that your picky eater is more adventurous than you thought!

4. Let them help prepare meals – they’ll be more likely to try something they helped make

Mealtime can quickly turn into a battle of wills, with both sides digging in their heels and refusing to budge. However, there may be a way to avoid this struggle altogether: let them help prepare meals.

Studies have shown that picky eaters are more likely to try something if they were involved in making it. And even if they’re not interested in eating what they cooked, they’ll still get a valuable lesson in following directions and measuring ingredients.

So the next time mealtime feels like a battle, try giving your picky eater a chance to be the chef. They just might surprise you.

5. Serve a variety of healthy foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein

As a parent, it can be tempting to give in and just let your picky eater fill up on chicken nuggets and French fries. However, there are plenty of healthy foods that even the pickiest of eaters will enjoy.

  • Fruits and vegetables come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and flavors, so it’s easy to find one that your picky eater will like.
  • Whole grains are packed with nutrients and fiber, and they can be disguised in all sorts of ways – from pasta to muffins to pizza crust.
  • And lean protein is an important part of any diet, but it doesn’t have to be boring. There are tons of delicious recipes out there that use lean protein as the main ingredient.

With a little creativity, you can easily turn mealtimes into a fun and healthy experience for the whole family.

6. Don’t give up if your child doesn’t take to real food right away – it may take time for them to adjust

We all know how hard it can be to feed our little ones something new. The good news is that oftentimes they will adjust and start eating what’s on offer soon enough! In the meantime, keep offering a variety of healthy foods so you don’t lose any potential converts from your list before knowing their preferences better.

It’s often a process for them to adjust before they’ll try something that isn’t baby food or Play-Doh! Rather than giving up on food altogether, you might be surprised at how quickly kids cotton onto this healthier lifestyle later down their road.

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This article is intended for informational, entertainment or educational purposes only and should not be construed as advice, guidance or counsel. It is provided without warranty of any kind.