6 Tips for Dealing with Picky Eaters

by Elizabeth Lewis


Picky eaters: the bane of every parent’s existence. Kids need to eat to keep up their growth, but their taste buds are very sensitive and prone to disliking strong flavors that many adults enjoy.


I went through the picky eater phase with all of my kids too. It does get easier with time, but here are some tips to help you keep picky eaters fed and satisfied.


 1. Don’t Fight Them

It’s not worth fighting a war over. I know, I know, it seems counterproductive to let your kids not clean their plates, and wasting food hurts, but I’m serious. If a child doesn’t like a food, they don’t like it. You can’t force them to change a taste aversion. However, it is good to encourage children to try at least one or two bites. They may reject it, and that’s okay. They tried it, and you can try again once they get a little bit older.


2. Make Something Everyone Will Like

It can be hard to find a dish that everyone in the family enjoys, but it’s worth it. It doesn’t have to be the main course of the meal, but having at least one side dish that everyone can agree on will make mealtime so much easier.


 3. Consider Food Textures

If all they seem to eat is crackers or more processed food, then texture and consistency might be an issue. One of the big reasons that children tend to eat the same thing over and over again is because it is always the same. With fruits and veggies, they aren’t as consistent. I know this isn’t a tip, but it’s a good way to understand why they might refuse certain foods.


 4. Keep Introducing New Foods

This will feel redundant rejection after rejection, but it will eventually work. From what I’ve seen, it takes about 17 times to get a kid to get used to the texture and taste of new food. If they still don’t like it after that, then it might be time to throw in the towel.


5. Don’t Call Them a “Picky Eater”

It’s tempting to complain out loud about your child’s picky habits, but you should avoid saying it to them. If a child thinks of being a picky eater as their character trait, then you will have a much harder time getting them to try anything. Besides, everyone has taste aversions so anyone could be considered one!


6. Make Mealtime More Fun

Colorful plates and utensils can make help teach kids that dinnertime is something to enjoy rather than another chore to sit through. Getting kids excited about mealtime can also help get them into the mindset of trying new things. The Plaid Giraffe can help! We carry mealtime placemats and utensils from Constructive Eating and EZPZ. See all of our eating accessories here: https://plaidgiraffechildrensboutique.com/collections/eating-accessories-utensils



One last tip: remember that everyone experiences parenting troubles--even if they don’t outwardly show it. Take it one day at a time and keep learning!