Feeding a Fussy Eater

grouchy little girl

If it seems like your toddler is always trying to get out of meals, rest assured, when they are hungry they will eat! Some toddlers graze all day, which makes them less hungry at meal times, others don’t want to take time away from playing. The most important thing to remember is to relax. If you have real concerns or they are losing weight, then of course it is important to speak to their physician, but usually your toddler is just being a toddler.

It’s extremely important not to turn mealtime into the most dreaded time of the day. When that happens, there are no winners. Below you will find some strategies for getting your fussy eater to finally eat!

  • Prepare finger foods like finger sandwiches, fish sticks, vegetables slices, pieces of fruit, crackers with cheese, slices of cheese, or little sausages.
  • Use brightly colored plates and utensils, or plates and utensils with their favorite cartoon characters.
  • Offer rewards for a successful mealtime, like a walk in the park or playing their favorite game. However, be sure not to use food as a reward.
  • Get the whole family in on it. Make sure your child eats with the rest of the family. If they see everyone at the table, they may want to join in.
  • If they spit their food out and protest, don’t punish them or yell. Instead, try to smile, take their plate away, and do not offer them anymore food until their next meal. Keep mealtime pleasant!

Sometimes, children lose their appetites following an illness. If this happens, there is no harm in offering your child their favorite food for a couple of meals. If you are worried, you can combine things like mashed fruit into their favorite yogurt or dessert to sneak in extra nutrients. Keep doing this at each meal and gradually introduce more foods until they are back to their normal diet. Remember to be sensitive to sore throats. Your child may not be eating what you are offering because it’s just too rough on their little throat. Try feeding them mashed potatoes, yogurt, or pudding and you may have more success!

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Feeding a Fussy Eater

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7 comments

  1. Nicole says:

    My son is a very picky eater. I just feed him the same thing over and over so that has something in his stomach. I’m willing to try anything to get him to eat something different. Any suggestions?

  2. Marina says:

    We give my son exactly what we eat (with exception to some spicy foods – I just withhold spices for him & then add spices at the end for us).

  3. EbyMom says:

    it is interesting to note that involving the whole family helps the fussy eater. If your child is a fussy eater as a mom you keep trying out to see foods that interest him/her so that your child will be healthy. I love the article. my son eats well although there are some foods he rejects now. so from this article I assume may be sore throat. I do not bother him but once he turns 3 he will sure eat.

  4. Aimee says:

    I’ve seen a lot of parents cook something else if their child doesn’t like the meal. That’s one thing I refuse to do. It just creates pickier eaters.

  5. Jeanette says:

    So far my 1 year old isn’t very picky. But there are times he spits out some of his fave foods and tries to give them to the dog…. Which in turn she’s as picky as he is.

  6. mrscox09 says:

    So glad I read this I really needed to read this I have a picky eater and it so hard getting him to eat. This really helps alot Thanks.

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