• Little School
Five Tips for Living in Mutual Harmony with Your Picky Eater

Myrese Nochomowitz, MPH RD LDN, who led the first Little School parent roundtable discussion on eating in November, shares her five best tips for parents with picky eaters!

1. Make meal time fun! Toddlers thrive on attention, and when you make meal time about sharing stories, jokes, and interactions, it will become something your whole family enjoys and looks forward to. RESIST the temptation to turn on the TV and zone out during meal time.

2. Be a role model. Your child learns from watching you. Show your child you enjoy different foods. Let your child see you try new foods. Children are copycats, so if you model an interest in trying new things, there's a stronger chance that your child will too.

3. Offer choices rather than yes or no questions (“Do you want broccoli or carrots?” vs. “Do you want broccoli?”). If toddlers are involved in deciding what they want, it makes them feel like they have some power and then they don’t need to exert it by saying “no” to what you offer.

4. Reintroduce foods multiple times.  Each time the family eats a non-preferred food, place a small portion of that food on their plate EVEN if you know they won’t eat it. One day they like it and the next they don’t. The more a child sees a “new food,” the more comfortable they become with it. Just because a food is turned down or refused once doesn’t mean they won’t like it the next time you introduce it.  Even if they refuse it multiple times in a row, it doesn’t mean they will never eat it.   

5. Find new ways to make meal time fun. For example, use cookie cutters to cut fruits and veggies into fun shapes. If you don’t have cookie cutters, arrange foods in “fun” ways. Challenge them to eat a food of each color while you are talking about rainbows.

Join us for our second Little School parent roundtable discussion–Is This Normal?–on Friday, February 15 at 8:15 a.m., and learn how to deal with challenging behavior. Register at lincoln school.org/roundtables.