Breakfast can be an especially challenging meal for families, especially for kids who are in school or need to get to daycare by a particular time. Kids can by cranky and time is rushed. Add in picky eating and you have a recipe for a very stressful morning. Coming up with breakfast ideas everyday can be a daunting task and often it becomes easier to just serve the same thing every morning (I get it, I’ve been there).
Tips and tricks for getting the picky eater in your life to branch out and try new foods. Picky eating is listed as one of the most stressful parts of mealtime, so I provide ways to help minimize the stress.
Believe it or not this is one of the most common complaints I hear from parents. It’s super common for toddlers to suddenly reject eating meat, even if they ate meat totally fine as a baby. There can be many reasons that your toddler won’t eat meat, but most of the time, it’s not something that you need to stress too much about.
If your family is vegetarian or vegan, there is no reason that you NEED to serve your child meat (or any food). This is more for families who usually eat meat, but are finding that their child has been rejecting it.
Toddler preferences are a part of parenting. One common concern parents face is that their toddler prefers milk over solid foods. Whether it’s breastmilk, cow’s milk, or a milk alternative, a toddler needs more than just milk to meet all of their nutritional needs. While breastmilk and/or formula make up the bulk of your child’s nutrition prior to age one, after age one, milk should become more of a supplement.
You were probably told many times to not play with your food as a child, so you may find it very surprising that I am recommending food play to help with picky eating. Sensory play in particular can be incredibly helpful for picky eating. Many picky eaters are hypo-or hyper-sensitive to different sensory experiences, so exploring them during play can help get them more comfortable.
Many parents are surprised to find out that there is an association between ADHD and picky eating. It turns out that it is quite common for kids with ADHD to be picky eaters. That doesn’t mean that there’s nothing you can do about it. Many of the tips that we recommend for neurotypical kids work well for kids with ADHD as well!
I am often asked “what are the best vegetables for picky eaters” or “how can I get my kid to eat veggies?” I wish I could just print out a list of vegetables for parents and send them on their way, but as with most parenting things, it’s not that simple. Most of my advice is very personalized depending on the preferences of the picky eater themself.
Whether or not their child is eating enough veggies is one of the biggest concerns I hear from parents of picky eaters. First and foremost, there is no food that your child NEEDS to eat. It’s totally possible for them to meet their nutrition needs without eating a plateful of veggies. That being said, many parents wonder if hiding veggies in their kids food is a good way to give their kids a little nutrient boost.
I may be a bit biased, but I think that every parent could benefit from working with a pediatric nutritionist. Most pediatricians get very minimal training in nutrition and often don’t have the time to answer questions in depth. Dietitians, however, specialize in just feeding and often our appointments are longer, giving us more time to focus on any area of concerns you may have.
You’re so proud, because it seems your baby will eat anything. You think you’ve prevented picky eating and then BAM! Your child stops eating many of the foods they used to love. Sound familiar?
Some level of food preference is expected. There are probably some foods that you prefer and other that you don’t. It’s the same with kids. We all have varying tastes.