Some toddlers love to eat. They’ll eat nearly anything you put on their plate. However, other toddlers seem to be picky eaters. It’s important to teach children to like many different flavors so they grow up to like and enjoy many different healthy foods. Many older children won’t eat vegetables simply because they didn’t have a great many of them growing up. Exposing them to different foods is important in a balanced diet.
If your toddler is already picky, you can use a few strategies to turn your toddler into a more adventurous eater.
Strategy #1 – Don’t Wear Yourself Out Making Multiple Meals
If you have multiple children, don’t wear yourself out making multiple meals. While it’s a good idea to consider your children’s tastes when making meals, you shouldn’t be a short-order cook. Cook dinner and let your kids known that’s what you’re having for dinner. They can decide to eat dinner or wait until another meal.
Strategy #2 – Eat Meals Together
There’s plenty of evidence to show that kids that eat meals with their parents eat healthier diets. Try to eat at least one meal a day together. Kids are more likely to follow your healthy eating patterns when you all sit down together and they see what you’re eating. While toddlers may not have a long attention span, starting meals together can be helpful.
Strategy #3 – Ask Toddlers to Try One Bit
Instead of trying to force your toddler to eat foods he doesn’t like, use the try one bite rule. Insist that your child tries one bite of the food. You’ll quickly be able to tell if the food really makes your toddler gag or if they are just being stubborn. Your child may end up liking the food and eat the rest. However, if you can tell that the dish really doesn’t agree with your toddler, praise him for at least trying the food.
Don’t expect your picky eater to change overnight. However, if you begin implementing these strategies, you should notice some progress after a couple of weeks. Before you know it, your toddler will be eating a variety of foods and you’ll be able to rest easy knowing that he’s eating a healthy array of foods.