Some Moms have all the luck…a toddler that will eat ANYTHING you put in front of them. Other Moms (ME!) struggle to get their kids to eat and consider things like chocolate covered cranberries a serving a fruit.
Here are some things I’ve done to get my beyond picky eater to EAT:
– Stick to whole grains whenever possible. Cheerios, bread, crackers…if they sell it in whole grain then that’s what she gets. Yes it tastes a bit different but if you offer it to them right from the start, they’ll prefer it (or at least will be used to it) over white options.
– Stick to the “3 Portion Rule”. Never hear of this? That’s because I’m totally making that rule up- When it comes to meal time, offer your child 1 item he likes, 1 thing he will sometimes eat and 1 food he doesn’t like or is new. Let your toddler choose the order he eats things in…but make it a goal for him to eat at least one bite from each option.
– Be creative with the meat. Meat in my house classifies as chicken nuggets or the thinnest slice of turkey you’ve ever seen hidden in a grilled cheese. We have to use other methods of delivering protein: peanut butter, cheese, yogurts…be creative!
– Try to offer different textures, colors…etc. Don’t let your child get stuck wanting things a certain way. There is nothing worse than having to explain to a waitress that the kitchen needs to cut a grilled cheese in 2 triangles and only use 1 piece of cheese only for it to come out in 4 triangles with ham on it…oh yeah, your kid is screaming- enjoy your meal!
– It is perfectly fine to bribe. I find that M&Ms work well. Try not to let it get excessive (one “M” per bite of banana? Why not?!) but bribing your toddler can be a great tool to get them to try something new.
– Be prepared for showdowns. We’ve all been there- you tell your toddler “take one more bite or you can’t get down from dinner”…then you sit there for 30 minutes and BEG. Be consistent and don’t back down. They’ll walk all over you if you don’t “stick to your guns” at meal time.
– Set a good example. This is so important. If Daddy is sitting at the table complaining that he doesn’t like broccoli, your toddler will come to the conclusion THEY don’t like it either. Make a big deal about loving food- clap when they try something new…ooohh and aaahh about how good your meal is, they will learn to love it too!