Picky Eater

Asked January 6, 2016, 3:24 PM EST

Hello! How do I get my little one (2 years old) to try new foods (especially veggies)? It seems like he has an issue with different textures ... we try to give him new foods and he usually rejects them and then my husband and I get discouraged. I know we shouldn't take it personally but I feel like we end up giving him the same foods over and over again. Any tricks to get this guy to eat a variety of things?

Thanks for your help and time!! I love your website - it's a wonderful resource.


Franklin County Ohio

1 Response

I understand your discouragement, but don't give up! When my son was a toddler, we thought he might turn in to a potato because that is all that he would eat. We also struggled with him eating different foods.

"No" is a favorite word for toddlers and preschoolers. If you focus less on, "this is healthy" and more on "this is green food and it is so yummy", it might help some. aking a cue from the show "Lazy Town", we always called fruits and vegetables "sports candy", because they make us strong and give us great energy.

Here are some suggestions for you:
1. Remember to remain calm and make eating fun and a game. Children learn best and do better when they are playing. T
2. Make portion sizes small for his little tummy. You can always give him more food when her realizes that he enjoys it.
3. Don't give up. Our taste buds change throughout our lifetime, so continue to encourage him to try new foods. I like to say "you might not have liked it when you were small, but now you are big and I bet you will.
4. Cut the fruits and vegetables into fun shapes and allow him to to dip the foods in yogurt or dressing like ranch. Try making smoothies together. Let him drop the fruits/vegetables into the blender. When there is ownership, we are all willing to try something new.
5. Make an "EAT A RAINBOW" Chart and include Mommy, Daddy, and siblings on it. Every time you eat a food that is red, green, yellow, blue, purple, white, orange, put a sticker on the chart. When the chart is full, do something fun together, like a trip to the park.
6. Visit your local extension office and ask the Family and Consumer Sciences Agent or the SNAP-Ed Program for some resources and/or visit the library and check out some books like "Eating the Alphabet" by Lois Ehlert.

Most of all, keep doing what you are doing and stay positive!