Creative Ways to Encourage Picky Toddlers to Eat Nutritious Meals

Creative Ways to Encourage Picky Toddlers to Eat Nutritious Meals

Mealtime with a picky toddler can be so frustrating - it's like a minefield and no one's idea of a good time. However, as a parent, you'll always want to be sure that you're doing your best when it comes to taking care of your child, and that includes giving them enough of the right food to eat - so what can be done? The good news is that even if it can seem impossible, there are plenty of creative ways to encourage a picky eater. Read on to find out more. 

Use Shapes and Colours

Toddlers are always going to be drawn to bright colours and interesting shapes, so if you can make the food fun in this way, you'll be on to a good thing. You can use cookie cutter to transform sandwiches, fruit, and vegetables into fun things, for example - they won't taste different, but they'll look different, and that can count for a lot. 

Involve Them

You might not want your toddler to get involved in meal prep for a number of reasons, not least the mess, but if you want them to try new food and stop being so picky, it could be the best option. They don't have to do a lot, and certainly nothing potentially dangerous, but if they can wash their fruit and vegetables or assemble their own sandwich or pizza toppings. This can stir up interest and make them more inclined to eat the food they've made. 

Make Mealtimes Relaxed

One thing that can cause a problem is a tense, stressful mealtime - who would want to eat in that environment? Make mealtimes more enjoyable by making them more relaxed, and your toddler will get some positive associations with their food. Rather than focusing on forcing your toddler to eat, look at the positives - one bite is good! Bond more, and they'll start to look forward to mealtimes rather than dread them. 

Offer Choice

You won't want to go too far with this idea, but if you can offer some choice to your toddler when it comes to food, they'll feel more in control, making them happier to try new things - it's their choice, not yours (or so they think!). When we say don't go too far, we mean don't leave things too open ended - give them the choice between two things, for example, rather than dozens of choices, and no one will get stressed. And, if both the items you're offering are nutritious and healthy, you're on a win-win. 

Lead By Example

Do you want healthy food in front of your toddler? Children copy their parents' behaviour, and if they hear you telling them to eat food that they don't see you eating, they might not want to do what they're told. Eat with them and eat the same food, and you could be surprised at how positive mealtimes become.

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