Picky eaters, most notably here picky toddlers, can make meal times difficult. What would you say if I told you my 18 month old LOVES broccoli? It’s true!! Read on, mama, to learn the best ways you can avoid having a toddler that is a picky eater.

First things first: Are you a picky eater?

Your kids will mimic everything you do. The way you talk. Your mannerisms. They learn the words you use most often first. Kids are sponges to everything in their environment.

So, it should be no surprise to you that your kids will also tend to mimic your eating habits as well. Why would they want to eat a plate of veggies when they see you having delicious chips and dip? Fast food is easy, but not ideal. You catch my drift, right?

The eating habits your kids will develop start with what you teach them.

Picky Eater Test

For fun, go ahead and take this picky eater test!

Be honest, and get some insight into how picky of an eater you are. Here are my results:

Let me know what you get in the comments section below! I basically checked off the things I never heard of, but judging by google wouldn’t try. And olives and white chocolate. Because I just have thing for those (blahh).

5 Tips to Avoid Having a Toddler that is a Picky Eater

avoid having a picky eater toddler

1. Start offering different foods early on.

We began baby lead weaning when my girl was 6 months old. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends waiting until this age before introducing solids.

Offering your baby a variety of foods, will help them learn different tastes and textures. If they get used to always eating the same foods over and over again, then they are more likely to refuse new foods.

When you first begin offering solids to your baby, start with rice cereal. And ensure your baby is meeting these milestones first.

Once your baby has gotten used to eating rice cereal, start introducing new foods one at a time. There is debate on whether or not you should introduce vegetables before fruits. But in my humble opinion, it does not entirely matter.

Which foods should you introduce to your baby first?

Start with the most recommended beginner foods.

  • Rice Cereal, pureed pears and pureed green beans were the first foods we introduced to our baby.

Read more on starting your baby on solid foods here.

2. Don’t give up the first time a food is offered and spit out.

Keep in mind, your baby may cringe when they taste something new. This may even happen the first several times. It’s totally expected!

Offer your baby those foods again, and again. Just because they didn’t seem to like it the first time, does not mean they won’t. They are just not used to the different flavor/texture.

3. Make food fun

This is for an older toddler, but ensure that food is something enjoyable for them. You should try not to punish them for not eating something. That will only work against you both.

Cut their food into shapes. Let them pick out a fun plate or utensils. Get them involved in the actual cooking process.

Whatever you have to do to make meal time something to look forward to. Do that!

4. Teach them about their food

I love to tell my toddler about what she is eating. What she understands about what I am saying, I don’t know! But I do it nonetheless. You may be surprised what they pick up on.

Try it:

Broccoli Is so good for your body. It is giving you tons of vitamins to make you big and strong like daddy.

Carrots These carrots help keep your eyes healthy. When you eat them, it helps you see better at night! Isn’t that cool??

5. When in doubt, put spaghetti sauce on it.

Okay, I am saying that laughing, but it is so true! Spaghetti sauce makes everything better.

They don’t want to eat their chicken? I bet they would reconsider if their chicken had sauce on it, mixed with some pasta! Try adding in some peas or other vegetable too.

There is nothing my little one won’t eat with a little spaghetti sauce on it.

Picky Eater Dinner Ideas

I have compiled a list of 30 amazing recipes for you to try! You are bound to find lots of options your picky eater will love.

pickey eater muffin recipe
Photo credit: A Clean Bake
picky eater chicken recipe
Photo credit: Good Life Eats
picky eater recipe
Photo credit: My Kitchen Love
Photo credit: Hungry Healthy Happy
Photo credit: Plating Pixels

Have you tried one of these recipes? Let me hear about it in the comments below!

That’s a wrap! (pun intended)

I hope you found something useful here today. Start your little one off right from the beginning if you can with these simple tips. Or if you are already struggling with a picky toddler, grab some of these recipes to try to help!

Read Next:

when to start baby on solid foods

toddler activities

keep a toddler busy