5 Tips to Prevent Selective Eating

5 Tips to Prevent Selective Eating

Katie is a stay-at-home Mama of two who spends her time adventuring with her family, sipping cold coffee while chasing her kiddos, or writing about motherhood, marriage, faith, and finding joy in the little things over at her blog, Coffee Date With Kate. You can follow along with her for laughs, encouragement, and more toddler meal inspo on Instagram (@coffeedatewithkate)!

Feeding little ones can be so daunting, sometimes. One day they love something and the next, they may simply refuse it. The battle of "just try one bite" can seem endless, and if we aren't careful, it can be easy to get in a rut of simply feeding them the same ol' thing over and over again just to avoid the ordeal at mealtime.

Today, I'm sharing five tips and tricks to help avoid picky eating habits:

  1. Make a conscious effort to serve foods in many different ways. For instance, don't always cut apples into slices, don't always cut the crust off their sandwiches, don't always serve carrot sticks with a dipping sauce. This teaches little ones that foods don't always look the same and helps them not expect foods to look exactly like it looks at home when they go out to eat or are at someone else's house.
  2. Make easy, homemade trail mixes! This teaches little ones that it's okay for their foods to touch and gives them a variety of sweet and salty foods.
  3. Don't give up if they seem to not like something on your first (or second, or third, or tenth) time offering it. Sometimes, it just takes a while for it to "click" with their little tastebuds and in this case, repetition can be a good thing!
  4. Find ways to "sneak in" vegetables. If you're little one doesn't consume enough leafy greens, throw a handful into a fruit smoothie and put it in a fun cup for them to enjoy. 
  5. At each meal, try to focus more on at least trying every item on their plate than them cleaning their plates. Sure, every Mama loves a good "happy plate", but sometimes it's more important that they at least try a new food on their plate than going round and round over a goal that may be unattainable at that moment. Just like adults, children don't always want (or need) to eat every crumb on their plate. 

In this colorful lunch for my almost-three year old, we have:

  • Peanut butter and jelly rollups (just roll a slice of bread out with a rolling pin, add peanut butter on one half and jelly on the other, roll up tightly, and slice with a serrated knife) which is such a fun alternative to a plain ol' PB&J
  • Pretzel thins
  • Carrot sticks
  • Sliced bell peppers
  • Diced strawberries
  • Dried cherries

What are some creative ways you teach your kiddos to love fruits and veggies?

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