Baby Guide


Meal Appeal: Coaxing Your Picky Toddler To Eat Nutritious Foods

by Ellen Mady

If you child is 18 months or older, it’s time to learn how to make food appealing to a toddler. Most toddlers go through a picky eating phase, so don’t feel bad if your two-year-old starts suspiciously eyeing what you bring out, rejecting foods he used to eat easily, or skipping meals.

Toddlers are inquisitive, and have just discovered their own freedom; they now want to have a say over what they eat and want to inspect their food before eating – this is a natural result of their developing curiosity.

If your child is strong willed, pressuring him to eat foods he is rejecting only encourages him to refuse them more adamantly and throw a toddler temper tantrum. You can often get much further in helping your child become a healthy eater by giving him the freedom to eat or not to eat, but making the food more attractive.

1. Offer your toddler colorful food.

Bright colors often catch a child’s eye and enhance his appetite.  Many healthy foods, especially fruits and vegetables often come in vibrant colors – strawberries, carrots, broccoli, for example, might tempt your child more than duller varieties.

2. Give your child finger foods.

Toddlers are just discovering their freedom, and the independence that accompanies it. They are often willing to do things on their own that they don’t want to be done for them. If you are still feeding your child from a utensil, and he isn’t yet coordinated enough to use a utensil on his own, give him finger foods.

This way, he can feed himself and choose what to eat off his plate and in what order, without making as big of a mess as he would using a utensil. An added bonus: when you give your child finger foods, you are able to do something else while he feeds himself.

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