Your toddlers’ palate is probably anything but consistent., One day they scarf down a snack, the next you get a smug look for offering the same food. Occasionally, toddlers get stuck in a food rut where it feels like pulling teeth to get your toddler to try new foods.
There are many reasons your toddler is refusing to try new foods—sometimes they simply want to have control over something in their life at that moment of time.
As a parent, it is frustrating and worrisome when your child only eats a few select foods. We’ve put together a few things that have worked for us to get your toddler try new foods!
Offer Small Pieces of New Food
A full plate of food can be daunting for your little one – try offering “mouse-bites.”
Mouse bites are pieces of food cut into very small pieces (we’ve also put the mouse bites on toothpicks, and our toddlers loved grabbing for them).
Since the food is cut up so small, it is a perfect way to introduce a food in an unobtrusive way.
If your toddler still doesn’t want to try a new food, ask her to smell, touch or kiss it goodbye.
The more relaxed you can make the experience, the better it will be for everyone. Consider it progress anytime toddlers use their senses to explore new foods.
Celebrate Small Victories
Display your child’s success by hanging up a piece of poster board in the kitchen.
Explain that each time they try a new food, a new sticker is added to the poster board. The new food chart is a great incentive for them and a perfect reminder to try new foods.
Look through recipe books together. Go to the library or bookstore and find kids’ recipe books with lots of pictures.
It was surprising for us which recipes our child chose to make! Give your child the autonomy to pick out a new food as a subtle encouragement to try it once it’s made.
Another helpful idea is to go grocery shopping together and introduce your child to new foods. Let them choose a few to bring home (preferably on the healthier side).
Don’t Pressure Your Child
Finally, it’s important to create a stress-free environment when it comes to eating. When kids feel forced or bribed into eating certain foods, their natural reaction is to resist.
Sarah Remmer, a family nutritionist, shares what she’s learned during her 10 years of experience: “pressure to eat certain foods can result in long-term severe picky eating issues, disordered eating patterns or full-blown eating disorders.”
Remember, your toddler’s selective eating style is a phase. Keep offering healthy food choices.
Let us know in the comments what worked for your toddler! We hope they find something to enjoy!