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9 Pro Tips for Feeding Picky Eaters

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    Tips For Picky Eater

    As a mom of two toddlers, I know a great deal about finicky palates. Toddlers are notorious for loving certain foods one minute and hating them the next, trust me! That said, over the years I’ve learned a few helpful strategies for turning even the pickiest eaters into healthy foodies. Here are 9 pro tips for helping you feed the picking eaters in your family!

    Blueberry Picking - The Lemon Bowl

    Wait 2 Weeks and Try Again:

    True story: last week my two year old decided he didn’t like blueberries anymore. For a solid three days, I would offer him his FAVORITE fruit for breakfast and discover it on the floor minutes later. Do you think I gave up and stopped buying blueberries? Of course not. I simply waited a couple days (you can wait up to two weeks but I wasn’t that patient) and offered them again. Guess what? They’re his favorite again.

    Grilled Barbecue Corn - a quick side dish recipe

    Try a New Cooking Method: 

    Before assuming someone in your family doesn’t like a certain food, I encourage you to try preparing it in a new way first. For example, if you typically steam broccoli, try roasting it. Normally steam asparagus? Grill it next time! Tired of boiled corn? Throw it on the grill!

    Za'atar Spiced Grilled Chicken Breasts - The Lemon Bowl

    Herbs and Spices:

    Fresh herbs and spices can transform that very same chicken breast or piece of flank steak from boring to exciting with almost no added calories and a whole host of added health benefits.

    Wonton Soup with Shrimp and Rice Noodles - a fast 10 minute Asian soup recipe

    Dine in Ethnic Restaurants:

    From as early as I can remember, we would dine out in ethnic restaurants both locally and while traveling. Not only are they often more kid-friendly, but most ethnic restaurants are more affordable and offer a healthier variety of food selections than the typical American chain. My boys love slurping wonton soup, dipping fresh rolls in peanut sauce and eating shrimp tacos on the regular.

    Apple Picking - The Lemon Bowl

    Visit a Local Farm: 

    The closer to the source of your food you can get, the better it is for kids. Children are visual learners (who isn’t?) and these hands-on experiences will not only create lasting memories but will help your kids learn where food comes from. The more excited they get about healthy food, the better!

    Keep Interesting Healthy Snacks on Hand: 

    Over the past several months I’ve loved partnering with Lorissa’s Kitchen because their snacks are not only naturally high protein and low carb but they are full of interesting and unique flavors. From Szechuan Peppercorn to Sweet Chili to Asian Teriyaki, these inventive ingredients not only make for a delicious snack but they keep me and my family excited about healthy eating. I hope you enjoy the latest video I created for Lorissa’s Kitchen in partnership with Real Simple Magazine.

    Lead by Example:

    So often I chat with fellow moms who are looking for advice on feeding their picky eaters only to discover that they also hate vegetables. As any parent knows, your kids want to eat whatever it is you’re eating (usually the minute you sit down.) Unfortunately, if you’re don’t eat kale chances are neither will your kids. It’s as simple as leading by example so head to Pinterest or grab a cooking magazine to start getting creative!

    Asher Mixing Pancakes

    Cook With Your Kids:

    If you follow me on Snapchat, you know how often I cook with my 2 and 4 year old. (Hint: Every single day.) Whether it’s allowing them to mix pancake batter, crack eggs or slice bananas with a dull knife, I always try to get them involved in the cooking process of meal prep. Some days they are more interested than others and that’s ok. The key is to make cooking as natural and normal as possible from an early age.

    Get Them Involved in Shopping: 

    My husband and our four year old grocery shop together almost every single week and as a result, our son knows his way around the produce section like a boss. Kids love to be helpful so allowing them to pick out the eggplant or grab a bunch of cilantro makes them feel involved in the shopping process and more likely to eat the foods they so carefully picked out themselves.

    What are YOUR best strategies for encouraging picky eaters? I would love to hear your tips and ideas!

    Your fork is waiting.

    For more healthy tips, check out my Pinterest board!


    Liz DellaCroce

    Liz Della Croce is the creator and author of The Lemon Bowl, a healthy food blog. Since 2010, Liz has been sharing delicious recipes that just so happen to be healthy. By using real ingredients with an emphasis on seasonality, Liz has built a growing audience of loyal readers who crave good food for their families. Click Here To Subscribe to my newsletter:


    1. I love all these tips Liz. I’m actually a very picky eater, and I have to really push myself out of my comfort zone on a daily basis. My mom was picky, I’m picky, and now my daughter is picky. Seems to be a girl thing in our family. My son is adventurous like crazy. He will eat anything and loves to try new foods. My daughter has gotten so much better over time. When she was young it was challenging because not only was she hyper picky but she was a vegetarian. Over time with lots of encouragement and never giving up she’s come to be more like me. She’ll lean towards eating the same thing then we’ll talk each other into trying new stuff. We went to a restaurant once when she was feeling brave so I ordered almost everything on the menu. We had leftovers for days but it was so worth it. Now we love exploring and trying new places, but I’ll admit we tend to gravitate towards the safe bland food unless one of us pushes the other. Odd for a foodie, I know. I try really hard because I know how limiting being picky can be. I never wanted my kids to be like that. I drove my parents nuts with my issues. This is such solid advice. Wish your blog had been around 20 years ago. I was stumped how to deal back in the day.

      1. Oh my gosh thank you so much Kim. I really am so lucky my parents exposed me to a wide variety of foods from an early age. It makes all the difference! Thank you again for your kind words!

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