7 Tips for Picky-Eating Toddlers

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Do you have a toddler that has become a picky eater? If so, youre not alone.

Children grow rapidly between the infant and toddler stages. This can cause a child’s weight gain to slow down, along with their appetite. The pickiness can cause caregivers to worry about their child not getting enough nutrition to grow.

Tips on how to handle your picky-eating toddler: 

  • Put new foods on a plate next to food the child already likes. Encourage them to touch, smell, lick and taste the new food. According to the Mayo Clinic, it takes 12-17 times to introduce a new food to a child before they are interested in trying it. 
  • Use healthy dips such as yogurt and hummus. 
  • Offer your toddler eating utensils. Many toddlers want to feed themselves and feel in control of what they are eating. 
  • Get your little ones to help set the table. This will encourage your toddler to become familiar with new food. The interaction with new foods, without any pressure to eat them, will help your toddler develop the confidence to try the food in the future. 
  • Serve food in creative and interesting shapes and sizes to encourage interest. Use cookie cutters or pick foods like pasta, spirals and letters that can be fun for toddlers to pick up with a spoon. 
  • Involve your toddler in grocery shopping, meal prepping and cooking. Have them help pick out colorful vegetables and fruit at the store. While prepping or cooking, remind them that the ingredients are what they helped pick out. 
  • Eat a range of healthy foods yourself. Make sure that your own choices are in line with the foods you want the child to eat and enjoy. 

If you’re concerned about your child’s diet, talk with their pediatrician who can help make sure your child is getting all the necessary nutrients they need. Keep in mind that picky eating is a normal developmental stage for toddlers and do your best to patiently guide them on their path towards good eating habits. 


  • Tips to Help Your Picky Eater 
  • My Plate: Toddler Life Stage 
  • PBS Kids Video: DW The Picky Eater 
  • Quick Connections Video: Math in Everyday Life (Grocery Store Example) (Spanish) 

Community events: 

  • Healthy Kids Day: Sat. May 11 at Riverscape MetroPark 
  • Springboro Touch a Truck: May 11 at North Park  
  • Free Community Health Fair: Sat. May 18 at From The Heart Church Ministries of Cincinnati 

Learn Through Play: 

Download one of our free learn through play calendars that are packed with daily activities for your infant, toddler or preschooler.

  • Learn Through Play: Infant  
  • Learn Through Play: Toddler  
  • Learn Through Play: Preschooler 

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