Making Your Picky Eater Less Picky

I hear it All. The. Time.“But I have a picky eater!” Well, don’t let that stop you from introducing your little one to new and exciting flavors! Parents often use this as a crutch—it gets them stuck in a rut at mealtime and leaves them frustrated and tired.

Instead, let your eating habits rub off! Around the six- to nine-month mark, kids start mimicking what you do and the reactions you have. Instead, try saying things like, “Let’s watch Mommy and Daddy eat this…” and show with facial expressions and sounds how good your food actually is.

If I really want my Elle to try something new, I find that it helps to ignore her by stepping away from her high chair and watching her explore her food. Even if that means she throws it on the floor or makes a complete mess. Try putting a mat or an old blanket under the table or strip their clothes off so they don’t get stained. Sitting back and watching Elle’s personality shine while eating the new food in front of her is a moment I find myself getting lost in. That’s how they learn and become the inquisitive little creatures they are.

Feeding your baby while they’re teething is a tricking one, too. Some babies totally go on a food strike. Mine did! I started making purees and freezing them in ice cube trays. She loved sucking on the frozen cubes, which helped numb the pain in her gums. She’s now a toddler, (a feisty one at that,) and is entering the so-called “terrible twos.” She knows what she wants and thinks she can get away with almost anything. She’s a good listener so redirecting her seems to work, but, sometimes, it doesn’t. This age is so fun, but it can definitely be a circus.

The other night, she was going to have a wonderful dinner. I made grilled chicken, risotto, and parmesan peas. She loves all of these things and I’ve watched her devour them on other occasions. For some reason, on this night, she wouldn’t touch any of them. I stepped away, thinking she needed some time, but she just played with her food instead of eating it. As a last resort, she will always eat a packaged baby food squeeze packet, which gets nice and cold after being put in the fridge. Thinking her fussiness was a byproduct of her teething, I figured the cold food must feel good on her gums. She ate it up and I thought, ok, that was that.

Later that same night, I made steamed artichokes and homemade baba ghanoush (roasted eggplant). To my surprise, she cuddled up next to my sister and I and peeled off an artichoke leaf all on her own, mimicking us scooping the leaf in the baba ghanoush. It made my sister and I laugh so much! She kept eating and eating while laughing back at us. Since she saw us eating something new in a different way, she was inspired to try it.

At this age, it’s impossible to know what they’ll pick up and just how quickly, so make sure you’re open, you’re trying new foods, and that mealtime is a fun experience for everyone involved. They know more than we think and we love them for that!




About Anna O'Steen

I'm a Lady who loves to bake sweet treats like cakes, pies, bars, and desserts. I also love to cook savory foods and share my experiences with people so they can have the same enjoyment that I get from cooking.
With my YouTube show lovelyladycakes, I get my creative side out and help others, too.

Recently, a new mom to a beautiful girl, and making her organic food.
Come Learn, Interact and Eat with me.

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