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Readers Respond: Parents Share How They Get Their Picky Eaters to Eat New Foods

Responses: 4

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Gone are the days when your child would eat pretty much anything you loaded onto a spoon. Now it's macaroni and cheese, chicken nuggets, pizza and grilled cheese without crusts. You want your toddler to eat more nutritious food. You want your toddler to eat a variety of food. But you also don't want to withhold the few foods he will eat for fear he won't eat anything at all.

So, how do you cope? How do you get your toddler to eat more than just his favorites? Do you sneak it in? Have you ever told your toddler a little white lie to get him to eat something new? Share your strategies for dealing with a picky eater.

Cartoon Friends & Kitchen Helpers

I am so relieved to see that my toddler isn't the only one with such a limited menu.. And I don't know when it ends, but pray it's very soon... I don't have a solution, but if ever one of his cartoon friends is shown eating something- he will sometimes ask for it then, or if I ask him later and refer to it as that food and he'll accept it...for example, It's not just cow's milk, it's Uumi Zoomi milk! And he likes to help in the kitchen- he eats more if he helped prepare it... Oatmeal and noodle packages are great! He gets to pour in the packages and the premeasured water, push the buttons, and count down to done. Occasionally, when he's being Completely stubborn and I'm SURE its something he's gonna like, but refusing, I'll rub a little on his lips anyway, he licks, likes, and asks for more usually. Got to love em!!!
—Guest Mrs. Lambert

picky eaters

I try anything that I can. I give him Juicy Juice harvest blend with vegetables. I have tried veggie nuggets instead of chicken nuggets. He loves to eat out so I will encourage him to try different foods when we are out. He usually will at least try it when we are out, but that gets pretty costly going out to eat three times a day. I am so concerned about him eating healthy because he has a heart condition. After reading this site, I see that he is normal 3-year-old boy. Thank you.
—Guest yant

Order it at a restaurant first

My kids are always a lot more willing to try new food at a restaurant than they are at home. Their first tastes of shrimp and mushrooms were restaurant food -- and once they'd tried it and liked it, I could re-introduce the items into meals I cooked at home.
—Guest Petra

Whatever it Takes

I am not above spreading a little truthiness to get nutritious food into my toddler. I have a "cheese casserole" that is mostly made of squash. It only has about 1/4 cup of Parmesan in the whole thing. I find if I put the word "Cheese" in the title of any new food, it's more likely that she's going to eat it. Cheese Fish. Cheese Chicken. Cheese Green Beans. It only takes a barely noticeable sprinkle of cheese to make anything edible. She'd probably eat Cheese Cardboard if I served it to her. I also sneak food in where I can. I put tomatoes on grilled cheese sandwiches. I make stuffed shells and mannicotti and most of the stuffing is spinach. I put spinach into just about any pasta dish I make, really. If I didn't do this, she'd want to eat grilled cheese at every single meal. (When does this stage end??)
—Guest de Selby
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