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My Picky Toddler Won't Try Anything New!

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What's the most effective way to get a VERY picky toddler to try a new food? -- Amy

toddler in a high chair eating

Haylie Pomroy: There are three little tricks that I like to have my clients use:

1. I have a lot of my clients try new fruits and veggies in a frozen form. 

I know this sounds kind of funny, but organic fruits and veggies don't have as much instant impact on the taste buds. Things like organic peas or blueberries can make their way down to the belly before their flavor comes through in the mouth. Frozen string beans, carrots, strawberries can be interesting to a toddler. I would get my little ones to eat frozen sweet potato spears long before I could ever get them to stomach sweet potato baby food in a jar. A little trick, but it can work very well.

2. Do a one week sugar sweep. 
Although we try to eat really great foods at home, there are times when our busy hectic schedules allow for more processed and packaged foods to sneak in. In my household, we regularly do one week sugar sweeps. This is where we only eat real foods for one week.  Things like fruits and veggies, organic meats and dairy, whole and sprouted grains, etc. My kids are old enough to look at packaging of things like peanut butter and apple sauce and see what brands do not have any sugar added. This seems to cleanse the palate and open the kids up to more variety and healthier foods. It is a great one for Mom as well. Really watch those baby foods. Many of our toddlers become picky eaters because they are being fed a ton of added refined sugar per day in some of their foods. This can make for a very picky palate.

3. Consider a children's-based probiotic
These are the good gut bugs that are taken in supplement form. These can enhance digestion, can reduce inflammation in the gut, and encourage the appetite for healthy foods. This trick has brought many clients with picky toddlers huge success.

I do have a motto in my house: I tell my kids that I am perfectly okay with them not liking something. They have to try as many bites as they are old before they can decide that, though.

One note -- very picky eaters might be suffering from food allergies. If you suspect this is the case, see your doctor. 

next: 8 Common Myths about Eating Disorders
1 comments so far | Post a comment now
PlumbLucky October 1, 2009, 10:59 AM

Ever tasted baby food from a jar? Pretty bland stuff…now taste the “same” stuff that is fresh…it might be jarring (bad pun I know) to a palate that has been weaned onto the bland stuff as well.

Try, try, try again…granted, that’s what we had to do with carrots (but he’ll chow down on peas, green beans, asparagus, and other astringent tasting veggies), which I never would have expected, but now he loves them.

I do love the idea of the sugar sweep.

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