How can I help my child try new foods and stop being so picky?

I have a five-year-old daughter (first child so far) who refuses to eat almost anything her father or I give her for lunch and or dinner. When she was about six months old or so, she started to eat normal baby food, even some I made homemade from vegetables to blended stew. I loved everything we gave her, but ever since she started eating solid foods, she gradually stopped eating food we gave her. She won’t even touch hotdogs, spaghetti, hamburgers even French fries. Normal foods children would love to eat. Don’t get me started on vegetables. She just throws fits sometimes. So I’m asking, does anyone else deal with this? If so what have you done? Any improvements. Can I change anything that would help?

25 Likes

Make her eat it, if she refuses then do N.O.T make her anything else. Let her go to bed hungry. It’s not mean it doesn’t hurt her. She will learn quick

7 Likes

When my younger siblings were little and my mom made something new and they didn’t want to eat it she would tell them they’ve tried it before and they really, really liked it and then they would eat their dinner lol.

4 Likes

I know this sounds silly but there was an episode on T.O.T.S.(thats the show name) that introduced a “no thank you bite” and honestly we use it ALL THE TIME! It works for us! I hope it can help you too💕 good luck!!

2 Likes

Following. I also have a 5 year old son who doesn’t eat anything!!!

So I’ve been reading about this. The average child would necessarily want to try new things, of course we know this. It can take anywhere from 10-30 times before something sticks. So for some it is the parents who make children picky cause they try a food once then give up. I always try to do something they love and something new on their plate. And thank you bites are a must. You in no way get up with out trying everything on your plate. My family is on a strict budget, poverty doesn’t allow for picky kids. Don’t want it? Awesome plate will be waiting for when you are hungry.

3 Likes

Maybe there’s a sensory issue?

My little one is nearly 2. She can sometimes be a little fussy. If she eats something and then spits it out. I eat a bit (or my partner does) and we over exaggerate how much we like it. She’ll usually try again and like it. If she spits it out again then we leave it and try another time. Of she still doesn’t like it then we know she really doesn’t like the taste/texture etc

I tell my son he has to have one bite of whatever it is and if he doesn’t like it then he never has to have it again

Sit as a family and all I’ve the same on your plates. She will try it eventually or steal a bite of yours. That’s what I did now my 4 year old will happy eat a salad now. If they don’t eat the meal you make. Don’t make a substitute meal if they are hungry after I wait about half hour to hour then offer fruit that’s it. Also I cut down on snacks means she eats her meals more

1 Like

Mix things they love with the new things. Ask them for just one bite to be sure they like it or not. You can usually make these things repeatedly and your child could possibly want to try it more and could even end up liking it. However, they might just end up not liking things and that’s okay. I hated spaghetti, lasagna, etc. (pasta sauce) as a kid and still hate it now. My parents still made one meal, I just ate a modified version.

Sending a child to sleep hungry or forcing them to eat things they don’t like can possibly create a really bad relationship with food for them. It doesn’t happen to everyone, nothing happens in all people the same way. I’ve unfortunately seen it cause a binge eating issue in someone.

2 Likes

I need help with this also. My daughter is 15months and I try getting her to try different foods but she wont. All she eats is hashbrowns, fries, nuggets, cheese pizza rolls, fruits and snacks. No meats no veggies

First rule out medical reasons, texture issues (having to do with the mapping of the tongue), sensory processing disorder, anxiety etc

If all else fails just sneak Vegas in…that’s what iv resorted to with my 5year old son who’s extremely fussy. Grated vegies or pureed into stuff they like for my son his faves are spaghetti bolognese and mac n cheese. However he doesn’t know I load them up with Veges. Mac n cheese hides puree cauliflower easy.and the spaghetti has carrots and whatever else is in the fridge grated into it.

I recently started giving my 4 year old smoothies and refusing to give her anything else food wise if she doesn’t eat dinner. She used to eat like a bird for days and her dr told us when she’s hungry she will eat whatever you give her. Sure enough, she does. We always have her take a bite of anything that’s pit put in front of her. If she doesn’t eat it, no one can ever say I didn’t feed her. I can’t shove it down her throat :joy:

Gets a lot of attention for it, does she? Small servings, one or two bite rule, no special meal or snacks except fruit. She won’t starve, just don’t make a big deal.

1 Like

Have you got her to help you cook dinner maybe seeing the ingredients and having her help cook and lots of praise if she just eat it! In our house my kids aren’t allowed to say they don’t like something unless they have tried it first then I respect there choices

My oldest was the same. Trying to force her to eat (my ex’s route) was entirely counterintuitive. And not letting her have anything else, didn’t bother her. She didn’t care that she wasn’t eating. It didn’t phase her. For a while she lived on noodles basically. Eventually she started coming around to eating a little more and trying a little more. Now that I know a little more with years and child#2 our rule at the dinner table became that you have to at least TRY it. If you take a decent sized bite and actually taste it and STILL don’t like it, then you don’t have to eat the rest of it. My oldest is nowhere near as picky as she use to be. Some foods have taken her years to come around to deciding that she likes them though. Like hamburgers. Up until this last year or year and a half (she turned 11 a few months ago) she really didn’t like or wasn’t interested in hamburgers. Now she asks for them! When she was quite small, she loved onions. Now, I can’t get her to touch them. She picks them out of everything. My youngest has done the exact opposite with onions lol. It takes time. And patience. And remember, some days some battles are not worth fighting!

1 Like

autism.nutritionist on instagram has some great ideas for picky eaters even if your child is not autistic. I’ve have texture issues for years with certain foods so I’ve been looking for ideas for myself too

I have a 4 year old and when we’re eating something new or something she has forgotten that she likes we do cheers and each of us scoops up a bit of whatever it is and tap our spoons together and say cheers, this has worked every time. I also include my kids in deciding what seasoning they like or ask them how I should cook stuff.