This article shares the best picky eating advice according to parents of extremely picky eaters. Read on for the 10 best tips to help you and your child.
This one thing happens every time I first talk to parents who have been struggling with their child’s eating – the big reveal of the onslaught of unhelpful picky eating advice they’ve intentionally – and unintentionally – collected over the years.
“No one gets it.”
“They told me to just leave the food out until he ate it.”
“I’ve heard ‘they won’t starve themselves’ so many times I want to barf.”
Usually, I’m at the end of the list of people parents have turned to for support. By the time we’re talking, they’ve racked up a lot of suggestions. Really unhelpful ones.
I don’t need to tell you “they’ll eat when they’re hungry enough” isn’t great advice.
Instead, what I’m dying to share are the tidbits parents of super picky eaters have found most helpful for them and their child.
This picky eating advice is the real deal. It can change everything from your mindset (please do not underestimate the value of this!) to your stress level to what you offer your child for lunch and how you serve it.
Read on and let me know in the comments – what is the most helpful picky advice you’ve ever heard?
The Best Picky Eating Advice – According to Parents of Extremely Picky Eaters
Focus on the small strides you’ve made and not on all the things she’s not doing yet. Don’t forget the little wins (even mac n cheese with different noodles counts as a new food!).
Yes yes yes!! This was the unofficial theme of last week’s Eating with Ease Program calls. Those baby steps are worth celebrating and they lead to big changes.
It’s normal for kids to start where they are. Progress doesn’t usually happen in leaps and bounds, but fits and starts. Small and steady is how it goes.
You’re not alone.
Over 100 families have joined my in the Eating with Ease Program to help their child with eating challenges learn to comfortably and confidently try new foods. You are not alone.
Meet her where she is with her eating.
Thank you to this mom in the Eating with Ease program. This advice is part of the first training and, honestly, if I could teach only one thing, this would be it.
My child doesn’t eat veggies, either.
Veggies are even hard for a lot of grownups, too.
Keep offering with no pressure and never give up as it can take a while to try a new food.
“Patience and persistence” is my motto.
A child can’t eat when they’re anxious about the food in front of them.
Anxiety can make the appetite plummet. And no one feels up for a challenge when they’re anxious. Aim to make meals a comfortable place.
Gateway foods – my son loves mayo and now eats spinach with mayo on it.
I’m all about stepping stones. Pairing preferred foods with new ones makes eating so much easier. It’s not a forever strategy and it definitely works (even with foods that aren’t dip-like),
Having them play with food using all their senses.
Play with your food. Game changing!
If you haven’t tried this yet, please please please give it a shot. Hands on food exploring – play, examination, cooking – whatever it looks like for your child is so worth it.
Don’t look at what they eat over a day, look over a week. That really took the pressure off!
It’s normal for the appetite to change day-to-day. We’re in a phase right now where my son is eating like a very hungry hippo. A few days before that he was throwing most of his food on the floor. One day is just one day (out of 365 in a year!). One meal is just one meal out of too many meals to count. Focus on the big picture.
It might be hard for you, but don’t forget it’s hard for them.
This is another foundational message in the Eating with Ease Program. Eating isn’t an innate skill, but it’s something we’re meant to do. If your child is struggling to eat, they’re really struggling. It’s easy to lose sight of that in the day-to-day, especially when it’s so hard on you. Even saying “we’re both having a hard time with this” to your child can make a big difference in how you both feel.
These one-liners are valuable. I hope they take you far – I really believe they can. But if you’re looking for something with more heft, if you want more direction, more of a plan, consider joining me in the Eating with Ease Program.
It’s a way for parents to get the information, strategies, support, community, and feedback they need to help their child see real change with their eating. That means new foods and more variety. Not just tastes, but diet expansion.
Not sure the Eating with Ease Program is the right move for you? Shoot me an email and we can have a no-pressure conversation to figure it out.