While I was choosing my organic applesauce at the grocery store, I ran into Superhero Andrea, and she asked me for some good suggestions on food for picky toddlers. In fact, she asked me if I had anything on my blog about it already, which made me think I should write a little something on what to feed a picky toddler.
When she asked me about what to feed a picky eater, I totally drew a blank and thought of all the food my son routinely dumps on the floor. His pattern was so erratic that just when I thought he was finished with his meal, because he’d tossed half of it on the floor and started asking for either “dow(n)” or “nigh(t) nigh(t),” he’d actually begin eating his meal again with gusto.
Hmmm, but then as Andrea and I did the dance among supermarket aisles, running into each other every few minutes, I’d have a new suggestion each time I saw her.
My Food for Picky Toddlers Recommendations
So, friends out there, I’ll share with you my go-to toddler meals and snacks for my 17-month old and ask for yours in exchange. Help a mama out, please!
When the cupboards, fridge, and freezer are bare, these are the things I grab for my toddler at the store:
Breakfast ideas foods for a picky toddler
Well, all of my food for picky toddlers reccomendations might not be the healthiest, but most is pretty healthy. Sometimes I give in and choose a less healthy option once in a while. It makes my life easier and my toddler very happy. My one big tip, never give the treat when your toddler is throwing a fit (unless guests are over then just try to survive that fit)
- Frozen waffles (I get the whole wheat ones of any size with no accouterments)
- Scrambled eggs
- French toast (Sunny makes a whole loaf at a time and freezes it)
- Cereal: Puffins (cinnamon) or Cracklin Oat Bran
- Banana (little dude eats one every day)
- Oatmeal (I usually go with the Maple & Brown Sugar)
- Honey Nut Cheerios
- Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich
Lunch things your kid might not throw on the floor
- Almond butter and jelly sandwiches on hearty bread, cut small (for fear of peanut)
- Cheese sticks (or Laughing Cow Wedges)
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Mixed berries: blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries
- Other fruit chopped up when time permits
- Firm tofu, usually teriyaki flavor or “savory” whatever that means
- Applesauce (organic, any flavor) mixed with baby cereal to improve scoopability
- Cheesy toast or grilled cheese
Snack food for picky toddlers
- Pea Crisps, Banana Slices, or Raspberries (all crispy, freeze-dried fruits and veggies with no added gunk — they can go stale quickly, so just open one package at a time until you go through it)
- Ants on a Log – (Celery Peanut Butter & Raisins)
- Pirate’s Booty
- Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies and their Plum Dino Equivalents
- Whole wheat pita and hummus
- Crispy Italian style breadsticks (more hummus for dipping)
- The curds from cottage cheese grabbed with fingers
- Pretzels with Peanut Butter
Picky Toddler Meals – Dinner foods my picky toddler eats every week
- Taquitos from Whole Foods (the reason for going to TWO grocery stores and why I deserved my chocolate cream treat)
- Frozen organic peas (I don’t even cook them. Try handing over a cup of frozen ones if your child has rejected hot peas.)
- Plain whole-fat yogurt
- Aidell’s teriyaki and pineapple meatballs (they last for about a week in the fridge, so once I open the package, you know what lunch is until they’re gone)
- Whatever we’re eating
- Black bean quesadillas
- Small pieces of chicken or fish (sometimes he likes, sometimes he chucks on the floor)
- Homemade guacamole
- Crispy kale chips or cooked zucchini (whatever vegetable we’re having, he’ll usually try one or more before throwing on the floor
- Amy’s frozen pizza bites with spinach (I heat them for Milo in the microwave and for myself in the toaster oven; Holden tries to eat them frozen because I think it’s strange. Go figure.)
In addition, recently we tried Yumble Foods meal delivery for kids. The meals have great nutrient value and my kids absolutely loved it. You can get 25% off the first week.
Even More tips on How to Get Picky Toddlers to Eat
Hey, it’s definitely not easy when you have a toddler who is a picky eater. Sometimes finding food for picky toddlers is not about the food itself. Here are some tricks we use to get them to eat.
- Cook with them – Even if it’s something simple like stirring, my toddler is always more likely to eat the meal if they participate
- Make it fun, but don’t overdo it. – One of my snack recommendations is Ants on a log. It’s an easy snack to make that my picky toddler thinks is fun. Also using cookie cutter to make shapes in sandwiches is fun. But don’t overdo it because there is nothing more frustrating than putting in all that work for your kids to not eat it.
- Play the opposite game – Our little one loves it if he is doing something isn’t supposed to (if we think it’s funny) So, make it seem like you don;t want them to eat the meal. They’ll gobble it right up.
Look down there in the comments for many ideas from readers with picky eaters.
I told you mine, now you tell me yours!