While I was choosing my organic applesauce at the grocery store, I ran into a good friend, 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. Below are some of those suggestions!
Why You Should Think About Adding a Probiotic to Your Little One’s Diet
Before we get into some of the foods you might be able to convince your picky toddler to eat (beyond fruit snacks and chicken nuggets), I want to talk about probiotics. Probiotics can help promote healthy digestion and a good gut feeling, along with relieving constipation and acid reflux. They are a great addition to a picky eaters diet because they help keep the gut balanced, and with that improve digestion and bowel function.
Omni-Biotic Panda is made specifically with infants and toddlers (up to 3 years) in mind. You can simply add the daily probiotic powder to water, milk or apple juice in their sippy cup, or give it to them in a dropper.
Learn more about Omni-Biotic Probiotics here! Remember to discuss the benefits of probiotics with your child’s pediatrician before adding them to your daily routine.
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!
Hold up, before we jump into my grocery shopping list, you’ve got to hear about my new favorite delivery service. What if I told you that you could have healthy, whole food that your toddler will actually eat delivered to your door weekly? It might sound too good to be true, but this is exactly what Yumi does!
Their Stage 7 Bites are perfect for toddlers, we especially love the nutrient dense Pizza Bites and Veggie Meatball Bites. The fruit leather snacks are also great and have NO added sugar!
Yumi also makes toddler, kid, and adult vitamins. I can’t stress enough how important it is to add in a daily vitamin for picky toddlers that may not be getting all the vitamins and minerals they need from food alone. The Biteamin by YUMI is a great choice for filling in the gaps with 21 key vitamins and minerals from 15 whole vegetables and fruits.
When the cupboards, fridge, and freezer are bare, these are the things I grab for my toddler at the store:
Breakfast idea foods for a picky toddler
Well, all of my food for picky toddler’s recommendations might not be the healthiest, but most are 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
- 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)
- 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 them 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 a 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!
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