What Should I do with My Picky Toddler?
What can you do if you do have a picky toddler? One of the keys is to understand that a picky toddler is often feeling afraid of new foods. So what you need to do, very simply, is to convince them, on an unconscious level, that that new food isn’t scary.
One of the best ways to do that is just involve them in the process. Have them in the kitchen with you when you’re preparing the food. They can hold one banana while you’re slicing another one.
Or, the further upstream you go, the better. One thing is hold the food. If you have them pick a tomato and bring it in with you, or even better yet, growing a tomato. By the time the process is done, they’re familiar with it and excited about it many times. I’ve seen all these work so well with my own patients.
Another thing that can be really useful is to take a flavor profile that they already like like, say, an Italian sauce. You can then add in different vegetables, different foods, and it’s much less scary because they already know the flavor profile. Or, if there is a food that they’re already eating, say they’re eating white bread but you want to move them to whole grain, moving gradually in little steps from what they’re eating now to a full-bodied whole grain bread down the road can be a great way to get from here to there.
The key is, very simply, reducing unconscious fear by getting them involved and taking little steps.