Some kids will eat all of the different kinds of foods that are placed in front of them. Others will only want certain things. A little bit of picky eating is a normal part of development and is a healthy way to for a child to practice being independent, but there are ways to encourage your child to eat a variety of healthy foods.
• Give your child an opportunity to “play” with the food. Toddlers need to see, touch and smell food, not just taste it.
• Let your child eat at his or her own pace. Don’t put pressure on them to eat things that they don’t want to eat.
• Eat healthy food yourself. Never underestimate how powerful it is to be a good role model.
• Offer new foods with your toddler’s favourite foods.
• Let your child help prepare the food they eat.
• Be patient. Sometimes it takes up to 30 times of seeing a new food placed in front of them before a child will eat it.
You may be tempted to hide healthy food inside the food that your toddler likes. People may tell you to be sneaky and hide pureed vegetables inside muffins, for example. However, this can backfire and harm the trust you’ve built with your child. Instead, it’s better to openly add healthy ingredients in fun ways.