What My Picky Toddler Eats

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James had his two year doctor’s appointment a couple of weeks ago. One of the focuses of this appointment was eating habits.  When we first started introducing James to foods, he liked everything. From salmon to quinoa to apple sauce, he would try and enjoy anything we offered. We’ve noticed Henry is now the same way but James has gone complete opposite. Refusing to eat or only eating certain foods is part of a toddler’s development because it’s one of the only things they can control.

It’s funny because when a friend has a new food, James will eat it. But when I purchase that same product for home, he refuses. Honestly as a kid I was a very picky eater too. But only because my parents were never really adventurous eaters.  Having lived in New York City for the past 5 or so years, I was exposed to all sorts of new cuisines from Thai to Sushi to Mediterranean and beyond that I was never introduced to as a kid.  Sometimes I will put something on my plate just so James will be interested.  He almost always tries what I am eating but rarely likes it. Research has shown it takes 11 times to decide if a child likes a new food so when James tries anything it is a win in my book! I want my children to be adventurous eaters and try new things.

As you’ll see, James does not eat meat and rarely eats vegetables (not by my choice!). Our doctor said as long as he’s eating and growing he will be fine! She’s given us some tips to help with the eating process below!

Breakfast (we choose one from each category)

  • Protein : Eggs
  • Grain : Silver Dollar Pancakes – Toast with Butter
  • Fruit : Raspberries – Strawberries – Blueberries – Watermelon
  • Dairy : Cheese – Yogurt


  • Cheez- Its
  • Goldfish
  • Yogis
  • Crackers (Ritz, Raisin & Rosemary or Enchanted from Trader Joe’s, Graham)
  • Pita Chips
  • Veggie Sticks


  • Protein : Eggs (if he didn’t have them for breakfast)
  • Fruit : Cereal Bar – Berries
  • Fruit / Veggie : Pouch (2-3 at a time)
  • Grain : Cheerios – Bar – Snack Foods
  • Dairy : Cheese (if not eaten for breakfast)


  • Grain : Whole Wheat Spaghetti
  • Anything he has not eaten throughout the day

Doctor’s Tips 

  • Keep introducing foods. One day he will be interested again.
  • Although cheerios are processed, they are fortified with nutrients.
  • Kids need iron and at this age you can offer a vitamin. Gummy vitamins usually do not have iron but check the label.
  • Be creative. Add veggies to baked goods or other foods, such as mac & cheese.
  • Be consistent. Always offer meals around the same time everyday.
  • Only offer one meal; providing options may create a picky eater because they get to choose what and when they want to eat.
  • Keep meal time separate from distractions.  Watching television while eating creates bad habits.
  • Ask your child for their help. Getting them involved with various activities such as stirring batter, washing vegetables, measuring for a recipe or choosing foods at the grocery store will empower them and be proud of what they’ve made and hopefully create curiosity into trying what they’ve made.

Any tips and tricks that have worked for your picky eaters? Please comment below!

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