Skip to Content

How To: Handling Picky Eaters

Sharing is caring!

I don’t really have picky eaters, but all of my kids have gone through that stage!  According to Shannon Payette Seip, co-owner of the Bean Sprouts Café in Madison, Wisconsin, research shows that kids develop their taste preferences when they reach the age of three. Picky eaters often emerge at this age because it is when they start to feed themselves. They are now free to choose what kind of food they will eat, which gives them at some point, a degree to control their lives. If you have a child who happens to be a picky eater, then you can practice different ways of feeding your finicky child. It is frustrating to deal with selective eaters, but parents should try to be patient when it comes to feeding their child with healthy food.


One way to manage a picky eater is by being consistent. Never give up on giving what is healthy for your child nor give in to their requests to eat junk foods. Giving your child a consistent meal means offering them three healthy meals a day with healthy snacks in between meals. Offer them a variety of food, juices and milk. Also make them drink water more often to keep them hydrated all the time.

Another way of dealing with a picky eater is by working with your child when it comes to eating healthy food. In this way, you can avoid making mealtime as a war zone between you and your child. Remember that you’re not alone in this kind of problem and that being a picky eater is common among children. For first time parents, reading articles and books about raising a child can help. It would also be better if parents join online forum communities offered in different websites such as Parents can find it helpful to join online communities where they can meet other parents who have the same sentiments as theirs.

When working with a picky eater, remember not to fall into the routine of letting them eat fast food products like McNuggets at McDonald’s whenever they want for the sake of keeping them satisfied. Do not plan meals that are based on what is going to be eaten by your picky eater or serving meals away from your dining table. You can plan a picnic in your backyard or a tea party at home to make it more fun. You can also do other activities on the dining table other than eating. This tactic is effective because it will keep the attention of your child on something else rather than the food you are serving.

Sharing is caring!

Jennie Wagener

Monday 27th of January 2014

Hi Kelli

Thank you for the information. I would also like to add that if your child continuously struggles with mealtimes, it might be a sign of oral sensory sensitivity and it is important to have him/her evaluated by a sensory integration qualified Occupational Therapist. Oral sensory sensitivity is a life-changing condition that only gets worse with age and is easily treated but becomes worse with time. It can influence speech, social interaction and emotional development. Thank you for your amazing website.