It’s common for them to eat certain foods eagerly one day and then refuse the same items the next. But a little creativity can go a long way. Often tweaking the form of the food or finding a similarly nourishing cousin will lead to success. Here are some alternatives to consider.
Won’t Eat Fruit?
Try This: Blending a fruit smoothie using nonfat or low fat milk or yogurt; pieces of banana, berries, or other fruit; and crushed ice.
Won’t Eat Citrus Fruit?
Try This: Substituting strawberries, cantaloupe, watermelon, potatoes, or vitamin-C enriched fruit juice (other sources of vitamin C).
Won’t Eat Bananas?
Try This: Making homemade banana pops, by peeling a banana, inserting a wooden stick, then freezing it.
Won’t Drink Milk?
Try This: Offering a fortified children’s milk formula in a favorite flavor. These drinks offer the nutrients your child needs for healthy growth and development—including DHA, iron, and calcium.
Won’t Eat Beef?
Try This: Offering fish, poultry, legumes, tofu, and peanut butter (other sources of protein).
Won’t Eat Peanut Butter?
Try This: Swapping in other nut butters (such as almond or cashew), sunflower seed butter, or a mix of these (edit)(spread very thinly for a child younger than 2, as nut butters can be a choking hazard).
Won’t Eat Whole Grain Bread?
Try This: Giving him high-fiber white bread, or whole wheat or rye crackers.
Won’t Eat Spaghetti?
Try This: Choosing a child-friendly pasta shape, such as bow ties, shells, and wagon wheels (opt for whole wheat pasta).
Won’t Eat Plain Vegetables?
Try This: Steaming veggies until soft yet firm, cutting them into easy-to-grasp shapes, letting them cool slightly, then serving with a low fat cheese sauce or low fat ranch dressing for dipping. Or stir fry with a little soy sauce for flavoring; serve with brown rice.
Won’t Eat Cauliflower?
Try This: Mashing it up like mashed potatoes and adding low fat mozzarella or nonfat sour cream.
Won’t Eat Green Leafy Vegetables?
Try This: Using dark yellow and orange veggies, such as sweet potatoes, carrots, and squash (other sources of vitamin A).
Won’t Eat Zucchini or Carrots?
Try This: Grating and mixing into muffin batter, quick bread, meat loaf, or lasagna.
And if you’re worried about your child’s overall nutrition, a balanced children’s milk can help ensure that even a picky eater gets a variety of nutrients.