Advice on feeding a picky eater?

My daughter is 4yrs. Old and still very picky. We tried OT for her because the doctor recommended it. But its not working. She only eats chicken and sometimes a lil bit of beef from pot roast. She had fish sticks but she only eats like 2 pcs. She eats fruits but not veggies, the only veggies that she will take is if its in broccoli cheese soup. I tried to make shapes and stuff so her shell have fun with her food but she still very picky. She doesnt even like pizza, hotdog or hamburger. Please no mean questions, just wanted some opinions from other people what do they do. Thank you.


My daughter is 13 & still is ridiculous! She’s a vegetarian as well so that makes it worse, but she does like to help create, so I’ve been building her a cookbook with easy fun things to make. It’s a hit or miss sometimes, she’s also a gymnast, so I’m pretty strict on making sure she gets protein. Cheese, nuts, tofu. Making it fun helps. Thank God my boys eat everything or I’d go nuts

Give her what she like but always healthy if she like broccoli feed her broccoli and fish after a while she may open up and try new foods :relaxed:


I am going through the same thing with my daughter she used to eat everything but over the last year she is very picky with food it’s either chicken nuggets or ramen noodles that’s it nothing else and she is doing ot now

Have you tried smoothies. You can add spinach to them without her even knowing

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She may be a little young for this but I have heard if they help you cook it or prepare it they are more likely to try it or eat it.

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My daughter is almost two and she is very picky. As well as experience as an auntie and nanny. I usually steam sweet potatoes, carrots, cauliflower, squash. Basically anything that can be blended cheese into a sauce to put in her macaroni. I also do it with spaghetti sauce. She can’t tell a difference, neither could my 8 year old niece who practically gags on any veggie. I’ve put veggies in brownies and muffins too. They hide green things well.


Get her involved in the cooking process. I always offer new foods. When making meals I try to have 2 things I know she will eat so like if we have mac n cheese, broccoli and corn I know she will eat the corn and broccoli. She doesn’t like Mac n cheese :joy:

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One of the things my mom did with me was “candied carrots” canned carrots with a little bit of brown sugar and syrup. It’s sugary but it got me to eat carrots. As I got older I appreciated the actual carrot flavor more

My son was like this. Just keep trying. She will grow put of it. Give her children’s vitamins.


My son was so fussy at the age of 4.
I fed him what he loved to eat and now his grown to try different types of food.
( broccoli, corn on a cob, meats and fish etc)
All you can do is offer and try your best.
It’s hard I know but she will eventually grow out of it.
Good luck !! :blush:


You can grate zucchini into alot of stuff and cauliflower.

With my kids, they mostly eat whatever I eat. When teaching them while young, if they didnt want it, I will get up and go get a dessert, put it on the table right in front of them, and tell them they can only have it when they have eaten enough dinner. If they don’t eat to my satisfaction, the dessert is put away again. No negotiation, no hesitation, and no snacks of any other kind before bed. They know I mean business, especially when they have to watch their siblings enjoy dessert! Now it’s their choice to eat dinner and get dessert, or leave the table hungry. I have always taught them there is a huge difference between “not loving” a food, and actually “disliking” a food. Not every meal is going to be their new favourite, sometimes you just gotta acknowledge a full belly is worth it, and get it over with.


Is she on a lot of milk?

Next month she’ll probably eat only eggs and applesauce. Children’s likes are ever-changing. Give her a multivitamin and relax, it should all even out.


Let her help. Let her pick out items at the grocery store and make them extra fun at home. Put food dye in pancakes maybe a smoothie she could drink in a fun cup. My son was picky when he was little and would gag on anything he didn’t like so I ended up giving in to whatever I could get him to eat. He is 5 now and eats everything lol

Least she’ eats fruit mine want even do that :joy:

The world will not cater to her as you are. 3 bites of a food at the meal, takes 20 plus times before they like it. Best to start as an infant

I just never stress about it. As long as my children are eating and healthy, then they are fine. They go through phases with their food like everything else.


its normal😆slowly but surely they outgrow it

my dawta is 10 and she still prefers jam bread ova anything else🤪

Atleast she is eating dont stress so much :woman_facepalming:

I agree. Stop stressing. She will eventually. Just keep exposing her to the foods. Encourage her to try then. Don’t force. She will eventually outgrow this. My14 year daughter eats me out of house and home now and at that age didn’t eat enough to keep a baby bird alive. Getting her involved in helping with meal prep is also a good idea too.

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My 5 year old is the same way! Her pediatrician says she’s perfectly healthy!

They will grow out of it as their taste buds change.

I would try giving her vitamins. I mean she’s loosing on some vitamins. But that should get her to eat. My son was the same way. Until my mom got him on vitamin.

I have a three year old with SPD. Food is a MAJOR issue here.
Here’s what we’ve done:
First. Identify commonalities between the foods she will eat: texture, flavor profile, and even color.
Try to give foods that have that commonality.
For my kiddo its heavily seasoned in flavor and red in color.

When introducing new things…
Step 1. Rub it on the back of my hand.
Step 2. Rub it on the back of his hand
Step 3. Rub it on his lips and ask him to lick it.
Step 4. Put a small peice on top of something he will willingly eat.

A few other tactics have been
-sticker books (the ones where you can make pictures from stickers). 1 bit=1 sticker.
-Having him help cook/prepare (safely) like mixing mashed potatoes.
-letting him eat from someone else’s plate (so he thinks it’s a treat)

In the meantime give smarty pants vitamins a shot. I adore this brand. Both of my kids and myself use it. It helps because they fully think its candy.


Let her help you cook the meals she will most likely end up eating it cause she “cooked” it, if not give her a special “milkshake” in the mornings and even after dinner with fruit and veg so like apple with beetroot was a favourite of mine as a kid and just mix fruit with veg in them so that way she is still getting what she needs


My Son had oral adversion and was very hard to get to eat! Plenty of nights he ate just mashed potatoes.
When he started Kindergarten they had free lunch and we let him eat at school (enough people don’t use the programs they go away and so many kids desperately need them!). He learned to find things he liked and to try new foods. This year in 1st grade he has tried so many new things! He came home last week: “I ate fried fish for lunch!”
(Before he ate well we supplemented with pedisure, carnation instant breakfast or toddler formula mixed with his milk. He also drank alot of smoothies with my mom!)

Try popcorn shrimp and tell her it’s popcorn chicken. That’s what I did with my kids and it worked great. Gave them one more option. I also make them try 1 bite of every thing I make every night. If they do t like it they don’t have to ha e anymore but about half the time they do it’s not a problem. I made the mistake of making my youngest now 8 try crab legs 2 years ago and now I pick more for him then myself😂

We do OT for eating issues too, but my 2 year old can’t communicate like other toddlers, so I feel when he can better understand “you need to try one bite or you don’t get dessert” it will be a different story. In the meantime he gets milk and I trick him into eating a gummy vitamin by hiding it in candy (because of course that smart little sh-t wouldn’t eat the freaking vitamin on its own :roll_eyes:). We went to the doctor for his 2 year a couple weeks ago and he’s up 3lbs. He also ranks in the 90+ percentile for weight, height, and head size. So I’m ok with all that. Idk what we will do if he is refusing to eat, even at the cost of dessert at age 4. I guess he will just be small or live on milk or that sugary pediasure grow n’ gain junk like his sister did. If he’s not eating unnecessary junk like dessert or treats, or junkie snack foods, and he needs calories I suppose that’s better than stunting his growth. But otherwise… I fully expect to have to fight him through every meal. You gotta prepare yourself to starve your kids in one way and give them calories that are reasonably healthy in another way. So he might go without dinner right now, but he gets milk at bed. He may get candy with breakfast, but he also gets a multivitamin mixed in it. They also have that powdered fruit and veg stuff you sprinkle on her food. Plus you can try making fruit and veg smoothies. We did that too and now he has refused to drink with a straw. So… :expressionless:
Anyway, if you mix milk, strawberries, frozen bananas, spinach, and quinoa - you can’t taste the spinach and quinoa, but it’s still healthy. Just get creative.

OT for it?
Some kids are just picky.
They grow out of it.
Stop listening to others and just feed the kiddo what they will eat.


My daughter is 3 and loves breakfast foods (eggs, grits, sausage and pancakes), anything to do with bread and anything potatoe (except scallop potatoes). We have tried every angle to get her to eat other stuff but she absolutely refuses. She is up 5lbs from November but shes still very tiny. I think alot of her problem is texture. She doesnt care for chicken nuggets, fish sticks…things like that either. I still try and get her to keep trying whatever I cook hoping she will change her mind over time and choose to eat what we eat. I have 4 children and she is my only child like this. I dont force her to eat anything. She does take a vitamin and drinks lots of water. She doesn’t eat a bunch of snacks through out the day…we kind of use snacks as an incentive to get her to eat her food. Most nights I let her choose her sandwich or what she wants because I cant see her not eatting at all. I believe all children go through stages, some stay in the stages longer than others. As long as they arent losing weight then they should be fine.

Keep trying small portions, but introduce one new item at a time and repeat that item several times for a couple weeks. So everyday for 3 weeks have the same potato item. Then for 3 weeks have broccoli made the same way.
I know being 4 yrs old is young but I dislike the same foods I disliked as a child. Some foods I dislike - mayo, mustard, pickles, tartar, corned beef, spicy, cucumbers, tomatoes, bacon.
My youngest daughter for several years lived off corn dogs, Mac n cheese and chocolate for a year. It happens.

Did you try eating it in front of her to show her to try it? My baby’s 3 and when I give her things she’ll shake her head no until I take a bite and give it to her then she’ll try it

I had this issue with both of my kids. My son is almost 9 and will eat anything except tomatoes now. My daughter is almost 5 and is just now starting to try new things.

My pediatrician told me to just make sure she’s taking vitamins and feed her what she will eat. She’ll outgrow it.

This is the same exact things my daughter will eat too. She’s 5 now and has opened up to trying a handful of new things, just takes time. It helps when they see their friends eating different things as well, makes them more inclined to try what they’re having.

I know alot of parents do the butter spaghetti noodles for their kids if they don’t like the sauce


There are ways to “sneak” veggies in. Grind them up. Make breading with ground up veggies and bread crumbs for chicken nuggets. Sneak them in whenever you can.

5 have a year old who lives off of chicken nuggets and fries and pizza his doctor said its normal he will grow out of it i give him multi vitamins …hes a very healthy so i pick my battles and he will out grow it

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Keep at it - it’s frustrating, but will slowly get better. Once they start to like a little bit of tomato sauce, I now puree spinach and carrots into it.
You’re doing a great job - keep at it!

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Feed them what they will eat and supplement with daily vitamins.

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My daughter is also 4 and a picky eater. We do the no thank you bites. Where she has to at least try one bite. It’s turned her into a few new foods. And if she doesn’t like it she says no thank you and we move on. My pediatrician said most kids are picky eaters until 5/6. She is just starting to be easier to cook for


Feed her her favorite colors. The only reason my kid eats green veggies is because I told him that how hulk turns green🤷🏻‍♀️


I have an in-home daycare. There are parents who say, their children will not eat this or that. But, once they sit down with their peers and see them trying/eating new things, they begin to try. Maybe, when it’s a safe time, have a little tea party-lunch and invite a few friends her age, to try some favorites and new yummy things. If you make a fruit salad, try to hide some veggies in the mix. Small tomatoes, cucumbers, melon, pears, apples, avocado. Good peer pressure is sometimes the biggest help! But, most kids outgrow it. At least, she is eating real food and not just wanting junk food! That’s a plus!! :coffee: :strawberry: :watermelon: :carrot: :green_salad:

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I established a 3 bite rule with my oldest. She HAD to take 3 bites before she could decide if she liked it or not. She’s willing to try anything/everything now and loves stuff I’d never think she’d even like


My kids are the same way. I bought a blender and I let them help me make smoothies every day now. I also bought this superfood powder to put im the smoothies so I know they are getting what they need . They also have protein powder for kids to put in milk in stuff too if they refuse to eat anything , at least I know they are getting some kind of nutrition through the day .

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My 4 year old does it too. If she doesn’t eat she’ll eats next meal. There are days I bribe her with candy. There are days where I make her show me what she wants to eat inside the fridge.
Days where she goes in the fridge and takes out what she wants. Bottom shelf is all kid food. From fruit/veggie/ pp&j (premade) lunchables/ salads. Pop tarts/ left over dinner. Yougurts. Etc.

My son only eats noddles waffles eggs or plain pasta for dinner and occasionally a sausage.
He loves smoothies though pancakes apples yogurts and will occasionally eat cereal or bread so I just vary it up. I get smoothies with hidden carrots and beetroot etc I offer him fish etc though he never eats it. Sometimes cheese, rice cakes, crackers. I’m assuming he will grow out of it as long as he’s not hungry and not alooad sugar im happy

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Try taking a vegetable and making like mac and cheese out of it. Like the sauce

My 7yr old is my pickiest eater. He doesn’t like certain textures (mostly meats) and that’s ok. He recently started trying new things all on his own. Dont force it. Feed her the things you know she will eat. Did my 7yr old eat pb&j for years for dinner because he didn’t want what I made for dinner, yup. He’s super healthy and very active. His pediatrician isn’t concerned and we aren’t either. She advised us not to force food. It doesn’t work. They need to come around to it themselves. Its a control issue. They don’t get control over many things in their lives when they’re little and control over what they eat is one of the 1st things they realize they can control. I put a 1 bite portion of whatever we are eating on his plate. Most of the time it doesn’t get eaten but like I said he’s been trying these new things on his own now. No coercion at the dinner table. I hope this helps :heart:


We used to make veggie nuggets my son was crazy about. Homemade Popsicle with yogurt base add spinach and Raspberry (try different combinations). Smoothie is also similar to Popsicle, though Popsicle is more attractive to kids especially with summer coming.

I have a 14 year old that’s been like this since day one. Only meat she likes is chicken and maybe fish sticks. And bacon :yum:

My fiancé was the same way except he ate absolutely no meat. They tried EVERYTHING for him nothing worked he’s 23 and lives off mac n cheese and peanut butter and jelly

Before you make her meals give her 2 options to choose from, allowing her to feel like she had some control on what she eats. For example, ask her which vegetable she would like to eat tonight broccoli or peas? Etc… letting her feel she got to choose what she eats may get her to eat it. If she throws a fit about having either options then just make whatever and keep offering it. You could also try sneaking her veggies into food, cook it differently or add other seasonings/sauces. My oldest son was really picky and certain vegetables like zucchini I would cut up into fries and tell him they were fries. He loves zucchini fries. For Broccoli florets, I steam just enough to be soft but still have a crunch to it, add lemon juice, salt and pepper and we call them baby trees.

Just put something new on her plate along with stuff you know she likes,make her take just one bite, promise if she doesn’t like it she can spit it out but she has to give it a chance and let her spit it in the garbage if she wants.

My doctor said it takes like 10 times of introducing a new food to a child before they even really decide if they like it or not.

So if she doesn’t eat it this time, try something else new next time, and just keep rotating it out. She isn’t gonna like everything but now my son (who is crazy picky) will eat spaghetti, English peas, and a couple more he’d never touch before. He just ate a hamburger and I’m way more proud of that than I should be :sweat_smile: