How can I get my toddler to stop being a picky eater?

How can I get my toddler to eat anything besides chicken nuggets and fries? She gags at literally anythign else…help!!! She was a really good eater as a baby so I do not get it


Pediatrician told me not to worry, it evens out. This month it might be just chicken nuggets, next month it might be just peaches. Give a multivitamin and keep going.


If you figure it out, please let me know :weary: my son is almost 4 and his diet consists of nuggets and fries, with the odd pizza (pepperoni only, and has to be cut a certain way) or ‘cheesy roni’ (Kraft dinner) :woman_facepalming:t2:

The doctor tells me to feed him what he will eat, but I feel like he’s not getting the nutrients he needs. He takes a daily multivitamin but I still worry


Sometimes it could be how you’re presenting the food. Lol, sounds silly but my son is the same way he’s soooo picky! He will eat what he helps me cook though. I praise him through the process of us cooking a meal together so that he feels accomplished and he will eat it with me….sometimes! He can be given two plates of the same exact thing but if one doesn’t look presentable he will not budge…but will take the one that does look presentable. Lol :joy:


My son has gone through this. He is almost 3.

He ended up becoming anemic.
He ate really good as a baby, he would love eating a plate of vegetables. then just after he turned 2 he just became super fussy. Ate only nuggets and hot chips/ cheese.

He Gagged at everything or refused it. There are several people in our house so there’s all types of food.
I was lucky for him to eat a mouthful of food some days.
Got told by the dr just to try and reinforce food, but he just wouldn’t take it.
I even put some baby food in a syringe to try an get him to it.

I ended up putting him on baby formula stage 3. Because just 2 bottles were half his daily nutrients. And just continued different food in front of him.
Was about 8 months he was being fussy and only just starting to eat vegetables and yoghurt etc.

My son is 7 and is the pickiest eater ever!! Used to eat everything and now he eat periogies, French fries, buttered noodles and pizza (depending what pizza we get) he will just get cheese on it no sauce!! It’s a struggle!! But my dr said all kids go through it and there will be a turn around and let him pick what he wants to try, he’s starting now to try but it’s when he wants!!!


I hate to say it as a picky eater myself sometimes it really is just how somethings are I’m 21 and will constantly try to eat things I hate and know I should like or be eating but something just clicks in my head and triggers my gag reflex as well ( which I typically never have with anything else…) it could be a texture thing. I know cooking vegetables down more typically helps me

My son is 6 and still will only eat a handful of different foods. Gags until he vomits with everything else.


You don’t. You just keep offering them different things and eventually it balances out. Unless your ped has expressed explicit concern, this is just another super normal phase.

1 Like

It’s probably just a phase. Introduce one new food a week, some kind of fruit or a dinner meal.

I ask mine to do a no thank you bite of new foods before I’ll give him his staple foods. So serve new foods first and they must take at least 1 bite of the new food in order to get say chicken nuggs and fries

My daughter used to be picky but then I started to tell her she has to try at least one bite and if she didn’t like it she could have whatever it was she was obsessed with at the time. I started with things that I knew she would like if she just tried it so it wasn’t a bad experience. An example is she would eat noodles with butter and she didn’t want to try Mac and cheese…she tried it and loved it. Then with something like Mac and cheese you can slip things in (can be done in a lot of foods)…I would shred chicly or turkey and mix it in. But I make it a point to not “make” her eat it if she tries it and doesn’t like it. A majority of the time she likes it and it then could be added to the menu. I have also progresses foods she likes…chicken nuggets to chicken strips (cut up) to chicken patties to chicken breast (breaded)…slight change and over some time. Spaghetti sauce is a good place to hide meats and veggies…start with buttered noodles…then a lil sauce…then add just a lil at a time. If it’s French fries maybe try cauliflower fries/onion rings, there are also veggie tater tots. And if all else fails don’t be afraid to bribe them :joy::joy: But most importantly if they are eating you are doing great!!! Good luck Mama!!!


Struggling with this, too!
We always have one preferred food on her plate and do our best to get her to eat the rest of it. We encourage her to “play” with new foods. So, smelling them, touching them, licking them, etc. All the pediatric nutritionist I’ve spoken to have told me that if they’re not willing to touch it, they will never put it in their mouth. So, I lead with that belief when I have her experiment with new foods.
I also offer dipping sauces to help encourage her to try things. Kid loves ketchup, so it’s almost always on her plate, no matter what we eat
Does all of this work? Not usually, but we’re trying :joy::sob:

my son used to tell me I was rude if he couldn’t eat a peanut butter sandwich for dinner every day, he’s 13 now and eat almost anything… it can get better with time

You don’t. It’s a super fun, built-in, pain in the butt, toddler feature. It could be a sensory thing too that she likes the textures of chicken nuggets and fries. My son went through the same thing but has gotten better as he has gotten older (he’ll be 13 next month). O no

Give a multivitamin…you can also Sneak it into things she will eat. My daughter was a terrible eater- I’d make smoothies with yogurt and fruit, chocolate muffins and sneak spinach, zucchini, and broccoli in them. Purée cauliflower into her Mac and cheese, pancakes with bananas, apples or beets- she used to eat them because they were pink. Sometimes she would broccoli but only if tons of melted cheese was on top of it…

You can keep introducing new foods but prepare yourself for them not liking everything. Textures and flavor combinations are going to cause this reaction and that’s ok. Baby isn’t the same as toddler and she will change as she is a little kid to a teenager. It will work out.

My son 6 has autism and is super picky IV been slowly getting him out of it I make him try one bite if he don’t like it he don’t have to eat it but this week I’m so proud got him to try mushrooms and he loved it and tacos and again loves he started realizing foods he thought were gross are pretty good just got to get her to try just one bite and not force her to eat the whole thing compromise just be like if you at least try one bite of this I’ll give you this something she does like

Give what everyone else is eating. Don’t make special food and avoid over snacking between meals.

Take her to her pediatrician. It could be sensory issues.