How can I help my child try new foods and stop being so picky?

I have a five-year-old daughter (first child so far) who refuses to eat almost anything her father or I give her for lunch and or dinner. When she was about six months old or so, she started to eat normal baby food, even some I made homemade from vegetables to blended stew. I loved everything we gave her, but ever since she started eating solid foods, she gradually stopped eating food we gave her. She won’t even touch hotdogs, spaghetti, hamburgers even French fries. Normal foods children would love to eat. Don’t get me started on vegetables. She just throws fits sometimes. So I’m asking, does anyone else deal with this? If so what have you done? Any improvements. Can I change anything that would help?


Make her eat it, if she refuses then do N.O.T make her anything else. Let her go to bed hungry. It’s not mean it doesn’t hurt her. She will learn quick


When my younger siblings were little and my mom made something new and they didn’t want to eat it she would tell them they’ve tried it before and they really, really liked it and then they would eat their dinner lol.


I know this sounds silly but there was an episode on T.O.T.S.(thats the show name) that introduced a “no thank you bite” and honestly we use it ALL THE TIME! It works for us! I hope it can help you too💕 good luck!!


Following. I also have a 5 year old son who doesn’t eat anything!!!

So I’ve been reading about this. The average child would necessarily want to try new things, of course we know this. It can take anywhere from 10-30 times before something sticks. So for some it is the parents who make children picky cause they try a food once then give up. I always try to do something they love and something new on their plate. And thank you bites are a must. You in no way get up with out trying everything on your plate. My family is on a strict budget, poverty doesn’t allow for picky kids. Don’t want it? Awesome plate will be waiting for when you are hungry.


Maybe there’s a sensory issue?

My little one is nearly 2. She can sometimes be a little fussy. If she eats something and then spits it out. I eat a bit (or my partner does) and we over exaggerate how much we like it. She’ll usually try again and like it. If she spits it out again then we leave it and try another time. Of she still doesn’t like it then we know she really doesn’t like the taste/texture etc

I tell my son he has to have one bite of whatever it is and if he doesn’t like it then he never has to have it again

Sit as a family and all I’ve the same on your plates. She will try it eventually or steal a bite of yours. That’s what I did now my 4 year old will happy eat a salad now. If they don’t eat the meal you make. Don’t make a substitute meal if they are hungry after I wait about half hour to hour then offer fruit that’s it. Also I cut down on snacks means she eats her meals more

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Mix things they love with the new things. Ask them for just one bite to be sure they like it or not. You can usually make these things repeatedly and your child could possibly want to try it more and could even end up liking it. However, they might just end up not liking things and that’s okay. I hated spaghetti, lasagna, etc. (pasta sauce) as a kid and still hate it now. My parents still made one meal, I just ate a modified version.

Sending a child to sleep hungry or forcing them to eat things they don’t like can possibly create a really bad relationship with food for them. It doesn’t happen to everyone, nothing happens in all people the same way. I’ve unfortunately seen it cause a binge eating issue in someone.


I need help with this also. My daughter is 15months and I try getting her to try different foods but she wont. All she eats is hashbrowns, fries, nuggets, cheese pizza rolls, fruits and snacks. No meats no veggies

First rule out medical reasons, texture issues (having to do with the mapping of the tongue), sensory processing disorder, anxiety etc

If all else fails just sneak Vegas in…that’s what iv resorted to with my 5year old son who’s extremely fussy. Grated vegies or pureed into stuff they like for my son his faves are spaghetti bolognese and mac n cheese. However he doesn’t know I load them up with Veges. Mac n cheese hides puree cauliflower easy.and the spaghetti has carrots and whatever else is in the fridge grated into it.

I recently started giving my 4 year old smoothies and refusing to give her anything else food wise if she doesn’t eat dinner. She used to eat like a bird for days and her dr told us when she’s hungry she will eat whatever you give her. Sure enough, she does. We always have her take a bite of anything that’s pit put in front of her. If she doesn’t eat it, no one can ever say I didn’t feed her. I can’t shove it down her throat :joy:

Gets a lot of attention for it, does she? Small servings, one or two bite rule, no special meal or snacks except fruit. She won’t starve, just don’t make a big deal.

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Have you got her to help you cook dinner maybe seeing the ingredients and having her help cook and lots of praise if she just eat it! In our house my kids aren’t allowed to say they don’t like something unless they have tried it first then I respect there choices

My oldest was the same. Trying to force her to eat (my ex’s route) was entirely counterintuitive. And not letting her have anything else, didn’t bother her. She didn’t care that she wasn’t eating. It didn’t phase her. For a while she lived on noodles basically. Eventually she started coming around to eating a little more and trying a little more. Now that I know a little more with years and child#2 our rule at the dinner table became that you have to at least TRY it. If you take a decent sized bite and actually taste it and STILL don’t like it, then you don’t have to eat the rest of it. My oldest is nowhere near as picky as she use to be. Some foods have taken her years to come around to deciding that she likes them though. Like hamburgers. Up until this last year or year and a half (she turned 11 a few months ago) she really didn’t like or wasn’t interested in hamburgers. Now she asks for them! When she was quite small, she loved onions. Now, I can’t get her to touch them. She picks them out of everything. My youngest has done the exact opposite with onions lol. It takes time. And patience. And remember, some days some battles are not worth fighting!

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autism.nutritionist on instagram has some great ideas for picky eaters even if your child is not autistic. I’ve have texture issues for years with certain foods so I’ve been looking for ideas for myself too

I have a 4 year old and when we’re eating something new or something she has forgotten that she likes we do cheers and each of us scoops up a bit of whatever it is and tap our spoons together and say cheers, this has worked every time. I also include my kids in deciding what seasoning they like or ask them how I should cook stuff.

Whatever I cook my daughter is eating or won’t get anything at all. If she comes to me and asks for snacks/junk I just heat up her dinner. I thought she “hated” green beans and broccoli but the more I introduced them the more she started eating them and actually asks for them now

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I tell my son if he want eat it he will set there until he does that he’s going to listen to me

Put bits out for her to pick at or let her choose what to have and to make it with you x

Yes I went through this with my autistic son so I would blend all veg into a paste and mix with mince of either beef or chicken and make home made pastries and he would love it very much.

My 13y/o is still like this. My dr recommend keeping him on carnation instant breakfast with whole milk and a daily vitamin to help supplement. He’s getting better at trying things but he’s a texture kid. Forcing only made him not eat at all. And he was fine with it. I pick and choose my battles and food is not one I’m fighting anymore. As long as he at least tries it I’m making progress.

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My 4 year is so fussy too, she just refuses to try anything other than the very list of things currently eats! I’ve started getting her to help me with the cooking and this really helping, I just casually say “could you try that for me” and then tell everyone the she cooked it all for us. She really enjoys it and is now trying and eating a lot more! She’s less inclined to reject her own hard work :rofl:

My child is 2 and she’s been like that since about 15 months. Check with your pediatrician to rule out any issues, but it’s literally just a phase. We found out if we just leave her plate out, even later on after dinner, she’ll run and take small bites here and there.

My 6 year old daughter has been this way since she started solids too. Every now and then she gets sick of the same old stuff (this is when I try to sneak in a new meal choice for her) which gives me an opportunity to ask her what she doesn’t like about it. 9 times out of 10 it is based on how it looks or feels like (crunchy, soft, juicy, ect). She has to have Tyson brand chicken nuggets, one say she wouldn’t eat them. I asked her why? She told me cuz there was tiny little dark brown spots (cooked crumbs, Lol) on them and too crunchy. Mac n cheese - noodles over cooked so they were too mushy. Thankfully that was a 1 time deal, she still eats it. She loves pretty much any kind of fruit, no veggies though.
I’ve learned that presentation is everything!! And if you have other children, their influence is pretty vital as well. I haven’t figured out any other solutions except the presentation.
All 3 of my kids do not and will not eat condiments of any kind (ketchup, ranch dressing, mustard, mayo, BBQ sauce, jelly, sour cream, ect) weirdest thing ever! It drives me insane!

Try new things even if y’all don’t eat them. My toddler doesn’t eat all the “normal” toddler food. Loves gumbo, but only home made, broccoli cheese soup, pickles, shrimp, Chinese food, imitation crab meat snack sticks, Cole slaw, spinach dip ECT. Kids like different things just like us adults.

My 7 year old hates everything burgers mashed potatoes anything we just keep making him try them most of the time we have to bargain and say “you eat these 5 bites you can get it up” it works most of the time unless it’s really something he can’t stand like broccoli it’s just trial and error with kids they will eat what the want most of the time they prefer small meals throughout the day n the doctor told me even some days they might not even be hungry so just do your best there’s no wrong way just keep having them at least try the food but just make something with it you know they eat

I need tips also shoot

Don’t make food an issue. Make meals for the family not her. Set the meal in front of her. Eat the meal and act as if she is eating it as well. When the meal is over clean up. When she is finally hungry she will eat. Don’t make her special meals or separate meals like a short order cook. Children do not starve themselves like teens and adults.


When I was a kid, even at age 5, it was “eat what mom makes, or dont eat at all.”
But even with that, always try different foods. It could be a texture thing, or she just simply doesn’t like them. Eventually she’ll get hungry enough to eat something.


My kids sit at the table until their food is gone. I give them small portions of whatever I make for dinner. They are so hard headed there have been a few times my 6 year old has sat at the table from 6pm to 7:30 pm whining. But she finally ate her food and got up.


I try to make food an adventure with the little one - specifically with vegetables. We talk about the vitamins and minerals and find a tie to her favorite princesses. “Broccoli has vitamin B! It will keep you from getting sick and give you energy to shoot ice just like Elsa!” Things like that. She may not finish every bite, but she takes several bites enthusiastically.

Maybe she has trouble chewing? Might ask a doctor what to do. My brother was a picky eater but he did outgrow it. Hope that helps. Good luck.

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Good luck girl it’s hard mine is almost a teenager and i tried therapy and different Dr’s he has a gag reflux. So he does try but when it reaches the back of his touge he gags like he is gonna puke and it scares him. Praying he will grow out of it i tried everything.


That’s quite common in the littles! Let her eat what she WILL eat. But, if you are worried about nutrition, vitamins or calories then talk to your pediatrician about some protein or vitamin drink options. I am pretty sure there are some like Ensure that are appropriate for kids.

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Talk to your doctor, could just be a teething issue or lack of hunger cause the child is already full on milk or water, otherwise if the child is still gaining weight in a healthy manner I wouldn’t worry

My son is almost 5 and the same way. I’ve been kind of compromising with him. If he wants to have dessert he has to at least try everything on the plate. He always finds something delicious and will only eat all of that. Sometimes asking for more. We congratulate him for being brave. High fives all around. And he usually really enjoys that which makes him try more things. If he refuses we hold out desert for a while and try and offer him something we know he likes. Spaghetti with basically no sauce on it lol. PB&J, yogurt w/granola. And then give him dessert

Had that problem for a while. Made sure he was getting what he needed. He’s 10-11 now, and its really helped him to help me cook and see whats going into the food. And watch cooking shows, then trying the recipes. Hes almost like a whole new kid… kinda lol but its really nice seeing him willing to build his pallet.

Let her help prepare meals and make some of the choices . Also try a divided plate she may not like her food touching . My oldest was like that .


She also may have what is called ARFID or SED. Look into those, my 9yr old has ARFID. Please look into those eating disorders before pushing foods.

Don’t make food an issue. Their bodies will tell them when they need to eat certain things. You can try a no thank you bite approach by having her try one small bite of something she doesn’t like or is new then let her move on the what she will eat.

She is 5 years old, ask her! Ask her why she does not want to eat certain foods…ask her if it makes her stomach hurt…she may have a lactose or gluten intolerance…


I have the same problem with my son. Sometimes all he wants is French fries or chicken nuggets. Doesn’t matter what I offer. He used to eat soups hot dogs egg with sausage but now he doesn’t want any of it. His doctor recommended pediasure because he was a bit anemic and that’s what we give him.

They manage to get the nutrition they need even being picky eaters. If you’re really worried, talk to your pediatrician. My kid wouldn’t eat anything either, he’s 34 and healthy.

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With my parents, “if is was not good for you, it would not be on the table.” We ate it or had it for breakfast, lunch or dinner until meal was gone. No shouting, crying, or whining. With ten children to feed, your choice was take it or leave it until the next meal. If hungry enough, you will eat.


I have a 7 year old with the same issue we have taken him to see a therapist who specializes in food aversion in children. His doctor says he is healthy and all blood work is normal. He is growing and thriving in all other areas so we have learned to just relax and as we were advised to do just feed him what he likes without making it an issue as long as he is eating healthy. Foods. Plus he is on vitamins and was advised that Ovaltine has more nutrients and less sugar than insure. He loves it.

My son was the same way. He is now grown and eats everything he can get his hands on. Talk to the doctor tho. It never hurts to ask and it will give you peace of mind.

Took my daughter to the doctor for this reason and he said give her what she will eat eventually she will try other things. When she gets hungry she will eat.

My 8 year old is a pretty picky eater at times. We have a few dinner rules. I have 7 kids I make 1 meal. You eat what I give you plain and simple. We also have a rule that no one gets up from the table until everyone is finished eating. We noticed that the kids wouldn’t even try new foods if their siblings had finished and left the table, so now everyone stays until everyone is done.
We don’t get as much of a fight, but there are still some nights she doesn’t want to eat what I have made.
I usually say that they have to completely finish what I give them. I give them small portions of each thing, but if its a meal where the food is combined, like pot roast with vegetables i actually monitor what they eat. And will say okay you need to eat 3 more bites, or you need to finish the green beans.

My sister gave me the idea to make the tasty club for my son when he was around 5 to introduce him to new foods. Make a card and put a sticker every time she eats a new food and give her positive reassurance and explain how it help her body

What foods does she see you eating? And I had to stop giving in to giving her whatever if I know she would like it I leave it for her to eat and if she doesn’t eat then she doesn’t get anything else until the next meal besides a drink or a fruit if she ask for it. But I’ve realized a lot of the food she won’t touch is because I won’t touch it or someone else won’t

She probably has an eating disorder. This is not being picky. There may be different kinds of eating disorders. One of my children had this.


Kids have abt 10000 tastebuds while adults only have 5000. Take a lemon as an example their tart and sour but tolerable for an adult where as for a kid a lemon can resemble a warhead sour candy just too overpowering.

We went through the same thing. Give her what she will eat even if it is plain bread everyday but continue to offer new food. Eventually, she’ll try what you out there. My daughter ate peppers lastnight after months of only eating pbnj and eggs.

At this point if they are alive and well I would buy them what the want to eat and try something a little at the time they are so precious

Try milk shakes and smoothies- picky eaters will not starve -

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Eating or not is sometimes the onky thing in a childs life they feel they can control. If child is healthy don’t mKe it a issue. Make mealtime pleasany not a battleground by being the Food Police. Serve child small amounts and let them eat what rbeyy want, you may tell child that if they screw uo their face and say they are not going to eat THAT, then that will be eaten. I did that with my kids and told them if they didn’t want something to keave it and eat what they wanted. About age 4 or 5 I let them select their food or even begin to fix their plate thenselves. I grew up wuth the Food Police and never learned to tell when I was full. Onky place I enjoyed eating was at school cafeteria, “no food police.”

Let her help you fix the meal, kids will usually at least try something they cook themselves.

My child was a wonderful eater, by accident. I fixed his plate and as he toddled around, I fixed mine and my mother’s. I told him to keep off my plate, that it was mommy food and not little bot food. He loved to steal off my plate, was forbidden.

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My grandson is the same way he is 12 he is frowning out of it some they will change love them while I can crazy people in this world

calling ‘brocolli trees’ made them more interesting. calling ‘milk juice’ made milk ok. Try to make it fun and interesting for them.

I just make my son try something every time we eat something

On her plate put 5 bites of different things. Tell your child to pick 1-2-3 bites to eat. It may be easier if child feels they are choosing. May like counting the choices.

“You don’t have to eat it of you don’t like it, but you can’t say you don’t like it until you have tried it” this is your speech. Stand behind it.

Don’t set her a place at the table. ignor her while you eat, wait till she ask. but only what you eat. may take a few days. wait her out.

You’re the one that makes them the pickey eater. Give her food and that’s it.

My grandson is the same way!

No idea. My 5 year old is the same way and I’m at a loss

One of my daughters really worried
me because she was super picky
but the doctor told us to stop worrying
she was healthy and just give her a multi

I have found we eat it and they will try it. Now I also dont force. They dont like it dont force.

After the doctor check, if still not eating try Baby food once again

They eat what they are served. End of story

Only let them have water to drink between meals so they get nice and hungry, and make them eat a couple bites of the undesirables before they can have what they really like…

I was that way and my mom told me when I was older that she took me to the Dr. and he told her serve me food on a small plate whether I ate it or not. He told her don’t worry because when she’s (me) hungry she will eat. He was right, I got hungry and I would eat a little bit eventually I grew out of it.

My daughter was a very picky eater(she wouldn’t eat any meat,very few veggies,but loved fruit). The doctor had me start giving her the children’s health drinks(I apologize I can’t remember what they’re called but taste like milkshakes). She’s now a healthy 20 year old but still doesn’t eat meat.

My son eats chickie nuggies pork roll and pasta with white sauce. As long as he eats it I don’t care

Stop buying bad stuff.

I am so sorry about this.

I used to tell them they have to take a certain amount of bites. I said how old they are is how many bites they had to take. This always worked for me.

I feel you. My daughter is 11, almost 13. She loves green beans but they must be from a can and seasoned specifically… not frozen. That’s the only veggie she will eat without insistence from me. She likes raw carrots but not cooked… when she was little she lived broccoli and has since switched to cauliflower but only a few bites.
She has learned she can get it down if she adds butter. You add the juice from whatever meat you are cooking ( learned that Logan’s restaurant) they drizzled juice from the steak and a bit of butter on the broccoli. I had a bit of brown sugar to carrots and i add either chicken broth or beef broth to green beans with some onion powder and pepper.

Yes my 19 month baby girl is so picky all of all sudden…has her days but sometimes only wants tortillas with butter …basically anything with flour …pizza …fries …jo more veggies its fustrating…she has her days sometimes she does eat other stuff but its rare

My 6 year old is very picky. I usually just make meals at supper time with stuff she likes. Sometimes I’ll add something she hasn’t tried it takes a lot of encouragement to get her to try it though. I never push or pressure her to eat something if she absolutely doesn’t wanna try it though.

All I can say is good luck. You name it, I tried it. The eat it or starve route does not work on all children. I’ve cut food into cute shapes, let her pick things to eat at the store, changed the color, tried to hide food (like small pieces of vegetables in a sandwich or something similar), bribed her and she’s still pretty picky and only eats a handful of foods.

My daughter has always been a picky eater but it’s not quite like most kids. She hardly ever eats meat, no bread, no peanut butter. She eats a ton of raw fruits/veggies, pasta, eggs, all nuts except peanuts, and a few other things. I put at least 1 thing I know she likes on her plate and 1 thing she doesn’t like, my rule is to take at least 1 bite of everything and she won’t be in trouble. Food was a major fight for years, everybody would end up crying and yelling for hours on end because I was doing the whole sit at the table until you eat it but it never worked for us. I also tried to give her only new foods for a few weeks hoping that she would start eating them when she got hungry enough, it was a terrible idea as she starved herself and lost enough weight that the doctor threatened to call child services for neglect. She’s 7 now and still picky but she has started to branch out on her own and randomly asks for something new or to try a disliked food again. It does get better as they get older

My 8 year old only eats eggs, soup, rice (I sometimes put veggies in but he picks them out :sleepy:) and he recently started eating chiken I tried forcing him to eat vegetables once but on his third bite he starts throwing up, so I just gave up and cook him what he likes, my 3 year old eats what ever I give her but I fear she’s starts acting like her brother :confused:

You’re supposed to serve it anyway :woman_shrugging:t2:. Just a tiny portion so they don’t feel too much pressure. Personally in my household I cannot just make something else so I don’t. If they don’t like what’s been made then they don’t eat :woman_shrugging:t2:. They can be done and their plate stays for a few minutes in case they change their minds. We rotate through the same meals so I know they’ve eaten suchandsuch before lol. My kids are 4 and 2.

We are at the point with our 5 year old that he just eats what we give him or no toys, video games anything fun until he eats… he’s pulling much the same just one day woke up and hates all his favorite foods… I’ve seen picky kids but nothing like this … he tries to tantrum we ignore it and eventually once he realizes we are not going to compromise he eats what he is given and even all of it most of the time… im seeing it as boundary pushing and sticking firm to the rules

When she is hungry, she will eat.

You should ask her if she doesn’t like the taste, or the way it makes her feel. Maybe she has some dietary or sensory issues you haven’t discovered yet.

You tell her this her plate of food and she needs to eat it. If she refuses she goes to bed hungry n when she hungry again you get that plate of food warm it up n give it to her and repeat this each time with the dinner meal cause here’s the thing she’s not going to starve herself and will eventually eat

My 3 year old only likes pizza(take off the pepperoni), weenies, taquitos, ramen noodles, tuna and chips, and sometimes happy meals. That’s basically all she will eat no other meat. She use to eat good as a baby and now it’s very limited. Dr told me it’s ok as long as she’s eating something. Good luck mama

My son went thru this phase, my doctor said, when he gets hungry hell eat! Lol. Maybe try to give her a menu with pictures and let her help decide, it makes a kid feel part of the cooking process, also maybe let your child help prepare the meals. Give them choices and then stick with those choices he/she makes. Hope this helps.

What worked for our 5yr old was stop pressuring him to eat what we were having. We would make something that we knew he would eat for himself and about once a week, when we knew it was something he would like if he tried, we would say how good it was a few times and ask him if he wanted to try a bite. No pressure seems to help. He tries at least one new thing a week now and finds himself liking most of the meals

It’s a phase let them take a bite drink something to wash it down with it. Just small portions. This to shall pass. No fancy foods or strong foods, or sauces at this time. Taste buds very sensitive at this time. Introduce new foods gradually over time.

In the same boat with my 7 year old daughter.

I have a 5 yr old that is the same way. I will let her pick what she wants…but big portion is a negative. She will only eat half of whatever she wants. She never finishes it. My doctor isn’t concerned, as long as she’s getting something, she is fine.