Meal ideas for a picky eater?

I’m a first time mom to a 14 month old little boy who is a picky eater!! I have the worst anxiety when i know meal time is right around the corner I have NO idea what are good breakfast, lunch, snack or dinner ideas. Most people say he can eat whatever y’all are eating but that doesn’t work for our family my husband is active duty and we’re currently on recruiting duty so he works from 9am-sometimes 1 am 6 sometimes 7 days a week and I eat my one huge meal when Kylo (our son) is asleep. My nerves and I would be forever thankful if y’all could help a fellow mom out and send some meal ideas.


Help a mama out and respond anonymously on our forum. Meal ideas for a picky eater?

Cereal, eggs, sausage, waffles. All the regular breakfast food.

Lunch cut up lunch meat and cheese. Well cooked pasta or Mac and cheese. Chicken nuggets. Whatever you eat for lunch.

Same for dinner. Whatever you make for yourself he can eat too.

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Don’t worry about it, they will eat when hungry, bananas, watermelon, grapes halved with NO skins, cubed cheese, crackers.

My kids loved garbanzo beans (chick peas) straight from the can. This will work for any kind of canned beans or peas, but these are the mildest tasting. I’d also give my toddlers little cut up cubes of tofu soaked in whatever they liked (apple juice, chicken or beef broth, a few drops of soy sauce)because they could feed themselves with their fingers, wouldn’t choke on it and could chew it without teeth.

If you want to get them to eat vegetables, keep introducing them. They say it takes u to seven times for a kid to get to like something.

You can also hide most kinds of mashed squash (acorn, butternut) in mac and cheese sauce, or blend shredded cooked veggies in spaghetti sauce (chopped spinach, carrots, zucchini, onions, beets, peas—whatever you have on hand). Use the sauce in lasagna and other recipes.


Make something you know he will eat and add a side dish of something new for him to try. Watermelon, sliced banana, toast with butter and little peanut butter(unless allergic), hard boiled egg, scrambled eggs, waffles, oatmeal and yogurt ideas for breakfast. For lunch or dinner you could try cooked pasta with a sauce of your choice, cottage cheese, any cooked veggie cut to right size for him to eat , applesauce, meatloaf cups, avocodo toast, ravioli cut to bite size… my go to for idea was looking on pinterest. I hope that helps. Don’t stress about what he is eating as much, he just needs to eat. Muffin and fruit for supper is ok. I gave my 2 year old cake (not much different than a donut) for breakfast today because she asked for it and I’m picking my battles today. She had a pretty decent lunch. Green beans, chicken salad, and mandarin oranges. Cup of milk. We’ll keep it healthier for supper too.

My kids like to snack more then eat big meals, they always have. We do lots of fruit throughout the day, eggs are great for the young ones at breakfast as well. Pancakes with peanut butter or Jam or whatever spread baby likes. Goldfish crackers, puffs that sort of thing for snacks as well. Cubed cheese and crackers as snacks as well. Lunch could be steamed veg and some sort of protein with some toast or something. Pasta for dinner. Really they can eat whatever you’d eat, even if you aren’t able to eat with them lol! Good luck mama. Picky eating is super common! Honestly, keep it simple and don’t stress. Make sure you are incorporating healthy meals but don’t worry if your also including some that are just easier for you to make and you know they will eat (like Kraft dinner for instance). Being a mom is hard, don’t add unnecessary stress if you don’t have too!

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Green beans, Mac and cheese, cut up hot dogs, eggs, waffles, ravioli, spaghetti o’s, cooked carrots, peanut butter and jelly, toast, tater tots, chicken nuggets, all kinds of easy stuff. Kids are pickers

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Jessica Seinfeld has a cookbook about hiding vegetables for picky kids. If you’re the picky eater, read some restaurant menus for ideas on foods most people like, but add in more fruits and vegetables and somewhat reduce the amount of meats and carbs/starches (pasta, bread, rice, corn, potatoes).

It’s easy to substitute brown rice and 100% whole wheat/whole grain bread & pasta for white to add nutrients, and use sweet potatoes instead of white on occasion.

Get some cookbooks from the library, yard sales, thrift stores, or ask at bookstores for recommendations to get more ideas.

Get help from therapists or take up a relaxing hobby (meditation, yoga, Tai chi, breathing exercises, walks in nature) to lessen your stress and anxiety. Befriend other moms in person as well as online (good for you for reaching out to this forum!) to share ideas & the burdens of being a mom and a military spouse. It’ll make life less stressful.

Don’t worry what other people think or say about you. The good stuff is sincere, but the bad stuff is really all about them & their insecurities, even if it feels personal. It takes practice but once you realize this & develop your self confidence life is so much better. Good for you for being a caring mom & looking to improve. :+1:t3:

Make him smoothies with frozen fruit. Throw in bananas and blueberries with apple juice, spinach, kale. He’ll never know they’re in there, The bananas and strawberries and blueberries for a perfect disguise. Just make sure your fruit is frozen at apple juice. Put it in a blender. Yummy healthy! He would love it

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I’m the worst with this as well.

But Kylo like from starwars (please tell me you heard it cause of starwars haha)

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Dont get anxious…he can sense it .
At 14months he can eat pretty much anything. Yes…give him what you plan to eat with your partner . Have a portion yourself to eat with him so he’s not eating alone but not so much you cant enjoy your meal with your husband later.
Cut it up and let him try everything but don’t force it. It will be messy but at that age its all about texture and investigating what they like.
Finger foods are good for breakfast and lunch…toast fingers, cheese cubes , diced fruit. I make my grandaughters a mixed plate of cold meat, cheese , sliced apple, grapes , strawberries. Carrot fingers …
He wont go hungry , you won’t be stressed, you’ll both learn what he likes.
Give him what you know he likes and add one other food to try.
Dont make meal times a battle ground…its not worth the hassle

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He’s a baby ffs maybe if he was 4 or 5 I would take you serious but until then I actually can’t

With you kid being a picky eater you gotta base it off of what they do eat.

Remember, children have almost no taste buds until about 8 year old. So mostly he gets sweet and salty right now. Texture may also be an issue. So try to choose things that will keep if he doesn’t eat it all right now. Cereal. Chicken nuggets. Toaster waffles cut in to piece and let him dip it in a bit of syrup. Banana slices rolled in a little sugar. Throw in a daily gummy vitamin and it will be fine.

When my son was little, he was definitely on the picky side but I found if I let him dip his food in ranch dressing, he would eat anything.

peanut butter goes well with most fruits/breads!
smoothies (you can pack a lot of good stuff in them and kids love em)
soft veggies cooked in butter and garlic


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First things first… Deal with your anxiety. I take Bach’s rescue remedy or kava tea for anxiety…

I had great luck with my daughter and then my cousins kids(she was a drug addict so her first son has some issues)
We would shop together and let the kids pick the food.
By pick I mean I show 2-3 options and they pick.
So 2-3 cereals, 2-3 juices 2-3 fruits then veggies.
Also look at meal replacement protein type shakes for kids or make smoothies with yogurt.

Also learn to make homemade stuff now so that the kid doesn’t get used to high chemical preservative foods like frozen chicken nuggets and stuff like that.
With homemade you can always freeze for later if they don’t get eaten.
My sister used to do waffles by the tons on Sundays for week day breakfast.

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Chicken nuggets macaroni and cheese pasta with butter a little olive oil and salt and pepper ravioli rice beans

Eating with him is a big thing. Plus he’s still small you have to be consistent and don’t be anxious as he feels that also. Make it easy eggs scrambled, pancake with some cinnamon in batter and put peanut butter on it instead of syrup, smoothies try one fruit at a time see what he likes. French toast again you don’t need syrup unless that’s your choice. Even cut banana and put a little peanut butter on slices.

Lunch/super : grill cheese, steamed veggies, cucumber sliced with deli meat rolled up or in small bite size pieces, rice with chicken and veggies of choice, pasta with butter and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.

Keep offering everything you eat. But quick options can be scrambled eggs, any type of fruit cut up, crackers, yogurt, toast, cheese. He will eat when he’s hungry and this early on, it may not fall into your scheduled meal times. Don’t sweat it! My first was good, then turned picky. He lived on cantaloupe and veggie thin crackers for awhile- that or macaroni. He is still pickier than the rest, but he understands choices and healthy options now. But don’t expect him to like everything, gotta remember, you probably don’t either. Good luck!

Pretend to eat his food and act like you LOVE it. My older brother did this to me and I’d eat whatever he had when I was little.

Learn to hide foods. Peanut butter sandwich. Open face, apple eyes banana nose raisin mouth for example. Kraft dinner add veggies. Pasta sauce add veggies. Blend in as much as possible