My 4 year old daughter is a very picky eater: Advice?

You can not make a child eat something they don’t like Do not pay much attention to it Her tastes will change in time Just give her what she likes and a vitamin supplement.

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My son would only eat willingly peanut butter and honey sandwiches or chicken until he was seven. Then all of a sudden said he didn’t like the sandwiches! He is now 32 and eats normally. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: I had the one bite rule of what I was serving (unless it was something I knew he hated), then subbed something else. As long as there is some variety over the week it shouldn’t be a problem. Hang in there!

No opinions here but my 5 year old son only eats chicken, rice sometimes broccoli some fruits and no veggies ,fries and pizza he’s never had anything else but that, I’m also running out of ideas of what to give him every night for dinner oh and for breakfast is only pancakes, waffles or peanut butter jelly sandwich :woman_facepalming:t2: I hope it’s just a stage and he starts trying other foods

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She doesn’t sound too picky, just 4. I have known lots of kids that wouldn’t eat anything “real” or only covered in ketchup or ranch dressing. I agree with many, don’t sweat it; she’s eating. Keep trying new things (soup), kids love to help & be involved in what they eat. Some kids respond to the fun shapes & designs of food: celery & peanut butter w raisins or berries “bugs”; cookie cutter sammies; . Our 4+ y.o. is going thru “nope, I don’t want that” phase…I still put the item on his plate and he eats it, presumably because he didn’t really know he didn’t want it.

You are doing great. She will grow out of it, it may take decades (I’m still picky, but not as bad!!)…my kids are both picky but my 9 yr old is much more so that his 8 yr old brother. My boys will live on fries and seiners if I let them. They like chicken and pork, and they love broccoli. Cucumber is big in my house. Raw carrots will sometimes be eaten. I’m trying to get them to try new things as I also try new things. I’m finally adding onions to my meatballs!!! My 9 yr old wants to try scallops!!! He’s been watching Hell’s Kitchen.

I dealt with the same thing for awhile. Try nutritional shakes as well as vitamins that include probiotics. Also u can make homemade frozen yogurt using protein powder(vanilla flavored) Greek yogurt add fresh fruit and then use the frozen yogurt to make fresh smoothies and add fresh veggies like spinach/kale/watercress as well as honey 1-2 tablespoons of coconut oil almond milk or oat milk or flaxseed milk…My picky eater loves these smoothies and doesn’t know she is drinking a balanced meal. Hope this works out for u

Check out “feedinglittles” on Instagram! They have great advise & some courses that u can take!

Follow kids eat in color on Instagram, she has tons of advice for picky eaters. She also has a free picky eaters guide linked :slightly_smiling_face: she’s also on tictok :woman_shrugging::joy:

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I. Raised. My. Kids. To. Eat. What. Is. Put. On. The. Table. In. Front. Of. Them. Or. Go. Hungry. They. Got. Nothing. Till. The. Next. Meal. I. Didn’t. Have. Time. To. Run. A. Kitchen. Just. For. Them. I. Was. Raised. You. Try. It. First. Before. You. Say. I. Don’t. Like. It. My. Sons. Are. Grown. Now. But. They. Eat. Just. About. Anything. Let. Her. Go. Without. For. Awhile. No. Snacks. No. In between. Snacks. Fix. Something. For. Everybody. She. Eats. Or. She. Doesn’t.

Keep having her try things. Has to take a least a bite or two. Lots of deep breathing.

Having siblings has helped my boy want to try more stuff but from my other kids I learned they usually grow out of it. I know its stressful rite now but it wont last forever. You could give her kids gummy vitamins and maybe probiotics cuz they help with a lot of stuff from exzema to heart burn. Maybe if even show her videos of kids eating veggies while y’all eat.

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Continue to offer your child the same foods that you make for the rest of the family, but make sure to include at least one food at each meal that you KNOW she likes. If she eats all of that one item, tell her that she can have more if she tries at least one bite of the other foods offered. It is the parents job to offer healthy meals at soecific times throughout the day. It is the child’s job to decide if/what/how much to eat. Encourage them to try new foods, but don’t insist that they “clean their plate”. Offer healthy snacks at specific times and in healthy amounts. If a child fills up on snacks, they will not be motivated to try new foods at meal times.

Try raw vegetables also V8 has some good juices that have fruit and vegetables in it. My little brother was very picky and would only eat cucumbers for vegetables and frozen vegetables that were still frozen. My son only likes certain vegetables raw like asparagus and zucchini. My baby prefers green beans right out of the can, she will bring me a can for snack and I just drain them and put them in a bowl and she will eat all of them and has been that way since she was 14 months.

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We have the same problem with our 8 year old. She has been picky since she started solids. She would spit out everything but applea and pears. She used to get a good variety, but it’s gotten worse. She is usually fine with breakfast foods: cereal, pancakes, muffins, etc. For a time we added pureed things to the pancakes and we let her pick out a special color (food coloring) to hide the veg. But my husband wanted to help one day and he didnt puree the peas well enough. She noticed the chunks and that was the end of that. Now she is almost 9 and will only eat PB&Js, apple sauce or diced pears, string cheese and chips or crackers. 2 meals a day, every day. Also, in the last 2 weeks she has been saying she has anxiety about being at the dinner table with her family. It’s a hard fought battle to get her to even eat with us. :frowning: We haven’t been pressuring her to try new things (though we always ask if she would like to try what the rest of us are eating) in quite a while in hopes that she would try on herown. Nothing has ever worked with her. We are going to start taking her to a psychologist. She just seems to fear food and mealtimes and we just don’t know what else to do. It is getting worse, not better.
I agree that most of the time pickiness is a phase, but keep your eyes open for negative changes and don’t wait to seek help.

Any other odd or specific things she does? If there are she may have sensory issues. There is a thing called sensory eaters can also be a sign of autism. If not Does she get to pick sometimes what you guys eat? Does she get to help in the kitchen? Set the table? Maybe being more involved would interest her more in eating.

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I’m a very picky eater. When I was little my doctor told my mom I was healthy so not to worry. I still don’t eat vegetables but I’m very healthy. Its about texture for me

For a little over a year, my sister wouldn’t eat anything but spaghettios- breakfast, lunch and dinner. The Dr. told my mother to let her be. As long as she was eating and drinking, she was fine.
So be patient. Don’t force her to eat. You could turn her off food all together Keep trying new foods. She will eventually find something else she likes. And she’ll eat better.


My middle son wouldn’t eat anything that was Green wouldn’t eat onions pretty much wanted chicken nuggets hot dogs and french fries but kept putting it on his plate and asked him to take a bite or two after a little while he started eating more things. And my daughter she’d eat anything that didn’t move and sometimes things that did LOL they loved her at daycare because if the other kids turned their nose up at it they put it down in front of her and she just loved it so the other kids would try it then

What about veggies with dip? My 8 yo just started eating peppers with ranch dressing. Does she not like trying new things or does it seem like not liking certain textures? He’s never really been a picky eater but went through a phase where he wouldn’t try anything new. We did a positive reinforcement system when he was younger and it definitely helped

My aunt refused to eat anything but pb&j for an entire year as a child. My mom spent a summer living off of snickers candy bars. As long as they aren’t deficient in anything/take a vitamin to help (we call our daughters vitamin her special candy and gets it after dinner to try and encourage her to eat extra bites so she can get her piece of special candy) then just keep encouraging her to at least take 1 bite to try it. Maybe let her “help” make dinner so she’ll want to at least try it. Maybe try things like the veggie tots instead of tater tots for veggies. Making homemade pizza and use a squash or cauliflower crust to sneak the veggies in. Unless the doc is concerned, I wouldn’t be that concerned. Telling them their taste buds change every couple of years so what was icky before might be yummy now (it works for my friends kids)

My son was picky he would only eat chicken or fish, so I would tell him it was chicken carne when we had beef I would cut it up small so he wouldnt recognize it.

My son was like this, when he started eating lunch at school it got so much better bcs all his friends ate it too. There’s hope!:heart:

Kids go thru this . My son ate cereal for a year… really as long as they are eating… just keep trying

It takes about 14 tries for them to like something new, my pediatrician gave me this advice, and my 20&18yr old sons now eat everything. No need to hide it in other foods. A multivitamin will help with what’s missing

When you make like chocolate cakes or cupcakes for her , take a can of beets, or carrots and blend them till smooth and add instead of the water, or take a white cake mix and add peas ( blended till smooth ) to make a green cake !


My daughter is 4 also with special needs & is also a picky eater.
I make my own bulk veggie mix up & she eats it.
Pumpkin, potatoe, sweet potatoe, seasoning, mushroom, tomatoes, chick peas, froz mixed vege, zucchini, vege stock, rice, pasta, silverbeet & some type of meet (mince - chicken or beef) or cut up cherrios (little boys)
Happily eats it.
Good luck x

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Me and my sister both don’t eat alot of foods fruits ans veggies because of texture. They don’t feel right and can taste great or taste has nothing to do with it completely. Your child could have that and may outgrow it with time.

I read that letting little ones help prepare food helps getting them to try new things.

I’m all for keeping things simple. Your child has made it to 4. If there were any medical concerns I’m sure the doctor would have stepped in.
Stop worrying, she will eat when shes ready.

Most kids go through a picky stage it’s normal. Nothing wrong with broccoli and cheese soup a few times per week. She gets hungry enough she will eat more. Supplement with vitamins and try smoothies or frozen treats full of nutrition


I think every four year old is picky. When my daughter was 4 she ate nothing but Mac and cheese and peanut butter and jelly sandwich’s. She grew out of it and is a completely healthy 12 year old.


My daughter is the same way. She only eats chicken nuggets, and chicken noodle soup. Meatloaf. Noodles. Pizza (sometimes) noodles. Those are the main things i can get her to eat. She eats fruits and not veggies unless in chicken noodle soup or the cheddar and broccoli pasta and only corn on the cob. We believe her eating certain things is because of her palate. And all the repairs done to it. It takes time and never easy. Don’t give up!!

Both of my kids were picky eaters and their doctors said as long as they’re eating and gaining weight and taking vitamins that they’re fine.

My son was picky when he was younger. As he got older he tried different foods , some he liked and some he didn’t. I wouldn’t worry. Kid’s will be kid’s :wink:

Well she’s doing better than my 4 year old. He will NOT eat, meat, fruit, veggies, pasta. He hates water.

Let her eat what she likes. It will change

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Sounds like you are doing everything right. Just be patient. :snowman_with_snow::christmas_tree::santa:

Is completely normal for kids to go through started where they will only eat a handful of foods. Both my kids and my grandson went through it, I talked to their doctors and he said it’s no big deal, nothing to worry about and as long as they were eating several meals a day or didn’t do much matter if they were square meals as it would pass quickly. At one point my one daughter would only eat chicken nugget and. Cheetos. It only lasted for a couple months then she ate everything you out in front of her for a while then she did it again but that time it was corn dogs and Mac n cheese. If you are concerned that she’s not getting enough nutrition try giving her a kids protein drink. Like I said it’s completely normal and it’ll pass don’t get too worried.

Feed her what she will eat and keep introducing as much as possible. I know it’s stressful, my daughter is even harder to feed.

Find something you don’t like then tell her she can’t have any.

My oldest was this way she grew out of it… but i snuck things in when we made smoothies i also used the v8 smoothies and fusions… her dr said she had to try something 5 times before deciding she didnt like it their taste buds change… it gets better my oldest now eats all the things she “didnt like” ham she said she didnt like but when she tried it she said it tastes like bacon! make sure shes trying the foods as well as keep calm and encourage her


Sounds like occupational therapy isn’t going to work cause she knows you’re going to give into her regardless. She won’t starve herself trust me so make what you cooking tell her she either eats it or she can go to her room and she won’t have any snacks or desserts if she doesn’t eat her dinner. Yes there’ll be meltdowns of course. She’ll refuse at first so once she refuses it you wrap that plate of food in front of her and tell her when she gets hungry she’ll eat what you made and you keep on doing this and she’ll eventually eat what you give her. She’ll cry she’ll try and gag herself when eating different foods she’ll flat out refuse to eat but she won’t starve herself.

Let her help you shop and cook . Taste safe foods before and after cooking with and without seasoning. Its all new to her.

My son won’t eat much in the way of fruit, and he won’t eat any veg, so I’ve taken to making him smoothies. I add stuff like… a fruit cup in juice, a splash of oj, spinach, carrot, strawberries, blueberries, applesauce, cauliflower, banana, broccoli… all kinds of combinations. You just have to make sure the fruit taste overpowers the veg taste. It’s pretty easy to achieve honestly. Most fruits have more flavor than raw veg. He loves his smoothies.

Ya my 4 yr old is the same I’ve tried evry suggestion the dr told me the only one that seems to work is letting her help me cook give her a butter knife to help you cut (doesn’t really cut but they think it does lol) let her stir the food a bit mix in any seasoning or shake in seasoning etc

We have a special needs daughter that’s like that some days she won’t eat no matter what we try 2 give her her told us 2 try give her meal supplement drink she only like vanilla

My son is 4 and a disaster when it comes to eating. Im struggling with him since he was 1. No veggies, no salad, no juice nor smoothies, only apple for a fruit, noodle, rice, chicken, fish sticks and burger. He even wont eat chips, popcorn, pudding, candies, lollies lol only chocolate. He’d stay literally 6 hours in daycare without eating… I talked with his doctor multiple times and she’d say nothing to do except keep offering. Terrible.

Toddlers are picky.

Let her eat her few things and be thankful she is eating.

She will eventually add more favorites to her picky menu.


My 3yr old used to eat EVERYTHING, kale, brussel sprouts, broccoli, all meats…until recently…What I do is I give my 3yr old a mainly empty plate with just a few pieces of broccoli or meat(if she sees alot on the plate it’s overwhelming)…I call the broccoli dinosaur trees since she LOVES dinosaurs, so she now eats broccoli with no issues. She loves salt too, so I usually salt it a little bit. I also do the lick method…a bite is usually alot to ask of a kid…lmao…so I tell her to lick it(just to taste)…and typically it’ll end up in her mouth after licking it…I also play I like to eat apples and bananas song or anyyything about eating, while she eats. It’s deff helped!!! Also helps if she sees you eating it and be veryyy loud about how much u enjoy it and how good it tastes.

I agree let her be picky but try other foods. My 12 year old granddaughter ate everything when she was a toddler now she is the most pickiest child I know.

Doctor told me, just let her eat what she wants. Chicken, beef or fish sticks are ok. You say she eats fruits. Those are all things that won’t kill her. She will grow out of some of her dislikes.

My son ate bread and butter for years. Now he is six feet tall and doing well. Still shudders if he has to eat beans or eggs. Used the try it if you dont want it dont eat it method. Life is too short for drama.

My great nephew just wanted chicken. He came over for the evening and I made pork chops I am sorry and said chicken . Hr never knew the difference. His mom fed him all kinds of meat. He ate it all after that just calling it chicken

We used “everyone has to take a no thank you bite of everything on plate”. Also I use to blend extra veggies in spaghetti sauces, and cheese sauces. Also might use little ketchup cups for different dips bbq sauce, salad dressing, gravy, cheese dip, Etc. Let them dip food bites in them

My daughter is 7 and is very picky. She has been since she started eating table food. As a toddler we encouraged her to try bites of our food but when she did she would spit it out. She had no interest in what we were eating. I struggled to accept it and thought I was doing something wrong. I accepted when she was about 2.5 that she is a picky eater. About a year ago she started showing interest in eating certain things such as tacos (tortilla and meat only), spaghetti, etc. Previous to that she ate chicken nuggets and fruit. We sometimes modify hers so she will eat it but bottom line is…as long as your daughter is healthy don’t worry about it. If she is eating something at least she is eating. You are doing nothing wrong Mama. Continue to encourage but make it a choice if she would like to try a new food not an ultimatum.

My 11 year old is still a picky eater. He doesn’t like bread. About the only vegetable he’ll eat is corn. Sometimes peas. He’s probably one of the few kids I know that won’t eat mac and cheese!

Does she help you prepare food. My son was picky, but he is super proud of what he/we make and eats every bite

My husband is almost 70 and a pickey eater. I haven’t met a small child that isn’t pickey. If she like chicken try letting her help you prepare it different ways. He taste buds are not fully developed.She can see it is still chicken.

My daughter is the same way she is gonna be 4 this Sunday… Judith is a very picky eater. She might out grow the picky eater stage. Cuz I was the same way when I was little. But everybody is different

cook one meal…if she eats she eats…if not she goes hungry…she will learn to eat…end of story…I was one of those that grew up that way and raised my kids that way…

I fought it for years with my now 10 yr old. Now I just make what I know he will eat. (Also has sensory issues)

Honestly butter salt an other seasonings and casseroles and ranch

I would be thrilled if my almost 4 year old ate half of those things. Lol

Take the pressure away and then her interest/curiosity will pick up. Serve a variety, let her eat with kids her age.

My son is 21 and his still picky.

I am from Holland and we have a saying…hunger makes raw beans sweet. :heart: good luck

It sounds like she’s actually eating pretty well. She might be picky but she is eating so I wouldn’t be too worried.
If you were hoping to try and diversify her taste then why not try the ladder technique?
Start at the bottom with foods she likes then get her super excited about climbing the ladder so she can earn a reward for each step. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes: at the very top of the ladder is a food she says she would never in a million years eat… :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes: but if after say 10 steps, she reaches the top. She gets a grand prize! Make a chart with the ladder and put her picture on it so she can move herself up. We did this with our little girl who was an epically picky eater. She’s almost 7 now and still can be fussy at times but she eats most things and were happy. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

Texture may play a hand in it my child would not eat cooked carrots but loved the crunchy carrots same with bananas if they were sliced she’d gag and she would not eat them but if they were whole she’d eat them with no issues

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Give the kid vitamins (mine takes flintstone complete vitamins) and let it go. My toddler refuses to eat vegetables as well. (Sometimes hiding veggies in the good food helps)

My son is 10 and has also been having this problem since solids. I think it is a sensory issue. He literally gets anxiety when it comes to trying something he doesn’t know what it tastes like. White milk and water only for him. No juice, no candy, no crackers. He will eat (destroy) chips and salsa and that is the only real source of vegetable he will eat. He literally won’t even eat the same tortilla chip plain. Doctor says same as you all-don’t worry he will grow out of it but it’s been almost a decade. I worry about protein intake and started pushing protein drinks. I’ve gone through 4-5 different kinds to find one that is tolerable to him. He can’t do vitamins cause he can’t swallow pills or chew gummies. He will gag and puke. Since he was little I’ve bribed, been angry, tried to make it fun, left him alone, pushed again… nothing changes his mind set. He is an anxious boy about some other things now too so I’m going to try a psychologist. Has anyone had any success going this route? I worry all the time. I wish you all luck!!

While trying new things do an ensure for nutrition.