My 5 year old is a picky eater: Advice?

I was hoping that some of you amazing mommas could help me out. I have a 4, almost 5, year old, and all she will eat is chicken nuggets, mac and cheese, and pancakes and cheese pizza. She absolutely refuses to try ANYTHING different. Any suggestions on how to expand her palate to things other than chicken nuggets? I am worried that she isn’t getting the proper nutrition, I have tried chocolate Pediasure, and she won’t drink it. Help a Momma out if you can, please!!!


My 4 yr old refused to eat anything other then Mac and cheese sghetti or cheese pizza and fries. Her headstart teacher got her to try stuff by thumbs up thumbs down (take a bite and thumbs up like or thumbs down don’t like.) Have actually gotten her to eat fruit and that now. Also doctor had me do protien shakes in the morning she thinks it’s chocolate milk (essential breakfast shakes)

I made mine take at least one bite of stuff that they said they didn’t like also if the older one said they would didn’t like it then they said they didn’t so I make the older kid wait to until the other one tried it

Take her shopping with you. Give 2 or 3 healthy choices to choose from. It will let her feel like she still has some-what of a say in what she eats.

I had my greatgrandgirl (4), for a year full time 24-7, she’s picky with nuggets, spaghetti o’s an pancakes…then I began each day with cutting variety of vegetables an fruits in really cute mostly animal/ variety shapes , an placing in funny arrangements on her multiple cubicle plate and she really enjoyed her meals in this way, IDK if it’ll work for you but I had tried everything! Good luck❤

Try fruit and vegetable smoothies

1 Like

If she is hungry she will eat. So make healthier options sooner or later she will get hungry


Doesn’t have to be pediasure, of course talk to your doctor before doing any of this but my kids ped suggested carnation instant breakfast, tastes better than the pediasures and also keep offering stuff. My kids would hate one thing one week and love it the next you just got to keep options open but also enforce that what she has to eat is the food she’s getting and not cave when she is being stubborn. If she’s hungry she will eat.

She eats what everyone else eats or she doesn’t eat at all :woman_shrugging:t4: She will get hungry. I never gave my four an option

1 Like

We found a few things helpful. Eat at the dinner table as a family and fill plates.put small manageable portions on her plate. The rule at our House is and always has been you must at least try everything, and if you don’t like it, you do not have to finish it (this is true only for portions we divvy up or new foods or foods they say they don’t like- if it’s something they decide how much they want or we know darn good and well they do like it- they eat every bite) if they don’t finish it I will not fix them something else- they have to make a sandwich or throw something in he microwave. Obviously give them the help necessary if it’s not something they can do, but at 4 years old both my kids cold throw a corn dog in the microwave or make a ham sandwich. We also eliminated snacking outside of a morning and afternoon snack. It’s healthy stuff like fruit, cheese, veggies, yogurt- not candy or hohos and all food has to be eaten at the table. I found my picky eater has expanded his horizons ten fold by the “you must take one bite” and he may not like it on the first or second try but there’s not much he won’t eat now. Making the whole family eat around the table and being a social interaction also helps. It helps to see adults model appropriate behavior. Limiting snacking ensures they actually have an appetite when it’s meal time. I would never starve my kid but breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, supper seems more than sufficient to get them through the day and be healthy.

Give small portions of the new things and tell her if she eats it she gets to pick out a special treat…


Try sauces. Ranch, ketchup, etc and colorful plates with animals or shapes or rewarding him or her with a sticker for trying a new food

Here’s what you do. Buy no more chicken nuggets Mac and cheese etc. You don’t buy it she can’t eat it :woman_shrugging:t5: when she gets hungry she’ll eat


Don’t worry and don’t fuss… kids can turn anything into energy and growing…as long as they are doing both…don’t worry…

I tell my middle little that any meat we eat is chicken :face_with_hand_over_mouth: he won’t eat meat unless it’s chicken but it’s all in his head because that was definitely beef I called chicken last night :joy::joy:


Just let her be for now my oldest was that way too now he’ll eat stuff I won’t touch myself