Albany WIC
84 N. Ave. B., Albany, TX

Wednesday8:00 AM — 11:00 AM
Picky Eater
  • Before my baby turned 2, he are really well, but now he doesn't eat very much at all! Why does my child eat less than he used to?

    Picky eating is very common in toddlers and preschoolers. As a parent, it probably feels like your once adventurous eater started hating everything overnight. 

    Expert Advice:

    • This slowdown in eating is very normal! This is a time when children are becoming more independent and have changes in their tastes. While this stage can be a challenge, the good news is that most children will outgrow picky eating around age 5. 
    • Children have small stomachs and need to eat often. Offer them three meals and one to two snacks each day. Limit food or drinks other than water between meal and snack times. 
    • Keep meals focused and pleasant. Do not bribe or threaten your child, and turn off distractions like TVs, phones and tablets while eating. 
    • Offer foods similar in colors, flavors and textures to foods that your child already enjoys. Bold and bitter flavors may taste stronger to a child.
    • Give food choices. Let your child help you plan snacks and meals for the week. Young children respond well to being asked to pick between two options. 
  • What should I do when my child won't eat?

    Try not to make it a big deal and worry. We know that is easier said than done.

    Expert Advice:

    • Offer new foods together with foods that your child already likes, but do not offer to cook a different meal for your child. Cooking a separate meal may encourage picky eating. 
    • Avoid pressure and don’t force your child to eat because this can make things worse. Instead, offer healthy foods at regular times and allow your child to decide if and how much to eat. 
    • Children like to have some control. Serve foods family-style and let your child choose what they want to eat. 
    • Make family meals important. Children learn by watching others, so set a good example by eating healthy food in front of them. 
    • Make mealtime fun! Tell stories, share silly jokes or talk about your child’s favorite things. 
  • My child won't eat fruits or vegetables. Doesn't he need healthy foods?

    Every parent has been there — it seems like all kids go through a period where they won’t eat fruits and vegetables. Remember, children need time to develop their tastes and that’s OK.

    Expert Advice:  

    • Continue to offer fruits and vegetables along with foods your child likes.  Be patient! It can take up to 15 tries before they accept a new food!
    • Do not force your child to eat, because this usually backfires.
    • Give silly names to fruits and vegetables. Broccoli can be “baby trees” and you can encourage your own little dinosaur to munch as many trees as possible. Try serving “princess peas” or “x-ray vision carrots.” A small change in words can make a big difference. 
    • Kids love to dip! Try yogurt, avocado, cheese and other dips as a fun way to encourage your child to eat their fruits and vegetables. 
    • Add vegetables to pasta dishes, casseroles and soups. Smoothies are another great way to offer fruits and vegetables!
    • Play a game to encourage your child to eat the colors of the rainbow. Help them learn about how foods grow and where it comes from. Talk about the different shapes, colors and smells of foods.
  • My child doesn't like meat. Doesn't he need the protein?

    This is very common with young children! Protein foods are important, but many foods besides meat contain protein. There are plenty of ways to work protein into your child’s diet.

    Expert Advice:

    • Non-meat foods with protein include beans, peanut butter, eggs, yogurt, cheese, tofu and milk.
    • Try meatless meals like rice and beans or breakfast tacos with eggs.
    • Try ground or stewed meat or meat softened with gravy or sauce.
    • Cut meat and fish into small pieces.
    • Add bite-size pieces of meat to pizza, spaghetti, casseroles or soup.
    • Add foods that are high in vitamin C like tomatoes, oranges, strawberries, bell peppers and broccoli to meals. Vitamin C can help your child absorb more iron from food to keep their growing body healthy. 

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