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picky 4 year old


Ok so my daughter likes what she likes and that's not a lot, I try to get her to try new things and she just wont have it. Is there any moms out there that have this issue and can recommend some recipes or ideas? thanks so much.  
Jul 25, 2015 @ 05:19 pm

10 Replies



Here are a few tips I've given the parents of the students I've taught. I hope it helps you out in your situation.

Your daughter is at the right age where she can assist you in the kitchen, with your supervision of course. By getting her involved in the cooking/preparation process, she'll have more ownership over the meal and will be more likely to eat it. For instance, get her to mix and measure ingredients or add them to the mixing bowl. Have her form meatballs or hamburgers, place the toppings on pizza, crush tomatoes, shell peas, etc...

I know kids can be very picky about eating their veggies, so here are a few tips to help with that:

- Have her shop with you and choose her favorite vegetable of the week.

- Shop the alphabet. You select a fruit or vegetable for one letter of the alphabet every time you go shopping. This will help her look forward to eating it.

- Disguise the veggies by pureeing them and making soup or sauces for pastas. You can grate them or chop them into tiny pieces in order to make them more noticeable.

- Grow your own veggies and herbs, if possible, and have her help you pick them and then cook with your harvest.

- Make green juice smoothies! Again, get her involved in choosing what goes into it.

Finally, think of foods kids love to eat, like pizza, chicken fingers, French fries, etc... but find ways to make them healthier. Ex: Substitute frying with baking, add spinach or broccoli as pizza toppings, etc...

Good luck!

Jul 26, 2015 @ 11:57 pm


Sorry...I meant to say make the veggies less noticeable instead of "more" noticeable.
Jul 26, 2015 @ 11:59 pm

Thank You

Thank you so much, I took your advice and I let her help me in the kitchen and she loved it. Also you have so many great ideas that I am excited to try. Thank you again :)
Jul 27, 2015 @ 02:29 am

You're welcome

That's fantastic! I'm glad you got a better sense of how to go about it. Have fun together on this eating adventure! :)
Jul 27, 2015 @ 10:06 am

My 4 year old is picky too

I do two things... I bribe or threaten him by saying.. If you have 1 bite I will give you.....( whatever you choose) or if you don't try it you can't play the tablet tonight.
Usually when he tastes it then he will eat it so if I can just get him to have 1 bite first it really helps.
Jul 30, 2015 @ 11:13 am



Has so many cute ideas to make meals / food fun!
Look up ideas how to make cute food ideas, then kids will love.
Or have them browse with you and ask what would YOU like to make with mommy today?

You;'d be surprised how much children like to participate with their parents and once they feel they made something they will want to taste it :)
Jul 30, 2015 @ 11:15 am


I have my daughter assist me in the kitchen & that gets her really excited! I also hide vegetables in tomato sauce & baking. However☺Pinterest has so many ideas that can be really fun
Jul 30, 2015 @ 11:26 am

I know where you are coming from

I know exactly how you feel. My daughter was a very picky eater and still is! What I found that helped me was when she was helping me bake cook or even just watching, hands on really does help! It gives them a sense of accomplishment and they are proud of their creation.

Also my daughter would never eat potatos until I started putting a small amout of hidden valley ranch on them... My best advice tho is to stay away from sauces if you can lol

They say tastebuds change every 7 years so hears hoping lol
Aug 04, 2015 @ 03:34 pm


Get her involved in the kitchen. Also, if you are able to grow your veggies and fruit do it. It was said that kids are more likely to eat it. If you want them to try a green smoothie, give it a name like "Hulk smoothie" or something like it to grab there attention. Also, Daniel Tigers neighborhood had an episode of trying new things. My daughter used to try anything but for some reason she just wanted plain food. Like pasta by itself or white rice. So I actually made her eat. I made her sat there and I said if you don't finish this you won't (either go outside and play, watch cartoons, draw) and she will eat it.
Aug 04, 2015 @ 10:54 pm

Positive vs Negative Phrasing

This is just a little child psychology advice for addressing the issue of finishing their food before they can be excused from the table. It could make life for you as a parent easier and you can use it for any other situation in which you would like your child to finish doing a task (ex: chores, homework, etc...) before moving on to something more fun.

Instead of phrasing it, "If you don't, then you can't/won't...", I would use the phrase, "First you need to ______ and then you can/will ______" with the emphasis on "first", "then" and "can/will". In this way, it helps the child understand that there are steps to complete before being able to move on to the activity they were looking forward to (ex: playtime, tv, etc...) and it has more of a positive tone.

The previous phrase will automatically be negative and the child will be more likely to throw a fit or sulk all the way through finishing the meal because the only words they'll be paying attention to are "won't" or "can't". You don't want your child to associate eating as a negative punishment in order to receive the reward but rather a step that needs to be completed.

You could also keep track of every time they finished their meal without complaining with a simple sticker chart. If they get 5-10 stickers in a row (depending on the age and needs of the child you may want to modify this number), they get a special reward (Ex: staying up 10 minutes past bedtime, a new book, play date with a friend, etc...).

Hope this helps! :)

Aug 05, 2015 @ 01:59 am

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