Picky Eating

November 3, 2021
Picky Eating

During well-child visits, you may hear complaints from caregivers about their child’s picky eating.  As a provider, you can validate parents’ concerns, set expectations, and explain how giving some choices can promote their child’s autonomy and healthy eating habits. You can remind parents of both the importance of not forcing a child to eat and avoiding food battles. It can take a while for a child to try and like something new. Keep reading for an example of what you can tell families:

“I know picky eating is frustrating, but this is a normal phase for toddlers. You still want to ensure they get some fruits and vegetables throughout the day. You can try to offer two healthy choices with each meal, let your child help pick out healthy foods when grocery shopping and involve your child in preparing food for meal time. Allowing your child more control over what they eat lets them practice making choices for themselves, makes them more likely to eat healthy and can be a positive bonding experience between you and your child.”

See more tips from the AAP and Healthy Children on strategies to manage picky eating >

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