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Preventing Picky Eating in Toddlers

toddler eating plain spaghetti with fork



Many parents struggle with picky eaters, but modeling healthy habits can be a powerful tool.

It sends the message that healthy eating is important. 

You can be a role model for healthy eating by following Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide and these tips:

  • Give your toddler lots of opportunities to smell, touch and taste new and different foods.
  • Offer foods with a variety of textures from an early age; this helps your toddler accept new foods and textures. Children need to learn how to move foods of different shapes, sizes and textures around in their mouths. This exercises their mouth muscles and gets them used to new foods.
  • Let your toddler eat at her own pace.
  • Offer a new food along with something he already likes.
  • Involve her as much as you can in planning and preparing meals and snacks to increase an interest in trying new foods. Children will often happily eat foods they’ve chosen in the store, grown, picked or "helped cook."

Did You Know?

Toddlers may need to see a new food 12 to 30 times before it is accepted. Give your toddler many opportunities to look at, touch, smell, and taste new foods. This will help your child to be more accepting of new tastes and textures.

Resources & Links:
HealthLink BC File: Helping Your 1 to 3 Year Old Toddler Eat Well

Last Updated: August 14, 2013