Getting an extremely picky eater to eat isn’t always easy because their name suggests their ability to eat unforced is usually low. This often becomes a source of worry for the parents.
No two picky eaters are the same, so it is sometimes difficult to draw out food for extremely picky eaters.
There are foods for extremely picky eaters that are healthy and, at the same time, delicious. When you introduce these foods to them, it will surely captivate them.
Some of these foods will be listed so you can include them in your food menu for your extremely picky eater.
Foods For Extremely Picky Eaters
The following food will help your picky eater, who will surely fall in love with them. And they include:
1. Granola Bar
If there is one food that extremely picky eaters would love, that is a granola bar. Try making granola bars with ingredients your child already likes, such as chocolate chips.
If your child is a peanut butter lover, ensure the granola bar contains peanut butter. If they like chocolate, then buy granola bars with chocolate chips. Try cutting the granola bar into smaller squares, almost like a cookie.
2. Applesauce Pancakes
If there is one food that extremely picky eaters love, it is pancakes, and when you make it flavorful, your picky eater will finish all the food in a flash.
Remember to start slowly, adding some flavorful ingredients that are healthy as well so that your little one can be enticed and get to eat the food.
Remember to make the texture of the food even so that you don’t give your picky eater the need to avoid the food.
3. No Sauce Flatbread
Not all picky eaters enjoy pizza. Some children found it overwhelming with globs of melty cheese that slide off the sauce.
If your picky eater is only interested in pizza, you can make a flatbread with just some seasoning, olive oil, and cheese.
4. Baked Potato Skins
Baked potatoes are usually crunchy, and picky eaters enjoy crunchy foods.
This food is crunchy with lots of nutrients that will aid the growth and development of your little one. It is necessary to prepare homemade potato skins because the skins are packed with fiber, iron, and other nutrients.
You can also brush it with olive oil if you realize that your picky eater is not comfortable with cheese, and if they are comfortable with cheese, then use cheese in place of olive oil.
5. Homemade Chicken Nuggets
This is another easy and healthy food for your picky eater! You can get your child to eat all kinds of chicken by making homemade chicken nuggets.
However, you cannot use any old recipe. You must use thin and small nuggets to minimize their texture.
6. Apples and Apple chips
One of the fruits that picky eaters won’t say no to is apples, and if you realize that your picky eater isn’t eating apples, you can try apple chips, and surely your picky eater would fall for one of them.
Your chap will feel it is one of the regular junk food and fall for them without knowing that it is a fruit that you are feeding them with vitamins.
You also introduce dehydrated fruits to your child’s meal to nourish them with vitamins. Try fruits like blueberry and banana.
7. Shredded Chicken Quesadilla
Shredded chicken has a lot of texture, and your picky eater will sure be enticed and tempted to taste it.
Always go easy on the chicken the first time it is being served, especially when your picky eater isn’t the type that enjoys chicken.
Focus on the cheese; make it crunchy or soft depending on the preference of your picky eater, and your picky eater is ready to go.
8. Raw veggies
Raw veggies are usually the starting point when introducing vegetables to picky-eating kids. You should start with baby carrots, especially thin ones, or you can cut them into half or quarters if you feel they are too big.
You can also introduce cucumber and snap peas, and then with them, you can start introducing veggies like celery and cauliflower.
9. Carrot Cake Smoothie (bonus immune-booster)
When making smoothies, remember that smoothies should be smooth and free from chunks. Picky eaters enjoy them a lot.
Smoothies are packed with lots of nutrients, like vitamins, and the smoothie recipe is usually kid-friendly, especially when it is homemade.
10. Pumpkin Waffles
Picky eaters will love these since they are only a little orange, but the color isn’t very different. Aside from being smooth and packed with vitamins, pumpkin can also be added easily and in small amounts to pancakes.
Read: 7 best homemade juice for babies & toddlers with their recipes
11. Cheeseburger Mac Soup
The ingredients in this soup, like ground beef, cheese, and some essential ingredients, make this soup irresistible and creamy. The cheeseburger flavor makes it more delicious for your picky eater.
Try it out for your picky eater, and you will marvel at the magic it would work.
Your picky eater will surely love this, and one beautiful thing about this food is that it is easy to prepare.
It utilizes basic ingredients, and you can decide to enjoy it with spaghetti tucked in a sub or baked into a casserole.
13. Grilled Chicken on a Stick
Most picky eaters aren’t too keen on meat, but putting it on a stick could make them give it a try. Chicken on a stick is usually safe for preschoolers and older children, but use your judgment and supervise them.
You can grill, bake, or saute some thin chicken breasts or tenderloins on a stick.
14. Homemade Hot Pockets
Most picky eaters love bread. Any picky eater that likes bread will like to give it a try. Since homemade hot pockets are a pouch of bread, you can use that advantage.
Start with only cheese and a little sauce, and add more ingredients as your picky eater becomes more comfortable.
15. Creamy Ground beef Noodle Casserole
This is another simple meal that you can give to your picky eater, and they would enjoy it.
It doesn’t need a lot of ingredients, just the basics, and this casserole will come out nice and tasty to the delight of your picky eater.
16. Beef Jerky
Beef jerky does not necessarily have to be unhealthy. Make sure you check the packages for no preservatives and sodium. These kinds are one of my favorites to buy regularly on Amazon.
A bold flavor jerky is perfect for picky eaters who like a punch of flavor in their mouth. It is also rich in protein.
17. Taco Bar
If your picky eater does not like spice, you can make your taco meat using this mild taco seasoning. Put all the toppings in different bowls on your dining room table and let everyone make their tacos.
You can also offer them soft or hard tortillas. It is often more likely for picky eaters to try new foods if they don’t feel pressured and can have fun with their food.
18. Breaded Broccoli
It can be hard for kids to get past broccoli’s texture, but they may be curious and willing to try it when breaded or battered.
Alternatively, you can bake the broccoli instead of frying it. If your picky eater likes this, you can give them other foods, including cauliflower, mushrooms, and battered green beans.
19. Cheese + Spinach Waffle Sandwich
If your picky eater loves grilled cheese, try making one in a waffle maker and add some fresh spinach leaves.
Make this with your picky eater. They’ll love watching the bread turn into a waffle.
Read: 9 Baby Food Brands To Avoid
20. Roasted Chick Peas
The taste of roasted chickpeas changes when they become crunchy and hard. Picky eaters who love crunch will likely enjoy these.
You can make your own with all sorts of different seasonings or buy some of it here on Amazon
Nuts like (Peanuts, cashews, pistachios, and almonds) can all be healthy and easy foods for picky eaters. They’re crunchy and small, so you must use your judgment as they could pose a choking hazard if your child is under 3.
As a final tip, try different types of nuts with different coatings. Plain peanuts may not be a hit, but honey-roasted ones might be.
22. Rice Cakes & Peanut Butter
I prefer brown rice cakes because of their nutritional value, but either way, introducing new foods to your picky eater is a healthy idea. If your child does not like peanut butter, serve them plain, with jelly or Nutella.
23. Dilly Green Beans
If your child like pickles and you want them to eat some veggies? Dilly green beans are a great choice. And since this food is fermented, consider probiotics.
The best part is that you don’t cook the green beans; instead, they soak in seasonings for a few days to taste and crunch like pickles.
24. Pinwheels of Ham/Turkey
Take a tortilla and spread a thin layer of cream cheese. Place a few thin slices of deli meat on the plate.
Roll the tortilla shell tightly and thinly to make a small pinwheel sandwich. Some picky eaters prefer to take bites out of the tortilla rather than cutting it, so give that a try. You can also add fresh spinach leaves.
This is one of the most accessible foods to make for a picky eater. It’s crunchy and yummy. Serve it in strips or crumbles as an accompaniment to a meal. This food is one of my go-to meats for picky eaters.
26. Fruit Frozen
Serve frozen berries or mango chunks to your picky eater. Because it’s frozen, the texture and flavor are greatly reduced! Serve with nuts as a side dish or as a snack.
27. Muffins with Chocolate Zucchini
Mini chocolate chips appear to be popular among picky eaters. Serving your picky child muffins is a great way to entice them.
If your child is a picky eater and is new to muffins, start with mini muffins. Smaller is always preferable because it is less overwhelming. Add some zucchini (blueberry or banana) and other extra nutrients.
28. Bops of Banana
This is very easy to make. Cut your banana in half, rather than breaking it, as this may result in a ragged edge and a sloppy texture, which may turn off a picky eater.
If your child has never eaten a banana, start with a chunk rather than a half. Wrap it around a straw or a popsicle stick! When it comes to a picky eater, don’t underestimate the power of a stick.
29. Sticks of French Toast
Stick shapes are popular with picky eaters. Something they can pick up and carry with them. Make your favorite french toast recipe, but cut the bread into strips. If you think it will appeal to your child, sprinkle it with cinnamon sugar; otherwise, skip it.
Practical Tips To Getting Your Extremely Picky Eater To Eat
When getting your picky eater to eat, there are some things you need to keep in mind to get your picky eater to eat. These rules include
1. Serve food as simple and basic as possible
Foods that look complex or complicated are usually difficult for a picky eater to eat.
Food like casseroles and mixed foods do not captivate picky eaters, nor are they enticed to try eating them.
Deconstructed foods appeal to picky eaters. When served family-style, it gives your picky eater a sense of control.
They are willing to try out foods that are presented before them in a simple and basic manner.
2. Think about what texture and flavor of food your child likes
When you realize the type of food your picky eater cherishes or likes the most, do not waste time using it to your advantage.
Find out the flavor that appeals to your picky eater, whether they are attracted to bland or bold flavor.
When you have discovered this, offer them food with similar texture and flavor, and you will see them devour the food.
3. Give him options
Fill your picky eater’s plate with various foods, with at least one of them being something he enjoys. Next, encourage him to pick up, touch, and smell one of the new foods so they become used to it.
Alternatively, offer him two options: “Do you want bananas or peaches with your cereal?” Allowing your toddler to choose what he eats satisfies his desire for independence.
4. Don’t be pushy
You can encourage your toddler to “try” new (or old) foods. If he refuses, don’t put any pressure on him, bribe him, or even tell him to “try one more bite.” You will not win this battle;
standing your ground may backfire and turn your child off to food.
Remember, you’re in charge of serving the food, and your toddler is in charge of how much of it he eats.
5. Try food chaining
This implies serving similar foods. If your child likes cantaloupe try serving him some ripe honeydew melon; he might dig right in.
If he enjoys tortellini, he might also enjoy ravioli in that bowl. If he likes cut-up zucchini, add some very thin, seedless cucumber slices to his plate.
6. Present food in a new way
If your kid doesn’t enjoy steamed carrots, try puréed carrots. A toddler who doesn’t like the texture of tofu may enjoy the taste of mashed soybeans in his mouth.
You can also try giving him a yogurt drink or squeezable yogurt in a tube if he doesn’t like yogurt.
7. Give the food another name
This is another trick that works. If your toddler likes broccoli but dislikes cauliflower, call it soft-cooked cauliflower “white broccoli.” Or, if your child enjoys mashed potatoes, call it sweet potatoes “orange potatoes.”
You might even be able to persuade your child to eat vegetable quiche if you call it “pie.” You can tell him the real names after he likes the food — or when he grows older.
8. Don’t give up
Just because your child refused something the first time, you offered it does not mean he will not eat it again. Continue to serve that new food, and your child may try a bite after it becomes a familiar sight.
However, be patient with him. It may take up to 20 tries for your picky eater to accept a new flavor.
Hopefully, this article has given an in-depth discussion to answer the question “foods for extremely picky eaters,” and now you can better decide what you want for your little picky eater.
Remember the tips mentioned here, as they will go a long way in making your dream of getting your extremely picky eater start eating gradually.