Picky Eaters: Strategies for Introducing New Foods and Nutrients

For parents of picky eaters, mealtime can be a constant struggle. Trying to get your child to eat new foods or foods that are high in nutrients can feel like an uphill battle. However, with the right strategies and patience, it is possible to expand your child’s palate and ensure they are getting the nutrients they need for healthy growth and development.

Understanding Picky Eaters

Picky eating is a common phase that many children go through, typically starting around the age of two. It is important to understand that picky eating is a normal part of a child’s development and is often a way for them to assert their independence. However, it can be frustrating for parents who are concerned about their child’s nutrition.

Try, Try Again

One of the keys to introducing new foods to picky eaters is to keep trying. It can take multiple exposures to a new food before a child will even consider trying it. Offer a small portion of the new food alongside familiar foods to increase the likelihood that your child will give it a try.

Get Creative

Children are more likely to try new foods if they are presented in a fun and creative way. Try turning fruits and vegetables into fun shapes or incorporating them into dishes that your child already enjoys. Smoothies are also a great way to sneak in extra nutrients without your child even realizing it.

Focus on Nutrient-Dense Foods

When dealing with picky eaters, it is important to focus on offering nutrient-dense foods that pack a lot of nutrition in a small package. Foods like eggs, avocados, nuts, and seeds are all great options for picky eaters because they are rich in essential nutrients like protein, healthy fats, and vitamins.


If you are concerned that your picky eater is not getting enough of certain nutrients, consider talking to your pediatrician about adding supplements to their diet. Multivitamins or specific supplements for nutrients like vitamin D or omega-3 fatty acids can help fill in any gaps in your child’s diet.

Lead by Example

Children learn by example, so it is important for parents to model healthy eating habits. Make sure to eat a variety of foods in front of your child and show them that trying new foods is a normal part of life. Encourage them to help with meal preparation and involve them in the grocery shopping process.

Setting Realistic Expectations

It is important to remember that changing a child’s eating habits takes time and patience. Set realistic expectations and celebrate small victories along the way. Keep in mind that children’s tastes can change over time, so continue to offer new foods and encourage your child to try them, even if they have refused them in the past.

Stay Positive

Avoid power struggles or making mealtime a negative experience. Instead, stay positive and encourage your child to try new foods without forcing them. Praise their efforts and be patient as they navigate their way through expanding their palate.

Consult with a Professional

If you are struggling with your picky eater and feel overwhelmed, consider seeking help from a pediatric nutritionist or dietitian. They can provide personalized tips and strategies to help you navigate this challenging phase and ensure your child is getting the nutrition they need.


Dealing with a picky eater can be frustrating, but with the right strategies and mindset, it is possible to introduce new foods and nutrients to your child’s diet. Remember to be patient, creative, and consistent in your efforts, and seek help from professionals if needed. Your child’s health and well-being are worth the extra effort to ensure they are getting the nutrients they need for healthy growth and development.