6 Tips for Handling Picky Eaters

Are your kids picky eaters? Are you preparing several dinners each night? Finding ways to handle picky eaters can be a huge help towards keeping a low food budget. Here are some tips that worked with our little picky one (who is not so picky any more!).

  1. Do not keep junk food in the house. Avoid overly salty or sugary processed snacks. If there is no junk food available, the kids cannot eat it.
  2. Keep snack-sized portions of fruits and vegetables on hand. Kids have small stomachs and need to snack frequently to accommodate growing bodies. Keep a snack tray in your refrigerator filled with pre-washed and pre-cut fruits and veggies. Store in snack-sized zip lock bags for quick snacks on the go.
  3. Try not to cater to your kids during mealtime. No child ever starved while being offered food. If the adults are eating it, the kids can too. Under very few circumstances are exceptions allowed: food allergies, spicy foods, dietary restrictions, etc.
  4. Introduce new foods several times. I have found that kids need to try the same food several times before deciding if it is good. This could be due to any number of factors, but do not give up on a healthy food the first time.
  5. Presentation is everything. For meals you can serve the same food, but make it look a little cuter. Use straws to make fruit kabobs, or cookie cutters for sandwiches. Get creative!
  6. Get the kids involved. Kids love helping out in the kitchen, and if they help prepare the meal they are much more likely to eat it!
Our pre-washed, pre-cut, self-serve snack tray filled with carrot and green pepper sticks, orange segments, apples, cheese slices, and low-fat ranch dressing.

Have a tip for handling a picky eater that I forgot to add? Leave a comment and share your ideas with us!


  1. Both of my kids, ages 5 and 4, have gone through “picky” stages. We just remained constant and insisted that every “yucky” food at least be tasted. Sometimes they didn’t eat very much but we rarely fixed a different supper. Eventually, this phase passed and my children eat all sorts of foods now, especially raw veggies like peppers and even cabbage and lettuce (no dressing!)! I love this post and the snack bag idea. Hadn’t thought of that but it looks like fun!

    Great job!

  2. Valerie Deneen says

    Kathy, You are so right… consistency is key!