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Kids, Nutrition, Picky Eaters, Tips / How-Tos

Getting Kids to Eat: 6 Helpful Picky Eater Tools

It’s an all-too-common scene at dinner tables around the world: kids and parents facing off in a head-to-head battle over what’s being served. If you’re having trouble getting kids to eat a nutritious and well-balanced meal, we’ve made a list of six picky eater tools that just might help.

1. Food Face Plates

Even the most finicky palettes will be pleased when mealtime is turned into art hour! These Food Face dinner plates display a bare cartoon face just waiting for the embellishment of a zucchini noodle beard or mac and cheese hair. When there’s a little less focus on food and a little more focus on fun, a picky eater plate like this can help make the adjustment to new foods a more enjoyable experience for everyone. Make the project even more fun for your kids by having them recreate you as a food-face piece of art!

Mac & Cheese with Cauliflower picky eater plate

2. Locomotive Food Cups

Your kids will be all aboard the eating train with these adorable locomotive food cups. Although silicone molds may call to mind cupcakes or other high-sugar treats, these food cups can also be used for wholesome, fiber-filled dishes like mini veggie quiche cups. If your kids like finishing meals on a sweet note, use them to freeze kid-friendly popsicles with Greek yogurt and blended fruit.

3. Fun-Shaped Egg Molds

Kitty cats, dinosaurs, unicorns, smiley face emojis… Whatever perks up your child’s imagination the most, there’s certainly a creative egg mold to match. These molds are a great way to add whimsy to your child’s plate while also getting kids to eat a nutritious source of protein, vitamins and minerals.

4. Construction-Themed Food Plate

Turn mealtime into an active dig site with this construction-themed plate and utensil set. You can bring in some extra imagination by inventing a story about what your child is digging for—perhaps he’s searching for buried diamonds or she’s building the world’s tallest cauliflower potato mash tower! You could even hide a nutritious treat somewhere on the plate to give your child real incentive to reach the bottom.

construction plate

5. Character Food Picks

Do your kids love cartoons? Then food picks are an easy way to incorporate a cute character in place of a boring fork or knife. These picky eater tools can be used with nearly any type of food; simply cut the meal into small pieces, stick a pick in each piece and serve! For an even quicker prep that skips the cutting, serve the picks with ready-to-eat, bite-sized dishes like Nurture Life’s finger-food meals.

6. Bite-Sized Food Shapes

FunBites are a fairly low-effort way to make any meal more amusing and imaginative. If your children like to have fun in the kitchen, punch out random shapes of veggies, fruit, low-fat cheese and whole-wheat wraps, and then let them assemble their own nutritious masterpieces from scratch!

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Overcoming Picky Eating: Extra Tips for Getting Kids to Eat

Beyond the picky eater tools mentioned above, here are a few more tips to help your child move past picky eating:

  • Be consistent. Many picky eating habits can be reduced by setting clear and consistent expectations for mealtime. Learn how you might approach your finicky little one based on common picky eater scenarios.
  • Choose kid-friendly foods. If getting kids to eat is an endless frustration, there may be more kid-friendly foods available to substitute into your recipes. Sweet potatoes, spinach, and peas are among our favorite vegetables for picky eaters.
  • Read about it! Effective dinner ideas for picky eaters don’t necessarily have to happen at the dinner table. Try reading some fun picky eater books together before bed to give your child some new perspectives and ideas about eating.

Mealtime is a precious opportunity to not only nourish your children with wholesome foods but also to bring your family together. With just a little bit of trial and error, the picky eater tools listed above may help you turn that daily dinner struggle into the highlight of your family’s day.

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RJ Bio

Rachael Janas

Rachael joined the Nurture Life team as the Marketing Production & QA Manager. From menu design to nutrient analysis, she covers all things food. Rachael is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian with a strong foundation in clinical nutrition and a keen interest in nutritious food with phenomenal flavor. Her passion for incorporating whole foods and creative cuisine while focusing on age-specific nutrient needs of children is essential to Nurture Life’s menu design. Rachael has been practicing dietetics since 2011, with the bulk of her experience in clinical nutrition at Loyola Medical Center, specializing in patients with cystic fibrosis as well as critical care nutrition related to lung disease and lung transplant. She also has experience in cardiac health and nutrition during pregnancy. Rachael received her B.S. from Saint Louis University in Missouri and completed a dietetic internship with Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Rachael’s interests include creative cooking at home, using a variety of ingredients, spices and herbs for a unique meal each night. She truly believes nutrition and food should be enjoyable and that all food can be enjoyed in moderation.