Hacks For Picky Eaters


We know how difficult it is to make sure a fussy eater is getting all the nutrition they need to grow big and strong. Picky eaters can be so frustrating for parents, preparing separate meals, them not wanting anything on the menu while you are out to eat; It’s enough to make you go nuts! There are ways to help promote healthy eating that your kids will love.

FREEZE IT! Kids love frozen things. An easy hack to getting them to eat fruit is to freeze it. A lot of frozen fruits can be put on a stick and frozen to give the illusion of a eating a freeze pop. For those extra stubborn eaters, try getting a freeze pop making tray, and filling it with a smoothie. These little frozen treats are healthier than regular popsicles but your child won’t know the difference!

DRY IT! Another way to get your child to eat more fruit is to buy dried fruits. Banana and strawberry chips offer a different texture than traditional fruits and sometimes the texture is what triggers your child to detest something. Freeze dried fruits taste similarly and you can even make it an entertaining experience for them by telling them how the astronauts eat freeze dried foods while in space!

DISGUISE IT! Create a dessert that is a healthier option, but looks like a sugary snack. Oatmeal cookies are far more nutritious than chocolate chip cookies, but many kids like them just the same. Introducing vanilla yogurt instead of vanilla pudding is another great option. Yogurt is rich in probiotics and calcium while pudding contains a lot of sugar.

PLAY WITH IT! Making eating into an exciting experience can be the missing puzzle piece as well. “Don’t play with your food” doesn’t always have to be the case. Treats like “ants on a log” can tell a playful story while still promoting healthy eating. Celery stock and raisins are rich in nutrients and peanut butter offers a sweeter taste, but that’s rich in protein and has less sugar than other treats.

REWARD THEM! Positive reinforcement works! Offer praises for trying new things. If they try one new thing a day for a whole week, reward them with a new toy at the end of the week, or cook them their favorite meal. Keep a chart that documents their progress so that they can have a visual representation of their achievements. You can even make it a friendly competition between siblings!

Above all patience with your child is the most important. Fussy eaters can be frustrating but making sure that you are trying healthier options with them is so important. Following these few hacks can help make sure that your little one is getting the nutrients they need, and you don’t have to worry so much!


Our menus meet the nutrition standards of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. We participate in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) to improve the diets of our children and develop activities to help them acquire healthy eating habits. For additional information on Brightside’s nutritious food plan, click here.