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Dr. Sears' Tips for Picky Eaters

By caitlinhtp |

Although my baby is currently in my womb, and not at the dinner table, one of the ‘down the road’ moments that I’m most concerned about is the picky eating phase. I’d love to raise a child that is an adventurous and healthy eater – but I realize that this may be difficult, especially when they’re a toddler!

The ubiquitous Dr. Sears has a great (free!) PDF called Dr. Sears’ Guide to Feeding Toddlers: 20 Tips for Pleasing the Picky Eater. Here are my five favorite tips from the document. Heck, these techniques would make me eat healthier, too!

Click through to read the tips. 

  • Creating a nibble tray: Dr. Sears recommends using an ice cube tray or a muffin tray to create a ‘customized smorgasbord’ of healthy eats, like ‘apple moons,’ ‘banana wheels,’ ‘carrots swords,’ and Cheerios.
  • Drink it: Kids may be more willing to eat fruit when it is in chilly smoothie form. Dr. Sears say to sneak in raw spinach ‘slowly’ because it gives fruit smoothies a green or grayish hue, which may turn kids off (even if they can’t taste it).
  • Cut it up: Use cookie cutters to cut peanut butter or hummus sandwiches in fun shapes, like gingerbread men, stars, and hearts.
  • Share it: If a child is really struggling to eat healthy foods, invite a slightly older child that you know enjoys the foods over for lunch or dinner. Your child may mimic the older kid’s behavior, deciding that healthy foods are cool after all.
  • Use sit-still strategies: Want to know one reason that kids squirm at the dining room table? It’s because their legs are dangling from adult-sized chairs. Dr. Sears says the same things happen to adults when they sit at bar stools.  Sit your child in a child-sized chair at a small table and watch the difference it makes.

A big thanks to YoBaby for sponsoring this campaign.  Click here to see more of the discussion.

To read more from Caitlin, check out Healthy Tipping Point and Operation Beautiful.  You can also follow her on Twitter.


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About caitlinhtp



Launched in December 2006, Babble has a National Magazine Award nomination for Best Overall Website (opposite and a Folio magazine award for Best Online Magazine (beating out everyone but Time magazine named it one of the Top 50 websites of 2010. Babble was acquired by The Walt Disney Company in November, 2011.

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One thought on “Dr. Sears' Tips for Picky Eaters

  1. Earthy Nicole says:

    I always try to get creative when serving food to my little girl. People of all ages appreciate the presentation, afterall! Anyways, I really believe what I ate while I was pregnant and breastfeeding played a huge role in my little girl’s taste buds. She’s now almost three and still amazes me with her love of fresh plant-based foods. I also make it a point to make sure she sees ME eating those foods and I always give her two approved choices to pick from so that no matter what she picks, I know it’s good for her and she gets to make independent decisions!

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