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Meal Ideas for Picky Toddlers

By Christa Miller ; Updated June 13, 2017

Your toddler is still developing a taste for solid foods, so he may decide he wants to eat only macaroni and cheese or PB & J as he adapts to a wide variety of colors, tastes and textures. Although says you may need to expose him to a new food multiple times before he considers eating it, you can broaden your picky toddler’s horizons by diversifying his meal choices and adding some zest to the presentation. Make sure all food is cut into 1/2-inch or smaller pieces to prevent choking.

Healthy Smoothie

A tasty smoothie can camouflage the fruits or vegetables your toddler refuses to eat. It will also appeal to a toddler who only likes to drink her nutrients. Blend milk, fruit, yogurt, wheat germ, egg powder, juice, honey and peanut butter to give your toddler a healthy boost, recommends the AskDrSears website.

Sampler Tray

If your toddler likes to play and graze throughout the day, the AskDrSears website recommends placing nibble-sized portions of nutritious foods in a tray with compartments, such as an ice cube tray or muffin tin. Fill the tray with nutritious finger foods such as thinly sliced apples, slices of banana, small cubes of cheese, slices of avocado, wedges of hard boiled eggs and bits of O-shaped cereal.

Tasty Toppings

Add nutrients to the meals your toddler enjoys most by topping them, suggests For example, dust his macaroni and cheese with wheat germ and add small fruit chunks to his morning cereal. Other nutritious toppings for various dishes are melted cheese, tomato sauce, applesauce, peanut butter, cream cheese, yogurt and guacamole.


Add some fun to crackers or a bowl of sliced fruit by placing a small cup of whole-milk yogurt in front of it for dipping. Whole-milk yogurt can transform into a healthy, tasty dip for soft vegetable pieces if you puree in some vegetables. Children older than 2 or 3 should have low-fat milk products. Other healthy dipper examples are hummus, tomato sauce and applesauce.

Artistic Presentation

Your toddler may refuse a sandwich, pancake or slice of pizza but she may be less hesitant to take a bite it if it’s shaped like a heart or star. Invest in some cookie cutters for fun shapes. Also play with toppings to make art out of your toddler’s food. A pizza slice, for example, can transform into Mr. Pizza Man when its olives become eyes, its mushroom is a nose and its bell peppers look like a mustache.

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