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Picky Eating

Girl Eating a Meal
If your child isn't eating well,
it's time to think about

Organic Vegetables


  • Offer a small meal or snack every 3-4 hours

  • Parent puts 2-4 foods on the table and child chooses from what the parent puts out

Levitated Cheese


  • Child cannot have a snack between the set meal/snack times (don’t allow grazing)

  • Child doesn’t get to choose what is served, but can choose from the options the parent serves


  • Parent encourages child to eat, but does not put pressure on child to eat in any way

  • If the child chooses not to eat, it’s okay!  Another meal will be offered in 3-4 hours

Structure and Limits for mealtime

Kids do best with structure and limits.  When they know what to expect, they do a better job of eating. 

Children and carer together eat fruit as a snack in the kindergarten, nursery or daycare.j

What Does this Look Like?

Example 1:

8 - BREAKFAST: oatmeal with milk and peanut butter

11 - LUNCH:  mac and cheese + canned green beans + orange slices

2 - SNACK: applesauce + toast + milk

5 - DINNER:  chicken + potatoes + peaches + roll

8 - BEDTIME SNACK toast + jam


Example 2:

10am - breakfast: cereal + milk + canned fruit

1pm - lunch: quesadilla + canned black beans + chopped mango

4pm - snack: toast + cheese slices

7pm - dinner: meat and veggie soup + roll + strawberries

9pm - bedtime snack: crackers + milk


Example 3:

6am - breakfast: eggs + toast

9am - snack: apples + peanut butter

12pm - lunch:  leftovers from dinner, curry + rice + mango

3pm - snack: cottage cheese + pineapple

6pm - dinner: hummus + pita + cucumbers + bell pepper

Tips for success:

  • It doesn’t matter what time your meals are, as long as you routinely offer a meal every 3 to 4 hours.

  • Don’t ask your child if they are hungry.  Just offer a sit down meal every 3 to 4 hours and eat with them!

  • Do not allow grazing.  Make your child wait until the next meal/snack time to eat.

  • Don’t let your child have snacks, milk or juice between the meals you prepare every 3-4 hours.

  • Don’t ask your child what they want, you can let them choose between options, but don’t open up the battle of asking them what they want.

  • Always sit down and eat with your child, avoid eating on the run.

  • Avoid packaged snack foods, they are expensive and encourage a child’s preference for overly sweet and salty foods.  Instead serve simple foods like fresh fruit, cheese, bread and nut butters as shown in the examples.

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