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How do you feed a picky eater?

We try to feed our 24-month-old son the same food for dinner as we are having ourselves. Obviously, we mash or chop it and avoid the strong flavours he doesn't like (curry or garlic).

Most of the time, he will point blank refuse without even tasting, demanding apple-sauce or fruit or something sweet. Fruit is good but we want to give him a variety.

However if we set up an iPad with sesame street on he'll be so distracted that he'll eat pretty much whatever we put in front of him, even asking for more when he's finished.

How do we get him to accept the food without the iPad?

  • Closed as duplicate: Your son might not say he's picky (as in the other question). but the result is the same. The answers to the linked question are valid for your situation too. May 3, 2011 at 13:23
  • Agree probably the solution is to give him food, get a bit angry if he doesn't eat then just put the food away and give the same food next meal. Apr 5, 2018 at 11:54

2 Answers 2


The shovel while distracted might lead to shovel while distracted later in live.

If the kid isn't ill or underweight just placing him with some food in front of him should let him eat himself as much or little as he wants. Our kid doesn't needs any more help with feeding, he can use a spoon and fork himself and that made him eat a lot more different foods.

If he reacts negatively to a new type of food I usually place a piece inside his mouth for him to either swallow or spit out. If eh still spits out the food after the third attemp he gets some different food.

Do remember that smaller kids dislike strange/strong flavours. Just some potatoes and vegetables and he/she should be fine.


Try distracting him with something else while you feed him, something he will like. Often, when our youngest is fussy, my wife will act like she is going to give him a cookie with one hand then put the spoon in his mouth while he is distracted. She'll do this two or three times then give him a little bit of cookie. I'm not big on the tv thing for distracting while we eat, we used to do that but found our oldest concentrated on it too much; now we sit as a family and talk while we eat. I believe good habits start young.

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