How to Control Your Picky Toddler at the Table

February 22, 2019

How to Control Your Picky Toddler at the Table

Parenting life is a struggle that nobody signed up for but naturally happened anyway. It is both something to be thankful for and something that makes you want to pull your hair out. One of the struggles of being a parent is how to control a picky toddler at the table. This is where you are going to start asking yourself what is wrong with the food that you served your child and why your child keeps on fussing about the food.

Your child isn’t the only one who goes through the picky eater phase. For this reason, you have a lot of sources on how to control your picky toddler at the table. Parents have each of their own techniques on how to make your toddler stop on being a picky eater. Each method requires a lot of patience and understanding to get through this stage of their child’s life. The developing child is going to be a pain in the neck, but you love them either way. Your toddler will be persistent and hard to handle especially if they want to have their way. For this reason, you have to keep your sanity intact and ready for the battle that is to come.

Pieces of Advice on How to Control Your Picky Toddler at the Table


If your tricks and strategies still do not work on your baby and still won’t knock down the stubbornness in them maybe these pieces of advice can help you with your dilemma. However, if these tips and tricks won’t do any good then it’s time to visit your child’s pediatrician for it may be a much more severe concern.

  1. Your Child as a Picky Eater is Normal

Most kids are picky eaters especially on the early stage of their life. Always remember that this is normal and it is part of parenthood. Do not consider this as a problem otherwise this will be more stressful for you.

  1.  Every Mealtime is a Family Gathering

Creating a nice and warm atmosphere every mealtime can help in the increase in your child’s appetite. If they still won’t budge and eat show them how happy it is to eat with others. Also, you can attract them by expressing how delicious the foods on the table are. It is required to join dinner or lunch, but it is not a must to eat. This rule is also effective just let your child be there sitting with all of you then observe if they are going to eat or not.

  1. Consider your child’s appetite

Kids have different cravings some have bigger ones, and others have the opposite.  Don’t force your child to eat especially if they don’t have an active appetite. Forcing them to won’t help, and this might lead your child not to go to your dining table whenever it’s time to eat. This could scare them and lose their appetites even more.

  1. Sugar Coated Words are a No-no

Bribing them with sweet delicacies won’t do any good. Asking them to finish their food in exchange for giving them dessert will make them think that sweets are more important than the main dish. As time goes by this trick will not work on them anymore so don’t get used to bribing them.

  1. Stop Bargaining

Don’t force them to take even a small bite if they don’t have an appetite for it. Children might think that other things are much more important than the main healthy meal. They will also consider mealtime as negotiating sessions every day.

  1. Punishment Threat

Never use your power as a parent to make your child finish their meal. This will only make them fear you, and they’ll eat out of terror. They won’t even enjoy a single bite and forcing your child to eat without considering their appetite might lead to sickness.

  1. Follow the Usual Routine

Serve meals at the same time each day. Follow this daily routine and always observe your child if they have appetite improvements. If they did not eat at a certain mealtime, then include snacks three hours after each meal. Let them be filled up with milk or water and see if this will help with their need to eat.

  1. Dipping Sauce Method

Maybe the reason for your child’s lack of appetite is that they don’t like the taste or flavor of their food. Dipping sauces can help you with this situation. For every meal that you serve and your child takes a small bite then did not take another one it is time to give them dipping sauces. This technique is also fun at the same time since your child can experiment with different dip flavors. Dipping sauces can be:

  • Peanut Sauce
  • Hummus
  • Pesto
  • Avocado Sauce
  • Ketchup
  • Mayonnaise
  • Barbeque Sauce
  • Cheese
  1. Keep Them Away from Distractions

The number one distractions when babies are eating are their toys, television shows, and electronic gadgets. Babies tend to focus more on those distractions and finishing their meal won’t be their priority. Turn off the television particularly when their favorite show is on air. Make sure to clean all their toys and have been kept away in the specific toy boxes before they start their meal. Also, this can teach your child how to focus on one thing.

  1. Let Them Get Their Food on Their Own

When you have called out everybody to go to the dining table, don’t place any food on your child’s plate. Let them have their own way and pick their preferred food from the set of dishes on the table. Another trick is to exaggerate your expression when eating your food so that they would get curious about the taste. Children are born curious so tease them until they give away. It is alright if they don’t eat a whole meal but just a bit of every dish as long as they have eaten something the whole mealtime. Also, keep in mind that no child will ever let themselves starve sooner or later they’ll eat what’s been served for them.

  1. Include them in Meal Preparations

Before deciding what the menu is for the day, ask your child first what they prefer to eat. The most effective strategy on how to control your picky toddler at the table because you’ll get to hear their side and not think deeply on what went wrong with the menu for this day. Consider their decision maybe they want to eat a certain dish for that day, this will get them eating and enjoy their meal. However, don’t let your child get used to this strategy every day because too much meal repetitions are not healthy for them. If they suggest the same meal over and over, ask them again for another.

This parenting struggle will pass just like the other concerns. Always consider your child’s preferences and feelings when making decisions for them. Don’t be too hard on them but don’t be that soft also. Use the parent card but not to the point that instead of appreciating your efforts they’d get scared of you. How to control your picky toddler at the table is a very tricky thing, but Spec Kid Club is here to help. Spec Kid Club can give you pieces of advice with more parenting concerns.