Healthy Eating for 6 to 24 month old children (3) Ready to go (12- 24 months)

Picky eating

Beginning in the second year, it is common for children to become "picky" eaters. Most will improve with time. Handling this properly will prevent your child from developing bad eating habits.

Why do children become picky?

  • 1 to 2 year old children become guarded in trying unfamiliar food;
  • Some have strong likes and dislikes;
  • Some are sensitive to a particular food textures or flavours;
  • Drinking too much milk leads to loss of interest in foods.

Dos and Don'ts with picky eaters


  • Eat with your child as often as you can and eat the food that he dislikes with him;
  • Provide choices by including 3 to 4 kinds of food at each meal;
  • Cook and present the food in different ways, such as offering tomato puree soup in place of tomatoes;
  • Help your child become familiar with the food by showing him the real food or pictures of it.


  • Mix the food that you want your child to eat with his preferred food;
  • Tell him that he will get a reward if he eats the food he dislikes;
  • Plead or nag him to eat;
  • Offer him his favourite food shortly after a poorly eaten meal;
  • Offer only his favourite food;
  • Rely on the "picky eater formula" to solve the problem.

Q&A: Does my son need nutritional supplements?

  • Children usually do not need nutritional supplements if they consume a variety of foods and have adequate exposure to sunlight.
  • Consult your doctor if your child refuses eating foods of a particular food group, or if you want to give your child supplements.
(Content revised 08/2017)