An Uncomplicated Life Blog: How To Manage A Picky Eater

Monday, August 13, 2018

How To Manage A Picky Eater

Getting toddlers to eat enough protein their growing bodies need is tough. Here's a great option for busy parents to start their child's day with a high-protein punch!

This post is sponsored by NESTLÉ® NESQUIK® but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

I never thought I'd be the mom of a picky eater. Before I had kids, I was convinced that picky eaters were MADE, not BORN. I had all these grandiose ideas about how all I had to do to have excellent eaters was expose them early and consistently to healthy, organic foods. I'd never make them a different supper than I was cooking - no, all I had to do to get excellent, diverse eaters was make one meal for the whole family, and everyone would eat it happily. Now that I'm on the verge of being a mom of four kids, I know better! Guess what? Picky eaters are born. Tastes and textures are different for everyone, and everyone doesn't like everything. Toddlers seem to be especially fond of everything in the carbohydrate family. Crackers always go over well but grilled chicken? Not so much! I've dealt with a highly picky eater and struggling to get him to eat enough protein. Here's how to manage a picky eater.

I joke with my friends that I sometimes only cook supper at all for Otto. That boy will eat ANYTHING, and a lot of it. His favorite thing to do is eat. If it's been an hour and a half since his last meal, he'll look at me and say, "Mommy, I want to eat now. It's time to eat more!" Protein, veggies, fresh fruit, homemade minestrone soup, lasagna, bratwurst, you name it, he eats it. Three to four eggs plus toast plus fresh fruit is what he eats for his SECOND breakfast of the day (I'm not kidding). It's no wonder this kid is 95% for height and 85% for weight. I'm not concerned about his diet at all! I am concerned about our grocery budget bankrupting us when he's a teenager though...

I digress. 

My first born son, Henry is entirely another story. From 6 months old when we started him on solid food through 15 months, he was a great eater. I exposed him to all sorts of fruits and veggies, and attempted to puree meats for him too. He never got into the meat, but I thought "Well I don't want to eat that either so I don't blame him!" At 15 months old, when he was properly sitting at a high chair and feeding himself at meals, he went on a food strike. He wouldn't eat ANYTHING except blueberries and whole milk. That was it. For two solid weeks. I was baffled! I was in tears thinking that he'd be malnourished and starved!

Eventually I was able to re-introduce yogurt and cheese. Other berries. And whole wheat/whole grain crackers. He clearly didn't die of malnutrition from his two week food strike, but he did continue to be an insanely picky eater. Berries, crackers and dairy are always a hit, but veggies and meats? Only recently (and keep in mind he's four years old) has he even began to TRY these foods. Clearly, that leaves us a protein gap that needs to be filled so that he can grow and so that he stays full at preschool until it's lunch time.

NESTLÉ® NESQUIK® Super Breakfast is made from 100% real milk (that's a big hit for my dairy loving picky eater!) so it's full of Vitamins A and D and calcium. It has ZERO artificial sweeteners, flavors, or colors and ZERO high fructose corn syrup in it, so I feel good about giving it to my kids. And it's loaded with 12g of protein, so my picky eater is getting a great boost of muscle and brain building power to get him through his morning.

If it were up to Henry, he'd eat pancakes and berries for breakfast every morning. I love that I can add this Nesquik® Super Breakfast drink (that's available in the juice aisle at Walmart) to round out his whole grain pancakes and fruit with more protein. It comes in chocolate and vanilla flavors, but my picky eater won't touch anything with chocolate in it. This kid legitimately won't touch chocolate chip cookies. Yeah, he's THAT picky!

Parents, if you struggle with an insanely picky eater like I do, rest a little easier knowing that you didn't create that monster - he or she made him/herself! Keep on exposing them to new foods and encouraging them to try them. Don't force food on them. Praise them when they do try new foods and tell them "we'll try better tomorrow" on days they simply refuse. And to get some of your picky eater's protein, vitamin, and calcium needs in, get Nesquik® Super Breakfast drinks to add to their breakfast! Managing a picky eater isn't easy, but products that taste great and have "hidden" nutrition make it that much easier. 


  1. My youngest son used to be that way. I understand your desperation. I think it is just a phase because now he is such a voracious eater! That Nesquick drink looks great. I will suggest that to my sister too, because her daughter is a picky eater!

  2. I'll have to tell my sister about this for my niece and nephew. This would be great for them on the way to school.

  3. My son used to be a picky eater, he is now the opposite of that. He is a good palate and eats about anything.

  4. I have two kids and both of them are picky eater, especially the little one. Thank you for this great idea this will surely help us a lot.

  5. My kids have always been picky eaters. I will have to try Nesquik® Super Breakfast drink and see if they enjoy that for breakfast!

  6. This post comes in the perfect time. I hope my son wouldn't be a picky eater but if he does, this article is a big help.

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