How to Create the Perfect Pick Plate for Fussy Eaters
As any parent knows, family mealtimes can be one of the most stressful parts of a day. Getting your child to come to the table, let alone sit and eat, can be quite the challenge. If it’s all too common for your fussy eater’s plate to be left untouched at mealtimes, there’s a few tricks and parent hacks that can help.
A picky eater plate of different foods can be a good way to get your child to sample a greater variety of foods. Simply put, this is when you put a little bit of everything on your child’s plate to pick and mix. It means they don’t get overwhelmed by any one item, and get to enjoy a wider variety of food and foods groups all in one place.
We’ve put together some picky plate ideas below, ideal for after nursery, for a mid-afternoon snack, for mealtimes, or even as kids party food ideas. In addition to this, if you can pick a plate that makes mealtimes fun, it will help to create positive associations with dining.
Why is my child a fussy eater?
But first, if your child is a picky or fussy eater, rest assured you’re not alone. Half of all parents with a child of two year’s old report picky eating behaviour.
Fussy eating itself, has been described as an “unwillingness to eat familiar foods, or to try new foods, as well as strong food preferences” according to Science Direct.
"Make mealtimes enjoyable and not just about eating." (NHS)
Picky eating is a common problem in toddlers, especially between the ages of 18 months and four years old, when they discover their independence.
There may be a variety of reasons, including, but not limited to:
- Your child exerting their independence as they reach todderldom and learning to feed themselves
- Food neophobia – a general fear of trying new foods – it’s quite common in toddlers, but something they tend to grow out of
- It’s just another phase they’re going through
- They may have particular food tastes, or sensitivity around certain tastes
- They’re learning what foods they do and don’t like
- They might just be slow eaters
Food ideas for your picky eater
If you’re looking for a children’s sharing plate, or picky plate ideas, here’s three inspiring ideas for you. Make sure you’re using a fun plate they’ll love using, and one that is free of BPA and other nasties. Munchy Play plates, for instance, are free of BPA and melamine.
So, if you’re ready to go, here’ are three fun pick plate ideas, which compromise foods from the four main food groups to promote balanced meals, including:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Dairy (or dairy alternatives)
- Meats and Proteins
A great option for a plant-based diet.
- Sheese wrap (or other plant-based cheese)
- Carrots, brocolli and cucumber batons
- Slice of smoked salmon
- Apple slices
The perfect pick plate for fussy eaters at dinner times.
- Chicken drumstick
- Pitta strips
- Grated cheese
- Apple, mango and kiwi medley
Ideal for movie nights in, kids party food and post-nursery snacks.
- Popcorn (children age 4 and upwards only)
- Sliced strawberries
- Dried mango slices
- Low-sugar kids yoghurt
When to get further help for a fussy eater toddler?
While toddlers are quite adept at knowing when they’re full, the NHS advises to instead focus on how much they’ve eaten over a week. And as long as they are active, gaining weight and seem well, there should be no cause for concern. However, when in doubt, do speak to a professional caregivers.
If you enjoyed this article, check out our top tips for kids party food ideas for your next party!