Stop Toddler Picky Eaters From Playing With Food
How can I get my toddler to eat his food instead of playing with it?
There are so many factors playing a role with toddlers during mealtime. I think eating with the family, where they see you all eating your food, too, can be quite powerful. And having meals at a time when your toddler is truly hungry is helpful. Even though healthy snacks are important for toddlers because they are growing so fast, you should make sure snack time isn't too close to dinnertime to ensure that your toddler will be interested in eating the "meal."
Also, keep in mind that when you are introducing new foods to your toddlers, it can take eight to 10 exposures for them to truly get comfortable with the new food and like it. So they may be "playing" with the new food a few times before getting to the point where they are willing to eat quite a bit of it.
Kids love to eat with their hands, no matter what their age. (Frankly, I still like finger foods and I'm over 40!) So, considering kids will probably play a little with their food, you might as well use it to inspire healthy eating. Finger foods can be a fun way for picky eaters to get some healthy food into their day (like fruits, vegetables, whole grains and cheese).