Health and Nutrition Information for Preschoolers

Picky Eating

Boy on a bikeDo any of the statements below remind you of your preschooler?

  • "Michael won't eat anything green, just because of the color."
  • "Ebony will only eat peanut butter sandwiches!"
  • "Jacob won't eat peaches because they are 'hairy' or pears because they are 'scratchy.'"
  • "Maria doesn't sit still at the table. She can't seem to pay attention long enough to eat a meal!"
  • "Bananas used to be Matt's favorite food, now he won't even touch them!"
  • "Emily will eat any food—as long as it's white. White potatoes, white bread, white beans. It just has to be white. At least she drinks her milk!"

You are not alone. Picky eating is a typical behavior for many preschoolers. It is simply another step in the process of growing up and becoming independent.

Boy TumblingAs long as your preschooler is healthy, growing normally, and has plenty of energy, he or she is most likely getting needed nutrients.

If you are concerned that your child's picky eating has lasted for a long time or is very restrictive, speak with your child's doctor.

What you say to your preschooler affects his or her eating behavior. View a list of common phrases that help or hinder healthy eating habits.

More on Developing Healthy Eating Habits