20 ways to make food fun for a picky eater

Updated: Mar 30


Having a picky eater can suck the joy out of mealtimes for everyone. This works against us in many ways:

  • We are not enjoying our food and so our fussy eater is not seeing us eating with joy, an important role modelling experience.

  • Our child is not looking forward to food or eating and is therefore less likely to eat well.

  • Mealtimes can become a trial rather than a pleasure.

Putting the fun and the joy back into eating is a big part of my focus as a picky eating advisor. The good news is that there are many ways we can do this. I’ve come up with 20 of my favourites, but feel free to suggest any others you can think of.


20 ways we can make food fun


Before we dive into these though, a word of caution. The focus is on the fun, not the eating. The more relaxed and more enjoyment our child feels around food the more likely they are to eat. However, if they feel that we are doing something ‘fun’ in order to trick them into eating it, they will know, and it could backfire.


The more relaxed and more enjoyment our child feels around food the more likely they are to eat.

Serving food in new ways or engaging our child will be helpful for a picky eater, but not necessarily in the ‘do this so you can eat it’ sort of a way. The more selective and food anxious a child, the more positive experiences around food are valuable, but the less focus on the eating part the better.


I have seen all of these strategies be a win for picky eaters but naturally it’s important to look at the ones that are the best fit for your child’s age and stage – and your energy levels!!


1. Change of scenery.

Often, especially for dinner, it has been become a place of failure around food. A move to a different place can reset expectations. With warmer weather it’s easy to move outside or go to the park. If the weather is not so kind, then a picni