Do you have a toddler or young child who is an extremely picky eater? Or do you know a mom who is struggling with a picky eater? Then you NEED to check out this list of gift ideas for picky eaters and their parents!
This list has a combination of toys for toddlers and kids to help make mealtimes more fun and help learn to enjoy food, as well as helpful gifts you can give to parents of picky eaters that may improve their child’s eating. After all, it’s the moms (and dads!) who really struggle when our kids don’t eat well, right??
All of the gift ideas and recommendations on this list are either things that we have OR are on our list this year to help our son learn to eat better!
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A cooking club subscription is a fun way to get kids interested in cooking and make them open to trying new foods. Every month you get a box filled with recipes (savory AND sweet), activities that go along with the recipes, and a cooking tool so you can make special memories together in the kitchen. This is an awesome experience gift for kids that you can do indoors!
Read more about our review of Raddish Kids and why we love it!
If you prefer to bake with your kids, then this baking kit with pre-measured ingredients is a great way to go! It still gives kids the exposure to cooking and new ingredients while making something DELICIOUS that they will enjoy. This one is not a prescription, so you can just order one baking kit and enjoy with your family!
This Dinner Winner plate encourages kids to take a bite of food from every container, making it a great way to get picky eaters to try new foods! There are several different themes to pick from, depending on what your little one likes!
This height-adjustable step stool is made with child safety in mind and is the PERFECT way for toddlers and young kids to get involved with helping you cook, which can reduce picky eating. There are lots of other designs and price points to make this fit well into YOUR kitchen.
I created these downloadable printable placemats to keep our son seated at the table. These are great because you can print one for every sibling or for every kid at the kid's table for the holidays, or print one for everyone in your child's daycare or preschool class, all for one low price.
This is a fun book to read and kids get to see that trying new ingredients can be fun! Exposing kids to the idea of trying new foods in a safe, no-pressure way (such as a book) is important to help them overcome picky eating.
Pair this book with the Make Your Own Pizza gift idea below!
Our son loves taking our pizza orders and serving up pizza. This is a GREAT gift for picky eaters because most kids like pizza and like pretending to make something for us parents, and at the same time they see that things like broccoli, peppers, mushrooms, olives are not "SCARY" foods and can even be fun to play with!
This is a classic kids toy for a reason - most kids LOVE pretending to be adults and cook food. Encourage them to pretend to play with some of the foods they don't eat (yet) to get them used to the idea of handling those foods and eating them! There are lots of other designs and price points to make this fit into your house. I personally love this one because it's not an eyesore like many colorful kids toys!
This is a fun way to get kids eat to shovel food into their mouths!
If your child is really into construction, then you might need to go beyond the two basic utensils and go all-out with this awesome construction plate!
Kids are more likely to try a food if it is cut into a fun shape, and even MORE likely if they help you cut it! I've seen it happen over and over with my son - it works!
These cookie cutters are great because they are metal at the bottom (which means they are actually going to work), but have a plastic edge on top so that kids can press down without hurting their hands.
Try these cookie cutters, see if they work magic for your little one!
Continuing on with the cooking theme... having your own kitchen tools will make kids more excited about cooking! Our son LOVES his toddler-safe plastic knives and they actually cut food while still being safe for him to hold. He is so much more willing to give a piece of vegetable a try if he is slicing it and touching it, versus if he is served a vegetable during dinner.
Playing with pretend food is a great way to expose kids to new foods and the idea of eating some foods without any pressure. This kid has fun foods such as desserts and fries and healthy foods.
Many kids can benefit from sensory play - we've seen our son become more open to trying new foods and textures as he learned to play with different textures outside of the dinner table. Sensory play has really helped us! This table is made for adding different sensory materials and is designed to make sensory play fun for kids.
If you don't want to commit to a sensory table, this sensory box kit is a great start! Adding dinosaurs to kinetic sand will encourage kids to keep playing!
Gifts for Parents of Picky Eaters
The gift ideas above were all kinds of fun gifts for toddlers and young children who happen to be picky eaters.
The ideas below are more geared towards parents of picky eaters to help your child overcome picky eating and make mealtimes less stressful for you, the parents.
52 Weeks of Sensory is a program I developed for my son to make sure I do at least 1 sensory activity with him every week for a year. Our feeding therapist recommended sensory play to help our son overcome picky eating. A lot of the activities here are focused on kitchen and food play, which really helped our son be open to trying new foods.
This is an online course we took to really understand our son's picky eating and why he has issues trying new foods. Mealtime works is a program developed by an occupational therapist specializing in picky eating, and it's a step by step course that really helped us see that we are not alone in this picky eating journey and taught us how to approach feeding our son.
The 1-on-1 attention we got during this program was priceless, and I am forever thankful that I found this! I highly recommend signing up for Mealtime Works, and here is a free workshop to get started with helping your child if you are not ready to sign up for Mealtime Works yet.
This might not seem like a gift idea, but if your child is drinking Pediasure to help them gain weight, I would highly recommend trying Orgain - an organic version. Pediasure has artificial flavors so I have avoided it as a parent for that reason.
Orgain shakes come in several flavors: chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry, and they also make energy bars which have more fiber and are a little healthier than typical kids energy bars.
Looking for other gift ideas for toddlers?
Looking for other holiday ideas for toddlers?
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