Skip to main content

7 healthy foods even the pickiest eaters will enjoy

It’s not uncommon for a toddler to be a picky eater. Refusing to eat certain foods is just something that comes with being a toddler. During this stage of your child’s life, they develop food preferences, which means they might love carrots one day and hate them the next.
Don’t give up hope just yet. Here are seven healthy food options that even the pickiest eater will enjoy at mealtime.

Happy toddler eating from red bowl
Image used with permission by copyright holder


Pineapple has a lot to offer picky eaters, especially toddlers, who are still developing their palette. It’s tart, it’s sweet, and the texture of pineapple is something new for toddlers to explore. You can also try adding small chunks of pineapple to yogurt or a smoothie if your child tires of the plain fruit.
Aside from that, pineapple offers some great health benefits for your little one. First and foremost, it’s high in vitamin C. Vitamin C can improve your child’s immune system, keeping them healthy during a time in their life when they’re introduced to lots of new germs.


Hummus is extremely versatile in that you can incorporate it into your picky toddler’s diet in multiple ways. Introduce hummus at mealtime by spreading it on a sandwich as a condiment (especially if your toddler doesn’t like mayo and wants a substitute) or as a dip paired with crunchy veggies like celery and bell peppers.
If your toddler seems to really enjoy hummus, you can get creative with the vast array of flavors out there, including pesto, sweet potato, and avocado hummus. This creamy chickpea dip is full of fiber and protein, making it one of the healthiest options out there.

Pomegranate seeds

If your toddler seems to have a sweet tooth, this could be a safe bet. Pomegranate seeds are sweet and tangy, making them a perfect (and nutritious) treat for your picky eater. These small but flavorful seeds are full of vitamins and minerals, and even pack a punch of fiber, too. In fact, this might be the healthiest snack on our list.
These tasty seeds can be purchased fresh — either bagged or still inside the pomegranate — or frozen. Both fresh and frozen pomegranate seeds will have the same nutrients.


Celery is the perfect vegetable for toddlers to nosh on. Why? It’s easy to dress up for mealtime. A celery stick has plenty of room in the middle to fill with spreads like ricotta, hummus, or cream cheese, depending on what your toddler likes. You can even make this veggie more appealing with kid-friendly names, like “ants on a log.” Fill the middle of the celery stick with peanut butter and place a few raisins in the peanut butter, as if they were ants in a line.

Frozen grapes

Some toddlers seem to take issue with grape skin and will refuse to eat them, solely because of the skin. Freezing grapes can change that.
Grapes are loaded with nutrients, like vitamins K and C. They’re also really easy to incorporate into your toddler’s mealtime. You can let your child enjoy pieces of frozen grapes or even blend them into a smoothie.
Keep in mind that you shouldn’t feed whole, frozen grapes to a child younger than age 4. But this treat will be OK so long as you cut the grapes into small pieces before freezing.

Sweet potato fries

If your child likes French fries, there’s a good chance they’ll like sweet potato fries. These are simple to make — just slice up a sweet potato, drizzle a little olive oil on top, and sprinkle some salt and pepper before baking. This is also an excellent option for toddlers who love sweet potatoes but might be getting a little bored with the consistency and texture.

Sweet potatoes, in general, are very nutritious — with lots of vitamins, minerals, and fiber — and encourage good gut health.
Although you’ve probably heard that carrots are great for your vision, sweet potatoes have plenty of beta-carotene that turns into vitamin A, which promotes healthy eyesight.


Although veggies can sometimes be a big hit or miss with picky toddlers, cucumbers are a great option. They have a great crunch to them, and sprinkling a little salt and pepper on some slices is an excellent way to introduce this refreshing snack. At the same time, cucumbers can be a little bland without any seasonings — this could be ideal for a toddler who doesn’t enjoy more flavorful veggies yet.
Cucumbers have a good amount of vitamin A and vitamin K, but they’re also 95% water. That means that your little one can keep hydrated with this snack.

Smiling toddler at table eating
Although having a picky toddler can be a little frustrating at times, don’t worry. Their food preferences will continue to grow and change. Until then, continue introducing them to healthy foods (like the seven above) during mealtime until you find snacks they enjoy.

Meanwhile, check out our picks for the healthiest fast-food options for kids. These will hopefully help you make smarter choices when eating out.

Editors' Recommendations

10 foods to avoid while breastfeeding (and some good, nutritious ones that help prevent colic)
Find out what foods to eat and not eat while breastfeeding
Mom breastfeeding newborn in bed

Breastfeeding gives your baby one of the healthiest starts in life. While your baby gains many valuable nutrients through breast milk, it's not uncommon for them to react unfavorably to certain foods you eat as well. For the most part, you and your baby will not experience any issues, but just in case, we’ve brought you information about foods to avoid while breastfeeding, as well as which ones to include to ensure that your baby is gaining vital nutrients.

Does what you eat impact your breastfeeding infant?
A mother's diet and her breast milk are intertwined. While a breastfeeding diet doesn't need to be restrictive, it should be a healthy one. According to the Mayo Clinic, choosing healthy foods helps with breast milk production. Mom's diet should contain a mixture of lean proteins, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.

Read more
7 of the best fast-food items for kids you can feel good about grabbing
Make healthier choices at the drive-thru with these foods
A toddler reaching into a bag of fast food in the car

Let’s face it, fast food isn’t usually synonymous with healthy eating. Grabbing a Happy Meal for a hungry toddler isn’t something most parents like to do often, but sometimes it's necessary. On those race-against-the-clock days when you’re juggling errands, doctor's appointments, and the sacred nap schedule, you may not have the luxury of preparing a meal for your baby at home.

Fortunately, most fast-food restaurants have expanded their menus to include more options than just the standard burgers, fries, sugary sodas, and deep-fried fare that have given them a bad name. Whether you’re on a road trip or just in the middle of a busy afternoon, it is possible to keep your pint-sized passengers satisfied with a quick and affordable drive-thru meal. We've compiled some of the best fast-food options for kids to help you when you're looking for healthier options.

Read more
7 fun 4th of July games the whole family can play
Make Independence Day sparkle with these 4th of July ideas
Two kids sitting in front of a U.S. flag

Many families mark the Fourth of July holiday with backyard picnics and barbecues. Sometimes, relatives and friends come over, but usually, the patriotic holiday is a time for families to spend a bit of quality time together enjoying parades and fireworks.

Having a fun menu of 4th of July games for the family is a fabulous way to spend this summertime holiday, especially if you are hosting a celebration. These family activities also help make the time between that morning parade and the evening fireworks go a lot faster for excited little ones who just can't wait. If you need some inspiration for 4th of July ideas for family fun, don't roll the dice. We've got sparkling suggestions that will be a big bang.

Read more