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Got a Picky Eater at Home? This Cute Activity Book May Be Just What the Doctor Ordered

Raise your hand if you’ve ever hidden your kid’s spinach somewhere in a heaping spoonful of their favorite pasta dish. (Hey, they need to eat their greens, right?) Or if your toddler has subsisted on Cheerios for dinner more times than you can count. Picky eating is common, experts tell us, but that doesn’t make it any less frustrating for parents dealing with it. 

While there are a few tips and tricks that nutritionists recommend (have you heard the one about serving dessert with dinner?), we recently discovered an activity book designed for parents who are struggling to get their kids to try new healthy foods (so...all parents?). Here’s the lowdown on Little Food Passports

Who is it for? 

The makers tell us that the book is best suited for children between the ages of 3 and 6 who exhibit a few of the below qualities: 

  • Have the ability to peel off stickers
  • Can form some letters on their own
  • Are showing more signs of a desire for independence
  • Do not have any other underlying medical issues that are related to their picky eating 

OK, so how does it work? 

Each activity book comes with detailed instructions to guide parents (and their picky eater) and includes corresponding stickers. Before starting, pick five healthy foods that you'll serve for the meal (don’t get too fancy here—think steamed broccoli, boiled peas, etc.). Hype up the activity to your kid and then when it’s time to eat, point out the healthy foods on their plate. If your kid is old enough, they can then write down the food in the booklet (if not, you can do this for them). Now comes the fun part—your kid gets to use the stickers to give their opinion. A smiley face sticker means they like the food and the neutral face sticker means they don't love it or hate it. Note: The idea is to stay away from the idea that they don't like something. If your little munchkin wants to get their visa sticker, they have to “explore” each food on their plate. 

And will it make my kid love broccoli? 

Here’s what pediatric feeding specialist Kate Bither Devore has to say: “For children that are having trouble trying new foods, I love using the Little Food Passport to help them organize and track new foods they have tried. It helps kids build independence and confidence during mealtimes. Make sure you are doing this activity together and eating with your child! This is so important. Just like children learn other skills by watching and imitating others (especially you!), they will learn to try new foods by following your example.”

But what do parents think? Mom of 5-year-old Lucy tried the booklet and was impressed by the result. “Trying to introduce new foods was always a struggle and almost always ended up with my daughter either not trying it or not saying she didn't like it (though I swear sometimes it was out of spite!). Little Food Passport turned it into a game and made it fun. My daughter got stickers, a booklet and extra time with mom. I found a way to introduce new foods without it devolving into a power struggle. And the biggest bonus was she actually liked some of the new foods! We still do a lot of chicken nuggets and french fries, but now there's also turkey burgers and edamame mixed in, too!” (Other parents report that the booklet has also made the dreaded what-to-pack-for-lunch a little bit easier!) 

It’s also worth noting that the Little Food Passport website has tons of other tips and strategies for how parents can get kids on board with trying new foods.

So, will this activity booklet magically transform your “I only eat bread and pasta” toddler into an asparagus-loving, kale-adoring gourmand? Probably not. But it just might get them to expand their horizons and at least try something beyond the usual chicken nuggets. And hey, that’s good enough for us. 

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