A few days ago, the postman came by just as my three-year and I were going out to the door. Right in front of my son, he handed me a copy of a Christmas catalogue – a massive collection of aaaaallll the toys children (or the children at heart) could ever wish for this Christmas.
My son and I spent an afternoon pouring over the magazine. I’m lucky that when it comes to buying things, I have a unicorn child. He would look at the item, decide if he already has the item (I don’t need this one, mam) or if he doesn’t have it yet and maybe Santa could get it for him (since we haven’t properly done Santa yet, I’m fascinated as to how Santa figures in to all this but that’s another story altogether).
Anyway, that whole episode got me thinking that, since it’s now September, perhaps it’s time for me to regularly publish a Christmas Gift Guide (like the one for train-loving toddlers available now). I’ve done one for the new baby in the family and figured, since I’ve been writing a lot about picky eaters, I might as well put together an easy-peasy guide for anyone struggling to come up with the best Christmas gifts for picky eating toddlers (and let’s face it, their most likely stressed out parents).
So, ta-da! Your Amazon Christmas Gift Guide For Picky Eating Toddlers!
Because the struggle to get to a shop with a young child and said child not figuring out that the present is for him is absolutely real. So, you’re welcome. 🙂
Side Note: Some of the presents here are big items and I strongly recommend you buy them in advance (think, September or October) to make sure there are no mistakes that will make you ask for a replacement or a refund.
What to give a picky eater
This Christmas, you may be a bit stumped with gift ideas for the picky eating toddler in your family. If you want to give a gift that will be fun and also help them become more adventurous with food, try the items in this section.
Not only do they usually go on sale – so nab them before the prices go up (usually happens on the run-up to Christmas), they’re also available on Amazon so you don’t have to go schlepping to a store and worry about the logistics of it all.
It can just arrive at your doorstep, ready to be wrapped up and hidden away until the big event.
The top play kitchen on Amazon has nearly 3,000 reviews (mostly 5 stars) and over 300 questions answered.
It’s made of MDF, wood and plastic and can take a while to assemble (it’s got so many parts!) but as you can see from the video above, it’s pretty phenomenal.
Play kitchens – together with the accompanying accessories basically means that children will handle a variety of food items, making them far more likely to try new foods.
This would be an excellent Christmas gift for a picky eating child.
This Melissa & Doug Play Food set is made of wood (I absolutely abhor the feeling of the plastic ones), comes in 4 convenient and easy-to-tidy-up crates and basically help children to “plan a well-balanced meal. It helps introduce the basics of nutrition, and can be used to teach early number skills, colour recognition, sorting, and grouping”.
It also goes on sale quite often so grab it as soon as you see the price dipping under $19.
Another way to encourage your picky eater to handle food is to really get him excited about it.
If your child loves pretend play and already has play food and a play kitchen, then why not go all in and get him a chef costume too?
You can even get this set personalised with your child’s name.
And, if you buy at the right time, you can get it for less than $35. That’s a bargain!
Incorporating more messy play activities into your picky eating toddler’s daily activities can help them become less neophobic when it comes to eating.
There are many ways to do this but our favourite is to use kinetic sand.
We prefer kinetic sand because it doesn’t stick to anything but itself so it’s easier to clean than regular sand. It also doesn’t dry out and can come in different colours (if you wanted).
We love this particular brand of kinetic sand (and other Amazon customers agree with us if you check the reviews) because it’s gluten-free, dust-free, stain-free and never dries out. Perfect when you don’t have outdoor space and have to risk your child doing messy play indoors!
Full disclosure: We live in a dinky wee flat with a communal garden so we can’t put up a sandpit outside. Also, we live in Scotland where it rains often (understatement of the year). So, we ended up having to be creative with our child’s messy play.
Thank you, IKEA for this wonderful play table which we use as crafts storage, desk, indoor sandpit and coffee table.
We highly recommend!
If your picky eating child loves to read, then this might be the perfect present for her.
It’s a classic ABC primer that also teaches upper- and lowercase letters to preschoolers as well as introduces fruits and vegetables from around the world.
The author also provides a glossary at the end, which contains interesting facts about each food mentioned in the book.
If your child is into flashcards, then this particular food flashcard, with its wide selection of basic and uncommon food items, will encourage your child to eat already familiar foods that he may not be keen to try as well as encourage him to try totally new foods.
Exposure to something new doesn’t have to mean splurging on super expensive stuff.
Sometimes, cheap and simple is the way to go and these flashcards certainly are that.
Currently, you can get them for less than $15!
Or, you can get your child the exposure to new foods that he needs without even paying for it.
Yes, you can get his videos for free on YouTube anyway but who wants to risk their child watching YouTube? Especially after seeing this video below?
In our opinion, if you’re going the route of screens, Amazon is a safer bet than YouTube. Hands down.
What to give a picky eater’s parents
Now, if you’re not the parent of the said picky eating child, then you might want to consider giving the (probably stressed out) parents something to help them relax a bit.
Some time to themselves would be perfect but that’s probably not possible given that Christmas is usually the time when family traditions are made.
Sometimes, the best way to help a parent who’s stressing out over their child’s picky eating is to let them know that it’s totally normal and give them information that will help them cope with it.
Enter Sarah Ockwell-Smith’s highly informative and evidence-based book – a must-read for every struggling parent out there.
Another thing that will help parents is the knowledge that getting children to help in meal prepping, planning and cooking usually encourage them to try new foods and even to eat more.
Based on our personal experience, this book is a game-changer.
The fact that cooking is a form of messy play must have something to do with the fact that our neophobic child who panicked whenever he stepped on or touched something squishy (he once had a meltdown because he stepped on cooked rice with his bare feet) is now confidently whipping up batter, licking chocolate off his fingers (he used to hate it) and now needs no more than a maximum of two introductions to new food (even greens!) before he decides that he “likes them after all”.
Perfect Christmas present to help parents of picky eaters.
Another great Christmas present for the stressed-out parent of a picky eater is this massager, which can be used for neck, shoulders, the back and legs.
Trust us, parents worry about their picky eaters.
Worry tightens the muscles and makes it difficult to relax.
This massager will be greatly appreciated.
If you’re lucky, you might even get it for less than $45 – a cheap bargain for rest and relaxation!
Everyone needs this to relax but especially stressed-out parents that are worrying about their food-refusing, totally picky children.
If my once bath-hating husband is now looking forward to a relaxing soak in the bath, then I can guarantee that anyone would be happy to get these (unless they’re allergic to any ingredients, in which case, scrap this particular bit of recommendation).
Obviously, this will only work if someone will be looking after the parent’s young child so you might want to combine this Christmas present with a babysitting offer.
And there you have it. your Amazon Christmas gift guide for picky eating toddlers and their stressed-out parents.
What about you?
Do you already have something lined up this Christmas? Let us know in the comments below!