Picky Eaters and Apples

A whole apple with bites taken out of it from a picky eater

How to encourage a picky eater to eat apples with skin on

You have no idea how happy this picture makes me.

After three years of refusing to eat fresh fruit, my 4 yr old picky eater, Charlie, ate an apple. 


Here’s how we did it (he was 2 years old at this time):

Stage 1: I offered peeled and sliced apple and let Charlie sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on them himself. At the start he’d just lick the cinnamon-sugar topping off and not eat the apple slices. But he TOUCHED them, which was huge. 

Stage 2: We continued with peeled apple slices with cinnamon and sugar, slowly decreasing the amount of sugar offered and slowly increasing the size of the apple slices. 

Stage 3: We moved to peeled but large halves of apples and instead of sprinkling the cinnamon-sugar mix, we put that in a small plate for “dipping”. Again, continuing to decrease the amount of sugar over time.

Stage 4: I started making “striped” apples (leaving some skin on, peeling some) and offered them to Charlie in halves, no cinnamon or sugar (he’d whine for it and I’d just say “that’s not on the menu.”) Eventually he started eating them. 

Stage 5 (last week): I put apples on the counter in full sight but did not offer one. Charlie asked for one, so I handed him a whole apple and said he could have it but I didn’t have time to peel it because I had to wash the dishes. He ate it. This is that picture.

Now to the new moms out there this may seem insane. And everyone, please don’t go putting sugar on your baby’s apple if they are younger than age 2. But trust me, once you are deep in the picky eating arena, it can take some time to fix.

Got a picky eater? Check out our guides + course on Reversing Picky Eating. They are life-changing.

–Jenny Best, founder

Return to Blog