Toddler eating issues...

Cristine - posted on 07/21/2009 ( 9 moms have responded )

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My daughter is 2 1/2 and she will only eat a handful of items (pizza, spaghetti, cereal, chicken nuggets, pb&j). Granted, I know my husband and I are mostly to blame for this. After I stopped giving her baby food, I would repeatedly give her the items that I knew she'd eat over and over and now that's all she'll eat. She used to eat grilled cheese sandwiches and mac and cheese, now she won't touch them.



I'm over having to make her something different for dinner and I know that she won't starve if she doesn't eat a few meals. Starting today, I'm not giving in to her pickiness anymore. She's getting a small helping of what we're eating and if she doesn't eat it then she'll just have to wait until the next meal.



Does anyone have any advice? Has anyone else had to deal with this and if so, how long was it before your toddler finally gave in and started eating what you were eating?

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9 Comments

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Laura - posted on 07/28/2009

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Try finding a condiment that she likes and use it relentlessly. My daughter loves parmesan cheese and I let her sprinkle it on everything. She feels like shes done something for herself and eats proudly. This works wonders for vegetables!

Laura - posted on 07/28/2009

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My 2 1/2 year old daughter is not very picky but I have noticed she also will not eat certain foods. I think the best way to approach it is to give a small serving of whatever it is that you would like her to eat even if she rejects it. I think she will eventually try it. What I do is sprinkle Parmesan cheese on everything because she likes it and likes doing the sprinkling too! Don't overwhelm her. I've seen parents pile on the food that they want they kids to eat and the kids just become frustrated at the sight of a mountain of carrots. Your daughter sounds like a typical toddler, that's great!

Kim - posted on 07/27/2009

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My daughter (3 year old) is a very picky eater as well. She does eat veggies-if they are frozen. I figured out that she only likes foods that she can eat with her hands (finger foods), nothing on her plate can be mixed. I think she gets overly frustrated if she 1. Doesn't know what she's eating 2. Feels pressured to eat or 3. Sometimes drops food from her fork/spoon ( I think this is why she likes finger foods). I've noticed that exposing her to more and more foods over time (like Natalie suggested) has worked...a little. The "starve" between meals hasn't worked with us, she just whines. There has been several times when I KNOW she'd like something if she'd just try it, but she'd rather stick with what she knows.

Linda - posted on 07/26/2009

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You're doing exactly what you should be doing. Don't cater to her. She will not starve herself. It will take about a week or two for her to come around, but it will happen! My son is a drinker - he will drink until he's full. I had to break the habit by giving him only water with meals, that way I knew he had something to drink if he was really thirsty, but he wouldn't guzzle it down like milk or juice. Now he knows he has to eat before he can have a drink. Stay strong!

Natalie - posted on 07/24/2009

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Research says that it can take up to twenty times of being offered food before a child will taste it. Its what I'm doing with peas at the moment. My daughter loves mashed potatoes, raw carrots, corn on the cob, lamb cutlets, pasta. So at dinner I will cook something she loves and have the peas next to it. Tonight they were mixed in with the pasta. She didn't eat all of them but I noticed she did have some. (probably by accident but since she didn't spit them out like the night before I'm counting it as eating them lol) Also I don't know if this would help but since Nikita started having 'big people food' she has her own place at the table, placemat, dinner set and cutlery. Everything on the plate and in the cup/bowl is all hers to have. Only when everyone is finished eating can we leave the table. I don't know if any of that is helpful. Have lots of patience and don't give in. Good luck!

Laura - posted on 07/22/2009

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i think games help. and i tell my daughter, who's three, that if she takes one bite of my food then she can have two bites of hers or something like that. sometimes she likes what i'm eating and other times she doesn't, but at least she's trying new things which might broaden that handful of items!

Jackie - posted on 07/21/2009

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Good! Don't give in. Luckily my son's a pretty good eater. On occasion when he won't eat a meal I've put before him I use my older sister's technique. The food goes in the fridge and when your little one is hungry that same plate of food comes out. At this age I warm it up a litle. My sister was a task master though. Her 2 boys would get it cold for breakfast the next day! Both are great eaters and turn their noses at NOTHING! Good luck

Jessica - posted on 07/21/2009

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Try putting veggies in your spagetti so she's getting her veggies. I know how hard it is to get them to eat. My son has to be picky NOT by choice though. My son is lactose intolerant and there are a lot things he can't enjoy. Just keep offering her new things and if she doesn't eat what ever the new things let her know she can't have anything until she eats the new thing. I've had to start doing this with my son when I find something new he wants or wants more of something he's had I tell him he has to eat a few bites of the other food before he gets what he wants. Compromise is something I've learned

Erin - posted on 07/21/2009

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i also have fussy eaters, my oldest is almost 6 and is still quite picky, but i am able to adjust most meals, without cooking something completly different, so she will eat with the rest of us, i did the starve them between meals thing, but it didn'twork with my kids as the are small and stubbern, my oldest actually started losing weight. have you tried raw or even frozed veggies? mine only it them raw. also alot of kids will eat anything with dip, we use 3 cheese ranch, my middle child won't eat meat without it. my husband has come up with a series of dinner games, he will play math and spelling games, and he did start this young, he would ask themto eat a 1 bite of something or 3 bites, then as she got older he would ask her to eat 2+3 bites, we are currently working on subtraction, lol. for splelling he would ask her to eat a bite of something that starts with "r" rice. we also found if we withheld thier drink and gave them a sip every few bites they didn't fill up on liquids. i hope this help, good luck

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