Anyone have any suggestions for mealtimes for a 1 and 2 year old very picky eaters?

Suzie - posted on 10/28/2009 ( 8 moms have responded )

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Trying to feed my kids makes me feel very stressed! They don't really like much of anything and when I do find something the next day they decide they really didn't like it after all!! This is very frustrating and makes me hate meal times!! I have more trouble with my 1yr than my two yr. I make creative meals for the older one, like fairy food aka sprinkles on just about anything! LOL but the little one isn't old enough for that. Any suggestions would be wonderful!!!!

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Shannon - posted on 11/03/2009

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I have used all of these ideas with good success, but the best was to show the kids either a picuture of a food pyramid made of the kinds of foods found in each category, or a food guide with samples from each of the food groups and let them pick anything from 3 of the 4 categories. Another really helpful thing I did was to use Molly Katzen's (may have spelled her last name wrong) toddler cookbook called "Pretend Soup". She developed it in a preschool teaching the preschoolers to cook and eat what they made with awesome results. There are adult (regular style) recipes and then follow step-by-step hand-drawn picture recipes with minimal writing for even the youngest preschooler. I strongly recommend this book if you can find it.

Rachel - posted on 11/02/2009

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When my oldest was very little we went through a stage where she wouldn't eat. So I would make little plates of veggies with ranch, cheese, chunks of meat, and fruits that would sit on a chair in the dinning room. As the day went on she would eat and eat, but not at meal time. I think that it was a power strugle or she sensed my irritation and didn't understand it making meal time very stressful. Once she was eating durring the day I reduced the foods and offered them at dinner. Because I knew she had eaten all day there wasn't the pressure for her to eat at dinner when she sat with us and after a few weeks we didn't have any problems.

Heather - posted on 10/30/2009

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My son isnt old enough for this yet but I have read in a parenting magazine that if you give them a choice of foods and allow them to pick how they want it( cut ect.) (like bananas wether they want it whole or cut up or sandwiches cut in half or angles or even crustless) gives them more of a choice and they are more prone to eating different things.

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My daughter is a picky eater as well. Every mealtime I offer her something I know she doesn't like (i.e. broccoli), and every time she doesn't like it. But I keep at it. Also, getting her involved in the kitchen with me while I am cooking helps out a lot too! Because she can't wait to eat something she helped make, or witnessed me making.

Jennifer - posted on 10/30/2009

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In feeding therapy, we would bring out a puzzle and for every bite give one piece to put into the puzzle, or blow bubbles for every bite. They don't always need as much food as you may want them to eat. Cut down on liquids if they are filling up that way. Some kids are even eating more than you realize. Only offer a couple of foods at each meal, not lot of choices.

Heather - posted on 10/28/2009

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I only offer one meal, they either eat, or go hungry until the next meal. The younger ones I will offer a snack to about an hour after we eat, but only because they are so little. I have found that when they are really hungry, they will eat anything. Other wise they are also extremely picky. Spaghetti, pizza, hot dogs, mac and cheese, stuff like that is always a shoe in, but anything else they don't usually eat. Keep offering it, and just make sure they get in one good meal a day.

Jill - posted on 10/28/2009

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i tell my kids this is dinner... they eat because if they don't they will not get a snack at bedtime... they will have to eat their dinner for their snack.... variety is good thenthey can eat what they like off of their plate... my son is allergic to milk, eggs , treenuts and peanuts and all the derivatives of those foods so our choices are limited enough ....

Gina - posted on 10/28/2009

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My oldest was very picky, he would go thru stages when he would only eat two different meals, i.e. pizza and spaghetti (very spoiled). After gaining two more children and being firm at meals about trying the food that was prepared, he was converted and now is not picky. (It was not easy to change this bad pattern). My younger two eat just about everything (except onions). They eat all veggies including fish, brussel sprouts, cabbage, broccoli and peppers. Repeated exposure helps gain a taste for healthy foods. I give them a variety of foods and do not cook by request. Also limit snacks and drinks before and after meal time, until they begin eating at meal time. Try to make meal time fun also set some boundaries and rules. Our rules are stay at the table until excused, try all food as given. Do not say "I don't like it". It is not a big deal if they don't eat everything as long as they try it. If they don't eat it, wrap the plate and put in fridge, later when they say they are hungry, bring out the plate in the fridge and have them finish. Also try to make meal time fun and a family event. Hope some of what worked for me, works for you.

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