How Do I Get My 2 1/2 Year Old To Eat More Variety???

Krista - posted on 07/03/2009 ( 6 moms have responded )

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Kalle is sooo picky. She doesn't eat vegetables. Lately she is obsessed with bananas, so this is good. But basically she will only eat: chicken nuggets/strips, peanut butter & jam sandwiches on whole wheat, cheese, raisins, bananas, apples sometimes, granola bars, and thats about all I can get her to eat.

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Jen - posted on 07/21/2009

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I agree with the first post- if you eat a variety of foods, and they see you doing so, it's much easier to get them to eat a variety. While there are times when they are exerting their newfound ability to verbalize their likes and dislikes, you can still offer things to them and at least require them to try one bite. My son went through a phase where he didn't like broccoli, and a phase when he didn't like bell peppers. We didn't make him eat a whole bunch of those things during that time, but we continued to eat them, and continued to require that he at least take a couple small bites when we did. He has since decided he likes both those things. There's almost nothing he won't eat or at least try (except spicy food, and I can't blame him for that). Remember that kids like boundaries and expectations, no matter how much they may fuss about things at the time, they will appreciate it later. And give a huge amount of praise when they do show willingness to try things, or finally eat those veggies!

Natasha - posted on 07/13/2009

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I havent read the other replies....But have you tried hiding veg in her food. I hide veg like cauliflower, swede, sweet potato and other such plain coloured food in with my sons mash. mashed up carrot goes in with spaghetti. I bake my own yorkshire puds, and meats that he thinks he doesnt like will get hidden inside batter before baking by just chopping them up really thinly, he likes finding a surprise in them! (even though he wont eat it if i just put it plain on his plate) you can steam fruit so it goes really soft, mash it up and hide it in her yogurts or cereal (weetabix is a good one cos it also adds a sweet taste to it) Also, my son never use to eat things like cucumber, strawberries, orange (basically only fruit he ate was banana and apple) but I constantly kept putting them on his plate - I would waste a hell of alot of food - but in the end, after about 20 lunch times he eventually tried some different foods and now eats loads more healthy food than what he did, say 6 months ago. My son is 2 1/2 aswell. But you've also got to say to yourself that toddlers are extremely fussy and constantly go through stages and wont eat anything thats remotely good for them. BUT at least their tummies will be full. Patience is one thing you definitly need when trying to make them eat a variety of food. If they dont eat it first, second or even third time, you just say to them, never mind eat it next meal time ok.

Jill - posted on 07/11/2009

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I totally know what you mean about 2 years being picky. My son won't eat meat unless its in a lunchable or a chicken nugget.

Lauren - posted on 07/03/2009

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those are good foods and i hear you with the pb and j sandwiches thats all my 2 1/2 yr old sd wants. but give her vegs and dont give her anything else she will cry but let her when she gets hungry enough she'll eat them. You could even try bribing her with the foods she does like. tell her you will give her a sandwich after she has eaten her vegs.
i hope this helps. good luck!

Rebecca - posted on 07/03/2009

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I hear you on the pickyness, I have a 2 1/2 yr old that dosnt eat alot of meat. He will eat veggies and fruit though. I usually try to mix meat in with something he likes, like potatoes. Maybe you can do that with the veggies? Have you tried her on sweet potatoes or parsnips? They are a sweeter veggie and alot of kids take to it better then trying to get them to eat broccoli. Maybe sweet potato fries or you can add zuchini or parsnips to muffins, there are lots of web sites that have different recipies that might get your child interested. But unfortunatly you cant force them to eat something they just dont want as it will just lead to more issues down the road.



Here is a recipe site that might give you some ideas:

http://www.parenting.com/recipes/picky-e...

Allison - posted on 07/03/2009

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We have a CSA (community supported agriculture) membership, which provides us with a large variety of veggies and fruits. My son has been eating from a variety of veggies since he moved to solids because of this. He sees us eating the variety and therefore is more willing to do the same. We also experiment with flavors and rarely use the same recipe. It may be similar, but always expanding and improving.



It tends to be easier to expand the types of fruits children eat because of the innate sweetness. Finger foods like cherry tomatoes, baby carrots, and grapes can be easy to introduce, because they are fun to eat and a little sweet. Sauces are also a fine way to make something more enticing...cheese on broccoli or potatoes, honey (once old enough) on carrots, etc. Don't be afraid to be creative!



You have to be willing to eat a variety as well. You can't teach them anything you're not willing to do. It is okay to offer only a specific meal plan for the family... i.e. you prepare broccoli, potatoes, and carrots with your choice of protein and nothing else is offered. As much as we may like to think that special accommodations will always be made for our children, we know that this simply isn't true. It is okay to begin these lessons now, because they only become harder with time and increased pickiness.



Check out localharvest.org for more info on CSA memberships and you-pick opportunities in your area... who doesn't love picking sweet berries?!

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