When should I be concerned over two year olds picky eating?

Marianne - posted on 01/03/2010 ( 8 moms have responded )

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My two year old has gone from picky eating, to practically not eating at all. She'll eat her breakfasts, but only picks at her lunches, and usually refuses dinner outright. I'm becoming concerned not only about her eating habits, but her nutritional needs.

Famliy members have said this is a phase two year olds go through, but even on our last check up, she was at the lower end of her weight spectrum and her doctor has decided they want to watch it. Is there something I should/shouldn't be doing to encourage her to eat more?

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Shanna - posted on 08/07/2012

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My son is very picky too and just last night i was cutting up a little meat for his plate(which Is the hardest thing to get him to eat) and I didn't really pay any attention to the fact that i was cutting them into shapes, which is something he is learning about and pretty familiar with. Well He yells out square....rectangle....and he's all excited, so I went right along with him and tried to encourage his interest. It worked like a charm...he ate all his meat and wanted more. Then when it came to the corn(which I usually dont have a problem getting him to eat; howver this time I had over cooked it and it was mushy!) I simply identified it a "Little yellow squares"...and gulp...down the hatch went the corn !!!!!!!!! Also I would suggest letters and numbers or using cookie cutters for shapes or u can just cut the food into smaller shapes yourself if u want. Around this age is when a lot of kids are learning letters of the alphabet, numbers, colors and shapes.....so try to make meals fun and interesting to them....whatever is most appealing to them. Good Luck....I really think I've hit the jackpot here this time.

Marianne - posted on 01/06/2010

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Thank you everyone, for your input. I would've come back sooner, but we were dealing with the other end of the espectrum. Less input means less output, which can get uncomfortable.
I think we're probably going to end up putting all of htese suggestions to work. Especially the small frequent meals, and the drinkable nutrients fron the V8 and the Kids Essentials. We do have her on a vitamin, but neither of us thought of the fortified drinks for some reason. Thank you!!

Rachel - posted on 01/06/2010

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My daughter is a very picky eater too. All she really likes to eat is Mac N Cheese, chicken nuggets, fruit, and bread. She is under weight for her age and height and her doctor is watching it. I was told to have her drink a thing of Kid Essentials at least twice a day to help her get all the right things that she needs that she might not be getting from other things. It's nothing to worry about unless the doctor tells you that it's a big problem and you need to do something about it. I'm sure that if the doctor was really worried that he/she would be telling you all kinds of stuff to do and even giving you perscriptions to help. What ever you do don't try to force her to eat.

Kristi - posted on 01/04/2010

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my dtr is about to turn 3 and I thought at first well all kids do it, but then I started to get fed up with it... she was not going to control the house and it is very important that she eats things that at least have some nutritional value. try to do things like peanut butter sandwiches which are high in protein, and when you make dinner put just a few bites of what you made on her plate and tell her that as long as she eats what is on her plate she can have whatever else she wants (as long as it is a dinner type of food) it's harsh but once she realizes that you wont give in she will catch on. then just start increasing the amount by a bite or 2 every other night or so. then eventually by doing this it will widen her range of taste budds. as for lunches give her a cut up apple, or a banana, or grapes or cottage cheese or applesauce. just a healthy snack will do. Don't let her snack too much through out the day, and make sure she is good and hungery when it comes to dinner time. It's not crule to take control and later down the road she will be way better off. Oh and don't forget to praise her (alot) for eating what you give her. even if it is only 3 bites of meat and 1 bite of veggie and 2 bites of whatever else you may make. children love to make there parents proud!!!! : D Good luck!!!! it really has made a world of difference for my child

Amy - posted on 01/04/2010

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I don't know if this would help or not, I have never tried it myself, but I saw an episode on Dr. OZ a couple of weeks ago about a situation like this. What he did was when the family sat down to the table to eat, everyone sat down and got a plate and was served, except the picky eater who refused to eat. I thnk he was 2 or 3 years old. The toddler was seated at the table, but not given a plate, or served. (in the beginning) And as the child sat there and watched his family eating dinner, he grew curious and wondered why he didn't get anything. But mom and dad just didn't really make a big deal of it and let him decide when he wanted to eat. He eventually after about 10 minutes asked for something, and even though it wasn't a serving of everything that was prepared, he DID eat, and he did it without argument. It was a pretty neat idea. It made him feel like he was in control in a sense. I guess that is what toddlers are about at this stage. Trying to take control over anything they can in their lives because they are always having things done for them. Hope this helps. And FYI, I had a son who refused to eat anything for over 3 weeks, and the Dr. kept telling me he will eat when he gets hungry, and he did! I just had to find something he wanted to eat. He lost weight, and was underweight for a bit, but as a long as a Dr. is watching, the child will be fine. My son is 13 years old and has a quite healthy appetite now!! LOL!!

Juliet - posted on 01/03/2010

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My daughter has been a picky eater all her life. She still only eats fruit, corn, peas, fish, pasta, egg white, toast, cucumber, nuts and some cheese. the best advice I ever got was that a child or baby is incapable of starving itself. and I must just relax - youcan't force them to eat. I always made lots of nutritional snacks available and let her graze the whole day. I would give her unthreatening amounts of things she liked for example 4 grapes in a tupperware, or a pice of dried mango, a small piece of cheese etc. By the end of the day she would have eaten a substantial amount of little snacks. She also had tonsil issues which were removed when she was 3 and a half and she now still eats lightly but will eat at each meal without having to be persuaded. I decided not to make meals and issue and instead put her on a very good vitamin and omega 3 supplement and on days where she really hadn't eaten much at all I would give her a meal replacement formula such as Pediasure for her night time milk drink. The phase will pass and you will soon be thinking your fridge door is the front door!!! Good luck and don't stress this phase will pass.

Jennifer - posted on 01/03/2010

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My son is also going through this "phase". He is 21months. Some days he eats great, some days not so. I try variety. He loves fruits and dairy. Try some all fruit popcycles, yogurt push ups, think back to some foods they liked when they started solids. Sometimes just offering food as he is playing gets him to eat instead of making him sit at the table. When he is old enough to understand you don't eat in the living room then I'll worry about it. Right now it is about nutrition. Try making home made smoothies. You can throw vegis and fruit in with some juice and they gobble it right up! We also use a snack cup that he can carry around. Whole grain snacks, dry fruit, wholesome cereals etc...all go great and he can eat when he is hungry. I also find sippy cups with straws helps to change things up. And I also let him have the "junk" too. Nutter butter cookies, gummies etc... Hey we don't always want a salad, do we? Goldfish crackers are awesome. Flavors are great and they aren't so bad for them. Also, my son loves Quaker Rice Cakes. Cheddar Cheese. I also still give him formula that is for up to 24 months old. Mostly on the days I don't feel he ate that good. And I make sure to put his vitamins in a sippy of milk 1st am to make sure he gets those too. Oh, and V8 VFusion Light. Has fruit and vegis and not to bad on sugars.

Alyssa - posted on 01/03/2010

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My son is going through this also, and so is my nephew. They are both 2. My son however is picky, but he still eats pretty good. My Nephew however does not eat well at all. My sister started buying that drink mix, that has all of the vitamins and stuff in it so it at least helps. Try feeding her different foods that maybe she has never tried before and make it fun. what I have also found that seems to help is sectioning off the food in its own groups on a plate..I bought those plates for kids that are all sectioned off. I don't know why it helps but it does. I always show my son that I like what he's eating by taking a bite of it, that seems to help to. Even if you dont want to, you can pretend and just say yum..lol! If you make a sandwich or something cut it into a fun shape or triangles..that always makes it a little fun. Also try giving her a different variety of foods each day so she doesnt tire of one thing. Sometimes I will leave out 3 bowls on the table with maybe dried fruit in one, crackers in the other, and then something else. Gives them a couple of things to choose from. I was actually at target today and Goldfish have a new flavor is called cheesy garden vegetable and it has 1/3 of a serving of vegetable per serving, that may help to get her a little nutrition in a fun way. I bought some!! I hope this helps! Good luck!!

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