my daughter is 3 and she won't eat what we eat, she lives on junk food and i've tried everything. i'm starting to get worried that she's not getting the things she needs from the food she does eat.

Daveen - posted on 11/02/2008 ( 16 moms have responded )

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could anyone give me any advice on how to help me get my daughter to eat the food we eat.

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Rhoda - posted on 11/04/2008

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I have the same problem with my 3 year old. Have tried everything. Finally had to just say that she could either eat what we were eating or not. Have had to make her stay at the table until everyone is finished and that has helped. Eventually the pouting ends and the longer we sit there the better the chances are of her eating something. Doesn't always work and it's a constant battle but at least she's eating something other than chicken nuggets for dinner.

Josette - posted on 11/04/2008

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also try not to let her snack,all thro the day so wen it gets to lunch or dinner time she will be hungry eg... if she asks to have something to eat an hr b4 dinner try not to let her assure her you are going to start dinner,by the time dinner is ready you know she is going to be hungry,and she is more likely to eat wots on the plate.good luck.

Josette - posted on 11/04/2008

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hey there,i have a 2 and 3 yr old boys,a good way to introduce vegtables is to make a pasta sauce with blitzed up cooked broccolli and carrot in it,with a tomatoe base,for lunch my boys like pick bits we call it,when i will give some chicken some cut up cucumber,a few grapes a few mini chedders and try to change the lunches everyday to different things,my boys love having the choice,try not to put cheese and bread and see if she choses anything else of the plate,if you make a homemade shepards pie mash up cooked veg into the mince,she wont know its in there,hope this helps.xx

Kathy - posted on 11/03/2008

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Keep trying! Statistics say you need to introduce new foods at least 15 times before kids will even be open to it... that's a lot of times! We went through this with my son - it was a long 7 months (very devastating), but now at 22 months - he's eating more than just pizza, pho, and french fries - and eating what we eat! Up until now I was making multiple meals a day, it was nuts! You need to just keep trying. Try not to get discouraged. What's your daughter's ped say when you mention potential malnutrition based on what she does eat? I hear it's very difficult for malnutrition to occur at such an early age. You could also try to sneak fruits and veggies into any foods she will eat... Also, if iron deficiency is of concern, try a multi-vitamin with iron. The Pediasure drinks are great supplements/additions as well! Good luck!

Chelsea - posted on 11/03/2008

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Your daughter can only eat what you give her. If she doesn't want to eat the food you are then, take it off her tray and walk away. She'll cry and try her hardest to get your attention but ignore her. Your child won't starve so let her be for a while and then offer the food again. Keep doing this until she sees that you're not giving up and that YOU are the boss. You'll be in it for the long haul but don't be discouraged. Once she understands that you're not giving in, table time will be an enjoyable bonding experience like it should be. It might sound rutheless but it works. I use this method on my son and he still loves his mama ;)

Denise - posted on 11/03/2008

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Same problem here, my son is 3.. eats scrambled eggs, yogurt, peanut butter jam sandwiches, cheese and crackers, some cereal, he likes raisins and crasins.. but he has been in this phase since he was about 2 where he won't eat what we do... I feel bad cause I too worry if he is getting what he needs. I have come to the point I just give him what he will eat.. figuring peanut butter at least has protien in it as well as eggs, and yogurt should be pretty good...

and he will usually tell me when he is hungry, I offer the food we eat to him and no surprise he won't have it. So as boring as his diet seems, I just feed it to him because thats what he will eat.. is that bad?

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This might work put out food she woulden't normally eat on the table make it colour-full leave it there it mite take a while see if she has a nibble that mite work dont show her its hers let her whach u serve it up.

Stacy - posted on 11/03/2008

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My daughter is 2 and she is a carb queen. She refuses most everything. I give her the best foods I can for what she will eat, but they aren't the "best" foods. Months ago I started giving her a PediaSure/generic drink every day. If you read the label you will see each 8oz drink is LOADED with nutrients and I am confident that she's going to be ok despite her current "diet". I tried the Green Machine/Naked Juice until I read and comprehended the amount of sugar in those. EEEEK. The PediaSure comes in vanilla, chocolate and strawberry. There is no way she would turn her nose up to that.



She's healthy as a horse, in the 90% of her age with weight and weight (genetics help too) and she is overall a very happy camper.





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Ashley - posted on 11/03/2008

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My son won't eat what we eat either - but I just give him healthy snacks and a multivitamin. I figure as long as he is eating cheese and crackers and popcorn and apples and other fruit and yogurt during his snacks, then whatever he eats at meal time won't make too much of a difference. Just keep offering her food at meal times - some day she will start trying new things.

Also please don't give her candies or cookies - keep it to whole grain carbs or dairy and fruits and vegis. This way you know most of her diet is good.

Good luck.

Jamie - posted on 11/02/2008

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I have a suggestion...I was watching that new tv show the Doctors...there was a segment on a picky eater. One of the dr's did a "house call" He sat down with the family to eat their dinner. Everyone at the table was served except for the picky eater. When the picky eater saw that everyone else was eating he wanted to eat too. He ate up all of his food. I hope that helps...

Tiffany - posted on 11/02/2008

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I have a 7 year old daughter who has always been very fussy and still is! I learnt very early on to not stress (doesn't make them eat more!!!) and make sure everything I offer her is healthy so I know I have done the best I can - if no junk food there she can't eat it and will have to have something else or be hungry! She has never eaten big meals - and my 2 year old son now eats more than she does at dinner time!! I dish up what we are all having and if she doesn't want it then bad luck she goes hungry. Each child is different - I felt guilty that I had done something wrong and should have 'taught' her better but my son has proven that kids are who they are - I offer the same foods she spat out as a baby (most things I tried giving her!) and he eats everything and anything so I give up!!

The big thing is she continues to grow and is one of the tallest in her class and top in reading, etc so obviously gets what she needs - write down what your daughter has day to day and you would be amazed at how much she does have!

Another trick we have started that is working with complaints about the food is she chooses what we have on a Tuesday night and the deal is she then can't complain about other nights or she can't choose the following Tuesday (I know your daughter is probably a bit young for this but keep in mind for when she's older!)

Good luck and know you are certainly not on your own!

Mara - posted on 11/02/2008

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Are you worried about her getting the nutrients? If that is the case. What about giving her the "green juice" made by Bolthouse or Naked Juice? That has tons of vegetables and tastes like a fruit juice. I give my daughter that every morning since she would live off of pasta and cheese forever.



Now that she is 3 1/2 I am telling her that she has to eat what mommy and daddy eat or else she can go to bed hungry.. she usually throws a fit for about 10 minutes and then figures out that we are serious and she will eat what we eat..sometimes you have to do tough love. She won't starve!

Audrey Rohrs - posted on 11/02/2008

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My 3 1/2 year old does the same thing. Sometimes what works is having them help you cook, so they are excited to eat what they made. I know for my daughter it was important to not make it a stressful situation. The less stress I showed them more she would eat. Also a mulit vit. is always good! Good luck!

Lydia - posted on 11/02/2008

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Brandee, My husband has started doing this with Savannah. If she doesn't eat by the time that he and I get done we make her put the food in the fridge and about a half hour later she will ask for her supper and has started to eat a little of it. I have tried the giving it to her at another meal, but she will continue to refuse it. We have found that "starving" her, by putting her food in the fridge and waiting for her to ask for it is working a little bit.

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It will be a very hrad habit to break but you have to be the boss here. Tell her this is whats for supper/etc and if she doesn't want it, she will not eat. Then you can save it for the next meal or throw it out in so many minutes. After a few meals and being hungry, she will deside to eat like a big girl. Don't let fits, crying and trying to boss you work.You are Mommy not friend so remember that. Again it will be VERY hard, she is not going to like you being in charge if she is use to eatting what she wants. I will tell you from experience, It will be a long hard fight but you will have a happier more obedient child in the end. I hope this helps and I am praying for you!

Lydia - posted on 11/02/2008

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I have a 3 yr old daughter as well and we are going through the same thing. All she wants is bread and cheese. She goes to day care and she is also picky there, the only time that she has finished her food with them was whenever she wasn't feeling well. Not to alarm you, but whenever we went to her yearly check up in September we did an iron check and it was really low, just under 10, normal is around 11-12. The doctor put her on iron drops, he said that it would make her more hungry. We were also told to hold back fluids during dinner for at the least 15 mins, and cut down on fluids except for water during the day. Milk during meals is ok. We have also tried making food fun, putting them into shapes and such, but to no avail, she still wont eat. You just have to make sure whenever you give her light snacks that it is something like a banana, carrot sticks, or other vegtable, no sweets or junk food. I hope that this has helped. We have been working on this since mid-september and still having to fight with her. It is just a phase and hopefully it will end soon.

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