2 Year old eating problem

Elaine - posted on 09/28/2011 ( 165 moms have responded )

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My 2 year old will only eat Ceral, Toast and Raisins. She loves popcorn, rice cakes, ice cream all that junk. She will eat Ceral in the morning, toast at lunch, either ceral or toast for dinner and thats it. Any suggests as to what to do with her? I have taken her to the doctor but the reply I got from him was give her meat, potatoes and veg but what he doens't understand is that she won't eat them. She takes one look at food and says "No thanks Mom". She can't be getting enough from ceral and toast but that is all she'll have. She has been this was with the past 12 months. Up to this point she loved all food, except fruit - never liked it. Can any one help me out on this - I have tried everything

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~♥Little Miss - posted on 09/28/2011

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Elaine, you may not like my responce. Stop buying all the junk food. Period. The cereal that she eats, is it healthy or junk cereal? If you would like, I can give you a lot of options on food that you can try. For instance, Barilla Plus pasta is full of protein, fiber and Omega-3. If she doesn't like tomato sauce, you can always use a little butter or olive oil and Parmesan cheese. Homemade mashed potatoes are usually a hit. What have you tried???? Pop a couple sweet potatoes in the oven, when done use a little butter and milk....add a small amount of cinnamon and mash. Have you tried having her help prepare the simple meals??? A lot of the time that will make them WANT to eat. If she is totally stuck with toast, maybe try a little bit of peanut butter on it for protein. Get the healthy stuff. Same for the bread, if you know that is what she will eat....get the really healthy stuff. Ezakeal bread is awesome. She may love that, and it is WICKED healthy. I will find a link on it. Let us know what you have done so we can all give you healthy suggestions to try. You are not alone, kids go through this. Raisins are great BTW.

Lacey - posted on 09/29/2011

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hi elaine--my 2 y/o has the EXACT same issue! it is a problem with textures with him. he refuses to chew anything that doesn't give him enough "feedback". squishy and mushy gross him out, and he spits them out. i was trying so hard to get the food groups into him, but no matter what i tried, it did not work. i was reduced to crying many times. our doctor gave us the phone number for a county run program called "early intervention". they sent someone to our house to do a full evaluation of my child's development in different categories. they decided that his eating was delayed enough to get us free assistance. once a week we get a visit from a speech therapist who specializes in feeding problems (could have also gone with an occupational therapist). she is teaching us one step at a time how to expand what he will eat. the process will take 6 months, and i understand how you feel, because people just keep saying "it's normal to be picky" or "just wait until he is hungry" but these are not true in all cases! my son slipped below the 1st percentile in weight and our pediatrician was very concerned. his textures issues with food are so severe that he is stubborn to the point of starving himself if we won't let him have cracker, cookies and super chewy stuff. things are starting to look up now. if your child might also have a sensory issue causing this, please ask your doctor if there is a program in your area that can help! the therapist is making me feel so much better about things!

Jeanne - posted on 09/29/2011

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ummm yeah,... whos the parent? your child will not starve them self to death. You decided what your kids eat, not them!
You make them a meal and they can eat it or not. nothank you?Just because your child is polite about it dosen't mean they should get what they want. She's 2! snap out of it lady, make her a healthy meal 3 times a day and that is that!

Sherri - posted on 09/28/2011

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If it was me I would totally take away the things she wants and feed her what she needs. She will not starve herself. For breakfast offer oatmeal or yogurt. Trust me when she gets hungry enough she will eat. For now I would get rid of the cereal and bread until she starts eating better.

I would not give in to her demands. Trust me she will be fine and realize she can not have what she wants. My rule is you eat what is put in front of you or you go hungry tilll the next meal, no exceptions.

Raisins are not great in large quantities either they are a huge factor in cavities in children as they get into their teeth and the sugar eventually causes cavities.

Bonnie - posted on 09/28/2011

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If she is truly hungry, she will eat no matter what. Don't make too much of a big deal out of it or she will refrain from it even more. Kids suddenly become picky for no reason. It's normal. She just needs to understand that there is more to food than just what she is use to.

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Jodie - posted on 01/11/2013

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I have the same issues with my 21 month old son and I talked to his pediatrician. She said thst I could start giving Pediasure to help supplement the nutrients and vitamins he wasn't getting. We did and he started gaining weight. He is starting to try more new foods. So I would try giving her Pediasure and some time. Hope this helped!!!

Michelle - posted on 01/11/2013

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It is a texture issue for her and I have friends with autistic children who are this way and you won't win. You need to find something that has a similar texture. Unfortunately this is one of those that no you won't win and if you take away what she will eat you may end up with her not eating at all. What is worse? Her eating the limited things she does or her not eating at all and ending up at the doctor's office or ER.

All kids go through this at various stages and most tend to grow out of it.

Lora - posted on 01/11/2013

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My cousin has the same similar problem with her 2 year old daughter. She won't eat other foods besides yogurt and drinks milk/juice. She has tried to give her other foods but she won't eat, even I have tried to also and I did get her to eat baby food when I baby sat her. Good luck on getting her to eat other foods.

Laura Marie - posted on 01/11/2013

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My 2 year old wont eat any thing other than yogurt's and cheese , i really don,t know what ideas to give you or try myself , i,m at my whitts end and don,t know what to do , i,m in touch with the health visitor , iv tried getting my 2 year old to help me with food prep , and tried playing with different foods . I have never had this problem with any of my other children . Its getting to the point where she is now loosing weight . I have to keep a diary of every mouth full of what ever she eats every day , the health visitor is coming again next week but she hasn't really offered me any advice that works . I've tried to wright my own blogg but don't know how to . Sorry for over taking yours . x

Moodymoose77 - posted on 11/09/2011

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First find out Is your daughter physically healthy according to your pediatrition. If she needs a multivitamin use them until things improve If she is not lacking any vitamins, take a deep breath and relax. Kids are picky at many stages of their lives. This is one of them.You are not a terrible Mom nor is she a terrible toddler. You just need to set her on a different track. You don't have to be super strict but you do need to help your daughter develop some new habits.

For instance when the family has meals, serve you daughter the same as everyone else is having. Do not ask her what she wants but only give her a couple of bites of each food served. Do not discuss whether she eats or doesn't. Instead focus on being together, discussing the days events If your daughter dislikes like what is served just say okay you don't have to eat it and play it down. Let her know It's fine not to eat but she is part of the family and everyone sits together at mealtimes. Eventually hunger and curiousity or both will take over but it won't happen overnight. If the family later has a snack let her have one with the family but make it one serving eg. one scoop of ice-cream for everyone. Offer snacks in between meals and keep them mostly healthy unless it's a holiday or special occasion. Put whatever the snack is into a bowl or on a small plate for portion control. Try all kinds of foods and incorporate her favorite foods into her diet. Let her help make snacks and meals. It's a great way to stimulate interest without being pushy. You could make bagel faces with peanut butter hair,and raisin eyes ( but only take out enough raisins for the eyes). Make minature pizzas with whole wheat english muffins tomato sauce cheese and a topping she likes. If she doesn't want toppings you have out let her pick one. I used to suggest supercheese toast for kids who wouldn't stray from PB&J. The parents said the kids would never eat them. The kids and I made them together and they wolfed them down just because we made faces with the cheese. Get creative and have fun! Include the whole family in making them and making healthy snacks something fun and interesting. Buy or borrow some colorful and fun kid cookbooks and then leave them around as ideas for inspired snacks and meals. Don't make eating into a battle , make it into a part of family life.

Katy - posted on 11/08/2011

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Ok, I know that this is going to sound crazy and I dont want you to take it the wrong way, But children eat what is given to them. If you only put out cereal then she will only eat cereal. Try to spice it up a bit. 1. give her a cereal that is very healthy for her no sugar one maybe one with some fiber. if she likes raisins then cut some celery and put a little cream chees in them and have her put the raisins on top have her decorate them (ants on a log) they also can be made with low fat peanut butter (protein). Kids function with a out of sight out of mind until them are older. So no ice cream and junk food. Randomly set out healthy food and tell her this is mommys and start eatting it. If she wants to try it say ok and only give her one. then continue eatting whatever it is. saying mmmmmm thats so good it's my favorite. Rice cake are great and you can put peanut butter and jelly on them. also puree all fruits and veggies and mix them in foods as she takes on new likable foods.. example I puree zucchini, mushrooms, onions, carrots, celery, broccoli and anyother veggies and but it in my sause for spaghitti. Kids never know well adult dont either and they all tell me how amazong it taste. kids go for seconds and get full servings of veggies. If she dont like meat she might be an early vegan. It's ok try tofu. It will take the taste of what ever you put it in.. also cut into squares and slightly pan fried is amazing in chinese dishes. Potatoes are all starch and red meat really isnt that good for you. I suggest talking to another doctor. Try involving other kids with what they eat too. good luck to you hope all works out. :)

Jenny - posted on 11/03/2011

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Do NOT listen to people who tell you that your child will eat if hungry enough. My child is almost two & will cry & refuse to eat - look at food offered him with sad fear. He will only touch dry cereals & occasionally PB&J sandwiches, as long as he doesn't have to touch the actual PB or J. He is currently seeing an Occupational Therapist to help him out with this. He doesn't understand the concept of "this is what you'll eat or you'll eat nothing." He just gets upset. We tried sending him to his daycare w/ other foods & he refused to eat all day - came home starving & hysterical. Eventually, we learned that we could send him with a container of healthy cereal to get him through until he could get home & we could spoon or fork feed him something more complete. It might just take working with your pediatrician & trying a variety of foods, in a non-threatening, no pressure situation - that's what we've been working on. Every time he reaches out & touches a new food, we give our son a cheer & he responds to that. Good luck to your little one.

Jenny - posted on 11/03/2011

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Do NOT listen to people who tell you that your child will eat if hungry enough. My child is almost two & will cry & refuse to eat - look at food offered him with sad fear. He will only touch dry cereals & occasionally PB&J sandwiches, as long as he doesn't have to touch the actual PB or J. He is currently seeing an Occupational Therapist to help him out with this. He doesn't understand the concept of "this is what you'll eat or you'll eat nothing." He just gets upset. We tried sending him to his daycare w/ other foods & he refused to eat all day - came home starving & hysterical. Eventually, we learned that we could send him with a container of healthy cereal to get him through until he could get home & we could spoon or fork feed him something more complete. It might just take working with your pediatrician & trying a variety of foods, in a non-threatening, no pressure situation - that's what we've been working on. Every time he reaches out & touches a new food, we give our son a cheer & he responds to that. Good luck to your little one.

Barbara - posted on 11/01/2011

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you need to tell her a story while feeding her about how big and strong she will get when she eats the right foods. Make her look into the mirror when she is done and tell her look your getting better from eating all that good food and then you can reward her with 1 thing of what she likes. It might work but give her time, a little is better than none and she will get the idea and give her more at each meal.

Diana - posted on 11/01/2011

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she will grow out of it. my son is picky too. make sure shes taking vitamins. also they have that juice called fruitables or give her some pedia sure.

Rlhoward3 - posted on 10/26/2011

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try finding kid friendly meals, and she is two, have her help you make it in the kitchen like a BIG GIRL. Put a chair up to the counter or have her sit next to you on the counter. and let her stir, add stuff, mix carck eggs. make her feel like she is helping and let her taste what she is making. you can find kid friendly meals on the internet on any recipes. make it a theme for a week or atleast for the holidays. You cant let her win this one, she needs better eating habbits asap or you are in trouble on this one. hope this helps. any more ideas just ask. i have five kids to feed and they are all different.

Deborah - posted on 10/25/2011

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when my daughter was little we went thru her eating nothing but toast, and baked potatos. docs said when shes hungry she will eat i just kept introducing whatever we were eating and she eventually started eating again as for vitamins try to get her to drinka pediasure that will give her what she is missing good luck!

Joslin Irene - posted on 10/23/2011

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This is going to sound really mean but... my daughter at two was a big fruit and vegie girl I couldn't get her to eat meat for the life or me, or mac and cheese, eggs, bread, waffles, nothing! So, I did what my mother did to me, it sucked at first she cried a lot but... you sit the food on the table and tell her no cereal until you at least TRY this... for ex. your having steak for dinner... nothing until she at least trys it! My daughter eats so much better, almost anything including rabbit and turtle meat and loves it.. turkey.. ham.. beef... I mean, it's hard to watch your child cry and you can call me mean, but eventually she would try it, somethings like potatoes she tired and didn't like, I've tried it many ways and no luck so i dont make her eat that, or highly acidic foods she got my good genes and has GURD... there were times she would go to bed hungery but once she knew i meant business she gave in even at her grandparents house she will at least try one bite of something and if she doesn't like it we jsut leave it be! thankfully at 4 i can feed her about anything and when we go out to eat she wants a bite of everything on our plates!

Chrissy - posted on 10/23/2011

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I agree Rebecca . I too am a nurse who has worked with numerous children with eating disorders and what I should have added was don't make too big a deal out of it. As for the nasty comments - I don't think anyone really means to be nasty - they may be sounding a bit hard -but I think they mean their comments to be helpful . Be careful with multivits though . They need to have the RDA for a child ( many contain adult RDAs (reccomended daily allowance) and you can have too much of a good thing ! Also many contain colorings and preservatives which have been shown to cause hyperactivity in some children . Just read the label carefully before using them

User - posted on 10/23/2011

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Take it from a nurse who's worked with enough eating disorder patients to know: Don't make it an issue. She's 2. Give her a multi vitamen and introduce her to as much of a variety as you can. Sometimes its the unfamiliarity that turns kids off. Let her help you cook (age appropriately of course) and make sure she sees you and other adults eating veggies and such. Forget these hateful comments on here...nobody is a perfect parent. Not buying an excessive amount of junk is a good idea though, but theres nothing wrong with junk from time to time. Just be patient, she'll come around. This is something MANY parents deal with, whether they choose to admit it or not.

Chrissy - posted on 10/22/2011

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I agree with picky eating being a power struggle and children will eat if they are hungry . However if they have parents who are picky eaters they have poor role models so parents need to abide by the rules too. Otherwise what are we teaching our chidren ? We have a rule at our school ( we pass out family style) . Everyone has to take a small serving . Then the teachers encourage them by asking them to take just 1 small bite . We do not however refuse to give them dessert as using food as a bribe is one of the things which has been shown to contribute to children having problems in later life including obesity and other eating disorders It is very frustrating for mums when this happens but with a little patience and ingenuity it can be overcome . Star charts with rewards are also useful . 1 star for 1 meal you try everything = a small reward ( an extra story at bedtime perhaps) . 3 stars together for a whole day of this process ( e.g.) a game of the child's choice ) Finally go for a whole week together , 5 stars together mean a good treat ( eg 1/2 hour at the local park) . Once you get 5 stars you have at least begun to crack the habit and more often than not it is over

Jessie - posted on 10/17/2011

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Try some V8 fusion fruit drinks or yougurt. I had a picky eater for a while - but it was a stage. Try adding peanut butter to the toast. Or celery with peanut butter and rasins. Maybe if you incoporate what she already likes with other things she will go for it. ALso let her help you make her food, that may get her interested too.

Lori - posted on 10/17/2011

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my friend had a kid who refused to eat vegetables, she would puree them up and add to mince and what not so he didnt no he was eating them. what if you pureed what she needs and made it to the thickness of a spread and put it on her toast, maybe she would eat it.
another one i was looking after a kid whp refused to eat tea so my partner knew he liked twisties chip so he agve him 1 to eat, then the next xhip he put some of the tea on it and he ate that and kept doing that with the tea, it got him to eat some of his tea so at least he was getting some healthy food into him.
what if you pureed fruit and froze it like sorbet maybe she would eat that like ice cream,

good luck

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Have you considered that maybe she has a sensory issue? It is quite common and one of the major symptoms can be pickiness in eating because of texture (and temperature). My best friend has dealt with this all her life and i think that my youngest (under 2) has a sensory overload issue but it's not her eating that is most affected yet. It can change suddenly too. Has she ever been fussy about changing clothes or diapers? Or preferred to wear nothing? Does she LOVE taking baths? Does she get fussy if she gets to hot? How is she affected by stimulation? or over-stimulation? Try not to worry too much. Use a vitamin daily just to make sure she is getting the essentials and give her extra vitamin D drops and some omega 3 gummies. Both of my kids are great eaters but we still do this. We have celiac disease in the family so we don't eat any gluten and we are vegetarian always/vegan occasionally but we still have things they get stuck on. It's normal for kids. Control the options though and don't default to anything unhealthy. Try to avoid packaged anything and make everything fresh. Use supplements (do you have a Whole Foods nearby?) and make smoothies with spinach thrown in and use almond milk and coconut milk to add omega 3's and vitamins. Let her help you prepare things (even get her a little toy kitchen that you put in your kitchen and get her some fun play things).... make your own bread with vegetables in it - we make a gluten-free zucchini bread with all sorts of veggies, nuts, grains, seeds, and use rice flour and it is ABSOLUTELY delicious. We also make zucchini pancakes. We make smoothies almost daily and sometimes they want them for 2 meals in a day and they get all their RDA from those 2 smoothies! We dry and sometimes freeze-dry our own fruit. We make cupcakes using bananas or plantains instead of sugar and i use veggie flour and make a homemade peanut butter icing and they decorate them and have really yummy cupcakes. My kids have both gone through phases where they act picky and I just create something they can't turn down. Sometimes it's all about presentation and once they know they are eating something healthy they associate it with something they love. I hope something works for you.... BUT also don't worry - she is only 2 and will grow out of this!!! Just make sure she gets the essentials through supplements/vitamins!

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She's TWO! Even though the cereal and other things you are feeding her aren't exactly junk, stop giving them to her and she'll start eating what's being served. I had to do that with my son when he was two. It wasn't a lot of fun for about five days, but eventually he figured out that if he wanted to eat, it was going to be what was on his plate. He threw some major temper tantrums and it was hard not to give in (or have a tantrum myself). He would throw his plate onto the floor or spit the food out..it wasn't fun. Just stay calm (I know, easier said than done, but if you lose your cool, she "wins"). She's not going to starve. I don't agree with "hiding" or "disguising" healthy food. This is a discipline issue AND it could lead to her not making healthy choices in the future. You are not a short order cook. She needs to eat what the rest of the family is having. My son is now eight and he is a good eater and it's no longer a battle, even when I make something "new". Either he eats, or there is no dessert and I'm not making him something different. It's either what's being served or nothing at all until bed time. (When she cries that she's hungry, tell her, "Too bad, you should have eaten at dinner". Put her to bed and let her cry herself to sleep...it won't hurt her.)

Danie - posted on 10/14/2011

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this kind of behaviour is very normal for a two year old, but if you give in and only give her the limited foods that she requests, you will indeed be encouraging her behaviour and it will get worse. I always gave my children a big variety of foods, the rule was " a small amount of many things", and even if they never ate it, I gave it to them regardless, and now all five of our children are great eaters and are not picky at whatsoever. Your child will NOT starve...just give her a variety of foods and cut down her limited foods. She'll eat it when she gets hungry enough, and by doing this you will be encouraging great eating habits and limiting picky eating and exagerated control issues. Good Luck! My experience comes from having 5 kids and being a nurse..and so far it has worked wonderfully....;-)

Liz - posted on 10/14/2011

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WOW! This was me 1.5 years ago. That was the same menu I could give my daughter, add in breakfast sausages and scrambled eggs! It's very exhausting and worrisome but don't worry, she'll grow out of it. My daughter turned 3 last March, since her 3rd birthday, she has developed a taste for ALL meats (no fish), ALL potatoes (used to only eat roasted before) and any sort of pasta sauce -- spaghetti, alfredo, pesto etc. etc.

My best advice is try to get through it with a grain of salt, people tend to force feed their children but let's be honest, we don't all have the same tastes, I hate brown beans and peas, but my hubby and daughter both love them so I make them, my daughter hates brussel sprouts but I love them etc. etc. They are humans as well and will have likes and dislikes.

And as for the fruit, my daughter still won't touch it. She has hated it since she was a baby, she hated all pureed fruit so I just stick with the veggies. The other thing she has recently started liking is the Yogurt drinks!

One day you'll wake up, make pork chops, get up from the table to get a drink and see your 3-year-old reach over and grab a piece of meat off your plate--that's when you know the picky eating has passed.

I have a two month old...so I get to start all over again in a couple months :D

Angela - posted on 10/14/2011

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Try to mix in the foods she doesn!t like in the foods she eats.e.g put more fruit in the cerel with yogurt to make it more balanced.Rice cakes can be incorparated with protein of fish fillet, ham, beef and chicken fillet and some purred vegies of the season. I hope this will help.

Marlen - posted on 10/13/2011

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Dear Elaine, You provide the food and she provides the willingness to eat it. Make sure that you provide her with healthy options. It is a tricky thing we all wish our kids will eat healthy foods and will be sensible enough to only eat simple carbs only sparingly. However, carbs are very addictive and kids do not have enough data or experience to make the right choice. So if it is a matter that is vital like eating healthy you need to make the choice yourself. Your child will eat when she is hungry but if you give her the choice she will only eats what she wants and that is not always the best. I know it will be difficult, from my own experience with my first son. But, she will eat what you make available to her if she is hungry. Best of luck!!!

Dominique - posted on 10/13/2011

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my boy is exactly the same but eats fruit too he is nearly 3, i also have 4 year old girl who eats anything and we do no differnt with her than him i guess if they are healthy they will eventually try new foods on thier own. we have tried evrything, i keep offering different food but he simply refuses, he often goes to bed with nothing to eat as i do not offer anything else if he wont eat what i give him and he always sleeps then eats 2-4 bowls of breakfast cerals and toast!!! im not much help but you are not alone.

Marsha - posted on 10/12/2011

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It is probably just a phase she is going through but I would give her pedia sure so she will be getting some nutrients.

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One thing you could try is baking your own bread. You can add chopped up or grated veggies and fruits and nuts, add extra protein and vitamins A&D with dry milk, add extra fiber with Beneful (seriously, I put that stuff in EVERYTHING), use homemade stock instead of water when making the batter....it's still caving in to her dictatorship, but at least you're controling what is in her bread. I do tend to lean towards the when-they're-hungry-they'll-eat philosophy, but my 2yo is also very particular and very polite, so I know how you feel...

Zana - posted on 10/12/2011

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Make sure she takes a multi vitamin. My Grandson is almost like that except his fuel is yogurt. He does like mashed potatoes though too. Sometimes I sneak some really finely chopped meat in it, chicken, not beef, he will not eat beef. Most of the time that works. Also, I have him help me make his meal as well. He is so proud that he helped make his food. Try it, it won't hurt!!

Mary - posted on 10/11/2011

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Truth is there is a lot of advice here , but you know what you are doing is not working . Read the posts and try the ones you think are most likely to work . You realy have to do something what she is eating is not good for her and cant have much nutrition . It may as well pave the road for health problems like diabetes . Each child is different . I wish you well

Vanessa - posted on 10/11/2011

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Don't worry about it. Popcorn is actually healthy-especially if you pop it yourself and make sure the cereal is a whole grain cereal. My son has similar issues. He is 9 now and has been a cereal, pancakes and popcorn guy since he was little. I've learned to buy him whole grain cereals, popcorn that I make in an air popper with a sprinkling of smart balance, nutritional yeast and season salt. He also eat a very small array of fruits and Veges. He is very skinny but in no way unhealthy. The doctor is unconcerned. So don't worry, she will be fine. Don't sweat it. Oh and something else-with the toast use a whole grain and try a healthy peanut butter like Adams or another nut butter with warm applesauce on top. It's one my picky kid will eat and is very healthy.

Renee - posted on 10/11/2011

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Just a thought... If you are starting your response with "You're not going to like what I'm about to say" or something to that effect, you're probably posting to the wrong thread. Elaine is asking for help - actual help as far as I can tell... Not advice she isn't going to like. Who wants advice they aren't going to like?

Michelle - posted on 10/11/2011

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I have the same problem with my son age 2 and what I had to do as hard as it was is to make dinner and say this is what u r eating if they day NO the don't eat. Let them down and go play. When she comes back later u offer the dinner food. U have to stick to ur guns. It took a few days at dinner time and melt does crying fits but u have to be the parent and stay strong and don't give it.

Susan - posted on 10/11/2011

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I'm going to echo Elaine with the fact that you may not like my response. I have had two of my three children try to get "picky" on me. Whenever there are foods that they will only eat over others, we have eliminated them from our diet completely for a period of time. It works amazingly. Yes, they wouldn't eat other things at first if they didn't get any of their "preferred" foods for a period of time, but eventually they got hungry enough that they ate what was offered. My children (now 4,6,8) currently eat everything offered to them. And I'm not talking about sulkingly eating what is offered because there is nothing else. I mean everything with enthusiasm. My kids love all veggies (I can't think of one they won't eat in at least one form), and all fruits. They eat many different types of ethnic food including chinese, mexican, japanese (including sushi), vietnamese and thai and pizza with everything. You have to be strong for a little while, so she can learn to like other things. It will work if you will just stick it out.

Marlene - posted on 10/11/2011

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I have the same problem with my son. He has just been diagnosed with Autism, and I am hearing similar things from the other parents about them having a hard time with textures. My doctor said to let him eat what he wants, keep offering him new foods, and supplement with Pediasure. He's below the 3rd percentile for weight, so we don't want to starve him, because he really won't eat if he doesn't like it. Talk to your doctor, or see a dietician and take everyone's opinion with a grain of salt. What works for one child may not work for the next.

Beth - posted on 10/11/2011

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Listen to your doctor. When she is hungry enough she will eat what ever you put in front of her. It sounds harsh but she is not getting nutrition in what she is eating.

Jacqueline - posted on 10/11/2011

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my daughter is 2.5 and has ALWAYS been picky. no matter how many people say she will not starve herself, i beg to differ ;0) she is VERY stubborn!!! anyway, we just keep trying to get her to TRY foods and if she takes at least one bite, it's good. since she really doesn't eat much at all, we try to give her something we know she'll eat and something she usually doesn't. we also give her a multivitamin and pediasure at night to make sure she gets at least some of what she needs! good luck! i know it is hard, but just keep trying! hopefully, for all of us they will eventually start eating!!

Delia - posted on 10/11/2011

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I had the same issue with my first child now 9 years old. He only ate things that were white., first as your doctor if there is no medical reason why your child does't try other foods. Some children do ot like some textures. If thats not the problem what I did with my son was just put food on te plate d o it everyday. I know its hard because you want them to eat. Eventually your child will pick up something it just takes alot of effort on your part. Dont give up.. I know its hard.. IF you see that your child is losing too much weight or healthy foods try pedisure.

Tina - posted on 10/11/2011

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also, children need a lot of carbohydrate but she is heading for candida with such a diet.

Tina - posted on 10/11/2011

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Elaine, she is getting lots of attention from you regarding this problem. She is picking up on your anxiety. Unless she is autistic (they have a lot of problems with textures, etc) then she can eat normal food. It is hard but you just offer her the same meal as everyone else and if she does not eat it, then take it away. you do not offer it again and you ignore her when she is at the table with you. Completely ignore her when she is eating anything at all. i listened to a pediatric dietition say that the most stubborn child she dealt withheld out for 5 days without food but most give in after 2 or 3 days. You have to be really tough though and realise that your child is not going to die from a few days without eating. It is harder on the parent than the child, but at the end of it the reward of seeing your child eat healthily will be worth it. Good luck.

Sarah - posted on 10/11/2011

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Try the Food for Life sprouted grain breads, as has been said (Ezekiel bread and such) My toddlers love it--I have found that buttering and toasting it (whether for sandwich or toast) makes a big difference in making the bread easy to eat. The sprouted grain breads have great fiber and a high protein factor. Also, make your popcorn as healthy as possible, and you won't have to serve it reluctantly. Buy organic kernels (to avoid GMO's) and pop it yourself on the stove, using healthy coconut oil. Then salt with sea salt, full of minerals, not table salt. Enormously more healthy than microwave popcorn. My son has an overall repulsion to meat, and when we commit to a stand-off, no one wins. If my husband and I are able to force a bite into his mouth, he holds in his cheeks without swallowing, and has been known to do this for more than 30 minutes. He does eat hot dogs, so I make sure that they are nitrite- and preservative-free, not the standard processed hot dog, which is very dangerous health-wise. If she eats rice, try switching to brown rice and cooking it in homemade chicken broth instead of water. I'm sure it's been said (I didn't read all 122 comments!) but she can't eat what's not there. Don't buy the ice cream and it won't be an option! You have to prioritize, and you can't a hundred dietary changes at once--sugar, corn syrup and white grains (refined) are children's biggest enemies (all of ours, really) so eliminate them for the whole family. Crazy food issues are *not* uncommon with toddlers, so wait it out patiently!

Serafine - posted on 10/11/2011

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Have you tried changing the type of cereals and toasts she eats. Sometimes the body gets used to one thing for too long and gets "addicted" to it or used to it. Also try adding fruits or nuts (protein) to the cereal. Add different healthy spreads to the toast (children love tahini and pureed cheese&veggie spreads) so that she gets her veggies and protein on the toast. And raisins are great. You can ease her into a different diet by including the diet she already has and adding things. I was taking care of 5 2yr olds and I found that is an age where they learn to assert their food preference, she may grow out of it when she sees other kids eating other foods. It could be a passing fancy that makes her feel safe for some reason. Forcing generally doesn't help, but trading sometimes does: "I will give you (favorite food) if you try one bite of this" and eventually you will find other things she likes.

Jacquie - posted on 10/10/2011

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SMOOTHIES!! I make mine with frozen fruit {ALDI"S has it for $1.25 per pound} a few sprigs of spinach leaf, kale, flaxseed and soy powder. I never "HIDE" things in their smoothies, I tell them there is fruit vegetable and grain. They don't CARE, it's DElicious!! If she gets to choose what goes in it might help; if she prefers savory to sweet use tomatoes and carrots and celery. Good Luck and keep trying!! {Mine are older and are required to "taste" each component that goes in, some they like natural and some they don't.

Mary - posted on 10/10/2011

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You know I am surprise when my children were small I just fix them breakfast and they ate it I fixed them lunch and they ate it , When I fixed dinner we all set down and ate . It is an important time with your children It sets time with children It always was family time and they told you about their day even when they were small I encourged them to tell Dad what happened today . You also found out what they did like best at dinner . I always tried to have one vegetable each person liked . But that seems to not be the norm anymore . You can't let a child live on carbs if the child is craving carbes It is because you need to get the white out of the childs diet change your bread to whole wheat no sugary cereal only whole grain good for you cereal , She needs veggies don't let her have toast and cereal . Don't offer it She needs to set at the table with you and eat what you are eating . She may refuse a few times but if she is hungery she will pick out the less undiserable things to her and eat . And ice cream is for dessert if you eat your dinner toast or cereal is for breakfast pop corn is a good snack for children that eat their meals . I realize you may have to do without these things but you have to get her eating right .

Melissa - posted on 10/10/2011

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obviously some of these responders have never had a TRULY picky eater with texture issues and telling someone to snap out of it is not helpful in any way. You are asking because you are concerned and hurting and you aren't doing ANYTHING wrong. She will eventually grow out of this stage but in the mantime try (and this will take some experimenting) to bump up the nutrition wherever you can. The Ezekiel bread is an EXCELLENT idea and Trader Joes makes their own brand that is not as expensive- "Complete Protein" I believe-it's got orange on the label. Also Organic low fat frozen yogurt is a good way to bump up nutrition if she loves "ice cream"- you can probably make it yourself. Continue to offer the healthy stuff and new stuff with the preferred foods. Also place the less liked or new items closer to her on the plate and the stuff she likes farther from her- so she has to reach over the less favorable foods to get what she likes. We also used to let our son dip his (vegetarian) chicken in chocolate sauce and that helped him to cope with the texture and now he eats it no problem...the chocolate sauce worked wonders for other foods as well. He is definitely still a picky eater (at 3) but is growing and finally gaining weight. He LOVES eggs with ketchup and I think this is his main source of protein. He's a toast lover too. You'll get there...do a multi (Animal Parade or Rainbow Light are great) and maybe a DHA supplement and relax. Haven't read all of the posts so sorry if this is a repeat-but this is what worked for us :-) Hang in there

Ashley - posted on 10/10/2011

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U should put her on a gluten free diet and purchase the book what's eating your child. It's by a woman dr. Named Kelly. Let me know if u can't find it and ill get it to see the dr last name. I'm rocking my baby at the moment and I had to respond immediately to this cause this is going on at my house and this book has saved my life!!!!!!

Lois - posted on 10/10/2011

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Elaine, totally know what you're going through. My 19 month old has been through the same thing. Thankfully I think we are coming out of the other side of it now.

We went through a phase when he was about 14 months old where all he wanted was cereal and milk, yoghurt, and sometimes bread. I decided I didn't want him to get a complex about food, or for mealtimes to become a battleground, so I went with it but continued to offer a very varied diet. Sometimes he would just look at the plate and push it away, but I still continued to offer. I realized that part of it might have been that I didn't always eat what he ate, so we made sure we were sitting down for meals together and having the same thing. It really helped, that social side, and when he could see me eating things it encouraged him to do the same. We even played some games, made mealtimes fun, and got him doing the stirring when I was making dinner.

In the end we did bolognese sandwiches (!) to help with his meat intake, and I discovered that he really liked strong flavors such as chill, curry etc so we have those things quite often now. I also tried doing things like mixing stewed pureed apple with his yoghurt to help give more vitamins, and mixing cereals together, as well as offering orange juice to boost his vitamin C intake. He still prefers pureed meat dishes to pieces of meat, so I offer both at the same meal, the chunks for him to chew on as well as a puree which I know he is more likely to eat.

I guess all kids go through this to a greater or lesser extent. In my work I see a lot of kids have the same problems, and most of them come out the other side relatively unscathed! I would try to keep it as positive as possible, encourage but don't force, get her to have the food on her plate even if she doesn't eat it, get her to touch the food even if she won't eat, and even get her to touch it to her mouth or eventually put it in her mouth and then spit it out again.

I still chop up veggies really small and put them on pizza for my boy, he doesn't really notice and has a good go at eating it anyway. If I'm struggling I puree the veggies with the tomato sauce for the pizza base, so he at least gets them and has a little taste of the flavors.

I also find that offering a choice is really great, so if it's cereal hold up 2 boxes and let her choose, if it's toast hold up 2 spreads and let her choose one, or if dinner put two plates out and let her choose etc.

I hope that helps!

Patricia - posted on 10/10/2011

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I have a 3 y/o. He has gone through this before. I first try the "this is what you have to eat, you can eat it or be hungry" method. I had to call my mawmaw because I felt like a horrible mom but she assured me that what I was doing was ok. On the rare occasion this doesn't work (he's a little headstrong) I let him eat what he will eat and make sure to give him his vitamins and when I can, I give him a boost or pediasure to drink to help with the missing nutrients. Sometimes the tough love approach is all it takes, but I believe that being a parent is all about adapting. On one hand, you don't want to give in too much because then she may get the impression that she can walk all over you, but on the other, you don't want her to starve. Try going a day where you tell her she can eat what you fix or nothing at all. If she doesn't want it at first, leave it on the table where it is accessible for as long as you can. Chances are she will get hungry enough and eat it rather than be hungry. However if this doesn't work, maybe go see a nutritionist about how you can get her to eat different things. Another thing I had to do with my step daughter (she's 5) when she came to visit was tell her that she had to at least try what was on her plate. If she genuinely didn't like it, which I could tell by her expressions, then she didn't have to eat it. But there was a requirement of at least one bite. She took a bite and lo and behold loved all my cooking! Good luck with your daughter. I hope things get better for you.

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