My 17 month daughter really does not eat much, Nothing healthy really. Anyone have any healthy snack ideas, of course she loves fries/pizza/chips. I feel guilty for letting her have these at times, Any suggestions?

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Shelley - posted on 01/09/2012

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Don't stress, my 10 year old was the SAME, though she still loves those things, she is my BEST vegetable eater, (I have 3) and she is fine, not over weight, just keep reintroducing the food again and again, I made her try 1 bite of everything.

Michelle - posted on 02/03/2009

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My son is 5 now, and has been a picky eater since his first bite of rice cereal. He seems to go thorugh stages where he will only eat 2 or 3 select meals for a month. I try yogurt with fruit, peanut butter on crackers or carnation breakfast shakes to get protein into him. I also make sure he takes a good multivitamin. Try to limit the unhealthy food because what I found with my son was he would hold out even though he was hungry until I finally gave in. So now I only offer healthy food and if he eats that, he can have the salty or sweet stuff after, at this point he is usually full and only eats a minimal amount of junk.

Mindy - posted on 02/03/2009

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Don't worry too much about it. I have a 19 month old and she isn't in to any healthy foods either. The only veggie she will eat are raw carrots. Bananas are the only fruit she eats. Keep offering her the healthy stuff and eventually she will try it and like some and not care for others. My daughter is so picky, Only offer her healthy foods even if you don't think she will eat them. I fretted over doing that and my daughter not eating them but her dr. says if she is hungry she will eat it.

Jamie - posted on 02/03/2009

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She is deciding for you! Don't give her choices, just give her her dinner/snack and if she doesn't eat it either let her sit for a little while (not too long) or just keep offering it to her. My son started at about 18 months refusing some dinners and I could get him to try them but then he wouldn't eat any more. I just kept offering it to him.....bribes work too! One bite for one piece of a fry....just suggestions.

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dried fruit, Odwalla nutritional bars-(cereal bar)-- call em cookie bars-- great for breakfast-- also Odwalla sells Superfood juice an 6 oz. cup a day is all your nutrional green needs a day-- kids go through different eating phases-- just go back to nuts and dried fruit-- nature's candy- and the juice will help supplement until they are curved back into healthier choices-- I also hide veggies in casserol;es and their stoganoff and what nots-- make them colorblind of what they are eating and make em try it 1nc at least-- it will changfe and before you know it they might like sushi

Kristie - posted on 02/03/2009

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I have a 16 month old who is the same way. One thing he loves is plain pasta (I saw this below) but I always buy the whole wheat kind because it actually has lots of protein in it. I normally toss his with a little olive oil and some garlic salt and he eats it up...

Heather - posted on 02/03/2009

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I did two things when my son wouldn't eat healthy- he is comprable age to your little girl.  I took him to the health food store and I let him pick out a couple things- and then we went home and made them together and that seemed to really help.  His not wanting to eat and choice in foods was more about his asserting himself and his independence rather then the food.  So this really helped him because he felt like he was in control.  I also got him the Mellisa and Doug food cutting/ play toys.  I would let him play with the cutting fruit or the stir fry or something and then I would get out the real version of the food and a plastic knife and let him play and eat the real version.  He loved it.  I found that both these ways gave him some enjoyment and control when it came to food so he was willing to stop playing and give it a shot. 



If she likes fries and pizzas and chips- you can always try to make healthy versions of these- Sweet potato fries- wheatbread pizza with healthy toppings or veggie chips.  Its always worth a shot.

Laura - posted on 02/03/2009

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my 18 mo old loves frozen fruit... blueberries, peaches, strawberries. He eats them like candy. He also enjoys fruit bars, they have a brand for toddlers which are low on sugar and added vitamins.

Tina - posted on 02/03/2009

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My son loves cooked broccoli with a cheese sauce. The veggies and dip are also a great idea.

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When my son was younger, I noticed a correllation with his eating (or not), sleeping (or not), and verbal, physical, and mental growth.  He would eat well and sleep well right before a growth spurt.  He would eat very little and sleep less right before some new and impressive vocabulary or concepts emerged. 



Around the 15 month stage, I found it helpful to discuss (in front of our chidl) in a serious quiet tone with my husband whether or not some particular food was "okay" to give the child.  We would agree that broccoli or asparagus or whatever was for older children, and let's not give it to him yet.  Typically our child would develop an intense desire to eat that vegetable!

Tina - posted on 02/03/2009

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My son loves cooked broccoli with a cheese sauce. The veggies and dip is another of his favorites.

Ann - posted on 02/03/2009

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I agree with Heidi... I have a child with autism and he does not eat alot or meat... So i got the book and i know he is getting the veggies he needs... I love the brownies... Good luck......

Crystal - posted on 02/03/2009

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My doctor said a child that age will probably only eat one real meal a day...and snack throughout the rest of the day. My daughter doesn't eat much either but what she eats is up to me....I'm the one buying the groceries!!

Elizabeth - posted on 02/03/2009

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We have the same problem with our 16 month old, we resorted to giving her V8 Fusion to get fruits and veggies in her. As for snacks, have you tried fruit bars??

Marla - posted on 02/03/2009

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Pick up the book "Super Baby Food" by Ruth Yaron.  It has the best recipes (easy) to make for your baby until she is 3.  The book also gives great tips on how to turn healthy food into what the baby thinks is junk!  I have 2 copies. One in the kitchen and one beside my bed in case I get an idea.

Brandy - posted on 02/03/2009

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Make your own fries but bake them in the oven and use sweet potatoes. My youngest daughter like to snack on frozen sweet peas when she won't eat anything else or maybe try some frozen corn too. The Jessica Seinfeld books is terrific!! I sugessted it to my sister who has teenagers that are way to picky (1 of her boys doesn't even let his food touch and he is a senior) and he never knew the difference until we told him!

Kristi - posted on 02/03/2009

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your child will not starve herself. offer good, nutritious foods. eventually she will accept. it may take month of not touching the broccoli or even throwing it on the floor but one day she will it eat and you will be amazed. if you find a healthy food she likes let her eat it as much as she wants... eventually she will accept more. she will get used to you constantly 'giving in.' if she doesn't eat dinner, so be it. don't go running to the freezer to make fries and get crackers because she will know she doesn't have to eat... she can just wait until he get something that is more desirable for her. i'm not saying these foods can't be offered... just not ONLY offered and not all the time. you are laying the groundwork for good nutrition NOW. she wont grow up eating crap if its never around her or in the house.

try fruit roll ups, snap pea crisps, smart puffs, dried fruit. try offering it in different settings. if she's busy at the playground she might not care too much what she is snacking on (that's how my son's love of bananas started). put chopped spinach or super small florets of broccoli in spaghetti. make smoothies. try frozen fruit. let her make a simple choice between a couple of foods... let her pick something out of the fridge or eat a peach like a "big girl." let her help you in the kitchen. veggies on pizza. we bake a lot of sweet potato fries (i cut my own potatoes and i don't use the stuff in the grocery store in the freezer section so to make it healthier w/o a lot of preservatives). i got my son to start eating carrots by allowing him to "dip" them in hummus. he started by just sucking off the humus but now he eats the carrot. we also "dip" our foods in broccoli cheese soup, mild salsa, yogurt (but we do stay away from dressings and ketchup). eat with her and the same foods. let her eat herself, use her own spoon, etc.

Jennifer - posted on 02/03/2009

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My son is the same. Try giving her fruit and some yogurt to dip it in to make it more fun and messy. Also, apple chips, pear chips, strawberry and bananna chips. Costco sells some that are really soft called Brothers All Natural Crisps (So good!). Gogurt is really good and fun for em. Also, waffles are good as a snack just dry, there are some by eggo that are whole grain and cinnamon that are really good dry they can eat them just walking around cause they don't make crumbs! My son is 3 and just recently started eating more things, don't worry too much, they will not let them selves starve.

Katie - posted on 02/03/2009

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My kids love anything directly out of the freezer.  Try frozen raspberries, blueberries, green peas, corn, cubed carrots, tubes of yogurt--mine even love the soy fake bacon straight from the freezer, which really grosses me out.  My kids also like beans right out of the can, especially chick peas.



For a general eating "philosophy" that's helped me a ton and allowed me to feel stress-free,  I'd highly recommend Ellyn Satter's Child of Mine.

Angela - posted on 02/03/2009

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My 15 month old twins are the same way. I just try to make eating fun, with lots of train noises and silly songs. They will only eat if they can feed themselves, so try cooled steamed carrots or green beans. If all else fails, and all she will eat is fries/pizza/chips. She's getting something out of those, so don't worry to much!

Maria - posted on 02/03/2009

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hi hun, yeah i to have a 17month old that is fussy with his food, his also fussy with things that have lumps in, till the other day i made a fish pie and he ate it all and my advice to you would be to try adding stuff like a tiny bit of salt and pepper to her meals or adding a few herbs to it, it worked for me, and another thing do you add any fish to her diet if not just try her on a bit of tuna first then work your way up, my son eats it all now, tuna,haddock,cod,also things like cockels and welks and lobster just about everything, i hope i have been of help for you and please let me know how you get on

Jayne - posted on 02/03/2009

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i have had this problem over the last 20 years with all 3 kids (aged 22, 20, and 10) the doctor ( in front of my eldest )asked me what he ate . i told him and he said good let him have his choc spread butty and crisps/ mars bar at least he eatting. so i did . but also gave him encouagement to try something else as well. at school he left his food many times till teachers found he didn't like his food touching each other foods.now my 2year old grandson is following suit. he used to eat anything he was given. at home he is worse than when visiting me. he chooses what he eats to whoose home he is each time .he wont eat yoghurts at home. but will eat till fulll at mine. in time i believe your child will eat healthy keep trying different foods. if you can give them a sample of each food before dinner time due as snack time. if you try too they normally copy. little bits of food and try doing themes. shaped sandwiches. get cutters from shops .  mix cheese into mash potatoe and serve in shapes. you can make food interesting. just use your imagination.

User - posted on 02/03/2009

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My kids LOVE bananas, pears, melon, arrowroot cookies, yogurt, applesauce and cottage cheese. They're really not that into eating veggies, but I still put them on their plates for their meals, sometimes I mix them in with mashed potatoes and they don't notice them as much that way.

Cherie - posted on 02/03/2009

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Keep in mind who is the boss here. You are not your 17 month old. I have never ever heard of a child starving because she wouldn't eat her veggis or healthy items. Be strong and put your foot down and stop giving in to the sweet tooth. If you don't offer it or keep it in the house, then she can't ask for it or have it. I have a 12 year old, a 14 year old and another on the way and my son was and still is the same way. He wants crap all the time. I don't buy it and when he is hungry he has to eat what is here. Your daughter might miss one meal by being stubborn but trust me, she will be hungry enough by the next meal and eat what you give her. Don't be afraid to be tough on her, your job as her mom is to look out for her and make the right choices for her that she is not capable of making at 17 months old. Also keep in mind that what you are feeding her now is the foundation for eating patterns for the rest of her life. And I am sure you don't want her making unhealthy choices down the road. Good luck!

Jennifer - posted on 02/03/2009

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My 20 month old is the same way..and has been for the last few months.  She used to LOVE veggies and now she just squishes them on her plate and says nooo!  I just keep trying to give them to her every once in awhile and sometimes she will eat them.  There was a time around 17 months and it seemed like she wouldn't eat anything except milk!  I freaked out, but it only lasted a few days.  My doctor said they won't starve themselves, so now whatever I make for dinner for me & my husband, I give her a small plate of whatever it is plus one thing that I know she likes.  Then I don't bother her..it seems like if I try to force her, the more she won't try it.  So if I just leave her alone and don't pay attention, she eventually will sneak a bite.  But seriously, keep offering the healthy stuff, so it stays familiar with her.  She will eventually come around! 



As for snacks, we like veggie chips, they have pediasure granola bars that are full of vitamins and protein, and etc.  They taste good and my daughter seems to like them (smores flavor is the best!).  I buy mostly organic stuff, so I know that my food doesn't have a lot of weird additives and stuff in them.  They have an organic section at Kroger's and target & they have lots of good snacks like smashed fruit strips that taste like fruit roll ups, but its only made of fruit puree.. Stuff like that!  Good luck!!!

Nikki - posted on 02/03/2009

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try yougurt drinks or the tubes og yoougurt you can freeze them and they are like popsicles. Mine also like cheese cubes or string cheese. At that age it was anything made into finger foods...

Heather - posted on 02/03/2009

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I have 3 girls and one picky eater. She was so picky she had a hard time gaining weight. at one point allshe would eat is hotdogs and ice. I started cutting her food into shapes with cookie cutters. Also food coloring is great for making everything fun.



With Dr.'s orders we added butter, sugar and choclate to everything. A muti vitamin is good. I also put one new thing on her plate that she had to have one bit of. it was a battle at first, but if you win the first on the next one is easier. It takes about 18 tmes of trying a new food for a child to like it. Just because she doesn't like it the first second or even 15th time, dont give up. Hang in there. as long as she has regular bowl movments dont worry too much.



She is 14 today and still wants green eggs and ham, blue pancakes with powdered sugar and sandwiches cut into different shapes. But show some yellow scrambled eggs and thats gross!

Joie - posted on 02/03/2009

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A pediatrician told me "a normal healthy toddler will not starve themselves." Offer her well rounded healthy meals and not too much junk and if she is hungry she will learn to eat it. If she is truly not hungry, not having alot of chips and junk food available will teach her not to overeat. Two of my kids are very picky eaters and the one we started earlier with this theory with is in much healthier condition now that they are older!

Jennifer - posted on 02/03/2009

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Try small fruits like berries. Blueberries are a staple in my home. Cut up some black or purple grapes (make sure they're seedless). Grapes are super sweet!

Amanda - posted on 02/03/2009

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My daughter likes Veggie Fries... they are 1/2 way between a potato chip & french fries except made of veggies, I even enjoy them with her.  Its a good, healthy snack that makes them think they are getting a treat :)

Christina - posted on 02/03/2009

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I had alot of problems with my daughter after she spent sometime with my parents while I went to school with the Navy.  But I did do the tuff love thing.  I would sit down the food on her high chair and if she through a fit or didn't eat.....she waited until the next meal.  By the time dinner rolled around she was ready for whatever I laid down.



Yes again I know that is the tuff love thing.  But as a single mother there was just stuff I couldn't afford.  I was in the Military and things were tight.  So I made sure I had healthy things to snack on and she was just going to have to make adjustments.  I am glad that I did it that way.  She slimmed down a little and to this day I don't let her drink soda, she hates koolaid.  You got to put your foot down early.  I hope this helps! 

User - posted on 02/03/2009

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You can try the yummier healthy stuff...strawberries, grapes, pineapple chunks, raisins, dried cranberries... My son is a wierdo and LOVES veggies...he lives almost soley off of lima beans and black olives.  I suggest buying canned beans (kidney, black, pinto...) and giving them a try.  They are high in protien and easy to serve/eat. 



Also, one thing I've tried is getting a small muffin tin (six holes) and filling each with an acceptable treat, then letting him nibble from the tray.  He's big enough now (2 years) to get  into the fridge by himself, so I just put it on "his" shelf if it has perishable stuff in it.  If it is full of crackers or pretzels, I leave it on the coffee table. 



Don't give up.  Kids this age don't have the will to starve themselves.  Just stop buying the junk food, and offer up all of the good stuff.  She may skip a meal or two, but she won't starve.  As long as you continue to offer healthy foods every hour or so until she eats, she'll eventually give in.  Also, you should eat what you're offering her to exemplify the behavior you want her to have.



Good luck!

Shelly - posted on 02/03/2009

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My daughter was the same way, have you tried pediasure or there snack bars, she really loved them & I just told her they were milk shakes.

User - posted on 02/03/2009

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Kids love dipping their food! Try apple slices with peanut butter as a dip, and try other fruits with a fruit dip (cream cheese & brown sugar) pretzles can be dipped in cheese, and veggies can be dipped in ranch or another salad dressing. You can also try making fun food like apple smiles ( sliced apples with peanut butter spread on it and marshmallows for teeth) and ants on a log (celery with peanut butter and raisins). Good luck I have a picky eater too.

Annthea - posted on 02/03/2009

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I am concerned with the way my kids eat as well.  One treat a day is not enough for them so they ask for "junk" food all day.  I put carrots, apples,grapes on the plate along with the not so health foods.  But with my 3 year old I tell her she must first eat something health for a snack before she gets a sweet snack.  This seems to work most days but yes expect tamtoms from time to time.  I hope this helps.  (Just a side note about the "hidden" food-- I think kids need to know the difference in "junk" food and health food.  And if it is hidden in the food how can they make the right decisions later in life.  But it that is the only way to get it in them then try it!)

Suzanne - posted on 02/03/2009

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semi cooked veggies with her favorite dip. don't forget she has a small stomach. if you don't give whatever to her she can't eat it,please keep away from sweet cereal and try fruits like bananas raspberries, watermelon, honey melon

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I suggest you keep trying to introduce things she's turned down in the past. I recently gave my 19 month old applesauce again (he wouldn't eat it a couple months ago) and now he loves it! Pears too, if I let him eat it like a "big boy" and don't cut it up or peel it. Also, you could try giving her something to "dip" her healthy food in, like ranch dressing for veggies or vanilla yogurt for apple slices. My son also surprised me by liking dried fruits like the Sunsweet indivudually wrapped prunes (!) and dried dates and raisins. I don't remember how I discovered that he liked them. My 4 year old daughter never liked that stuff. It's amazing how different my kids are when it comes to food! Another suggestion is plain pasta - Max would eat a whole bowl of just plain cooked pasta. Doesn't sound good to me, but.... As for the fries/pizza/chips she likes so well, you could try baked fries instead of fried, veggie pizza with really chopped up veggies so she doesn't notice them as much (put them under the cheese), and baked chips. Good luck! (Sorry if I rambled ;O)

Paula - posted on 02/03/2009

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I suggest freezing yogurt tubes and giving those as freezies, my son loves them they are a little healthier, and they think its a great treat. Fruits were always really great too like cut up strawberries and raspberries. Hope this hleps

Shannon - posted on 02/03/2009

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My son is the worst when it comes to eating he barely eats anything. He has what we have learned to call eating days.  If u can give apples or grapes and tell her that it's candy at least for the time being you will be able to give her something that is good for her.  Raisins r natures candy give her some of those also that is only dried up grapes.  Try making crackers with Peanut Butter that way she is getting some kind of Protein.  Try a few of these and let me know how u make out they worked for us and he loves it now and asks for it by name. 

Shannon - posted on 02/03/2009

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My son is the worst when it comes to eating he barely eats anything. He has what we have learned to call eating days.  If u can give apples or grapes and tell her that it's candy at least for the time being you will be able to give her something that is good for her.  Raisins r natures candy give her some of those also that is only dried up grapes.  Try making crackers with Peanut Butter that way she is getting some kind of Protein.  Try a few of these and let me know how u make out they worked for us and he loves it now and asks for it by name. 

Shannon - posted on 02/03/2009

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My son is the worst when it comes to eating he barely eats anything. He has what we have learned to call eating days.  If u can give apples or grapes and tell her that it's candy at least for the time being you will be able to give her something that is good for her.  Raisins r natures candy give her some of those also that is only dried up grapes.  Try making crackers with Peanut Butter that way she is getting some kind of Protein.  Try a few of these and let me know how u make out they worked for us and he loves it now and asks for it by name. 

Felisha - posted on 02/03/2009

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Have you tried blueberries, carrot sticks,apple slices. My 9 month old loves blueberries!! As long as she can feed herself she will eat it, otherwise she will not. We are trying green beans as of right now, so far so good. Try to let her see you eaating the things that you would like her to eat. Maybe if she sees mommy eat it, then she will eat it too..GOOD LUCK!

Rhonda - posted on 02/03/2009

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Hi there, I don't think you need to worry about what your daughter eats at this age, as long as she is eating.



I went through this with my Daughter when she was about 2, all she would eat was sugared cereal, so that is what she ate for every meal.



I was just happy she was eating, slide some veggies or something healthy on to her plate with her fries and pizza, if she eats it thats good if not well atleast she has eaten her fries, or you could try and put veggies on her pizza.

Heidi - posted on 02/03/2009

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Try the cookbook by Jessica Seinfeld. My 2 year old loves many of the recipes, and they contain veggies "hidden" in the foods.

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