How can I get my 2 and a half year old to eat?

Carol - posted on 09/07/2009 ( 9 moms have responded )

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My son is 2 and a half and he has no interest in eating. He has always been a fussy eater and he is relatively small for his age. But lately, he has gotten worse with his eating habits. he only likes to nibble on snacks. He doesn't find anything appealing to eat if it is not junk (lollipops, chips, chocolate) . And he has been having tantrums in order for me to give up and he ends up skipping the meal. I have tried different foods, entertaining him to watch tv, play with toys while he's eating. Sometimes it works, and I'll be able to get a few bites in, and then he'll refuse to finish. I am getting so tired with this battle!!! I know he wont starve. But i want my child to eat normal, or at least be interested in eating, rather than refusing to eat before he even sees what I'll be feeding him. Help!!!

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Molly - posted on 09/07/2009

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Are you feeding him junk snack? If you are, that is not the right way. Give him fruits and veggies, cheese and cracker, peanut butter, etc. Try to say away from cookies and candy. Use those for after meal bribes. For meals, try giving him a choice of two things. Tell him those are the only options. If he refuses, tell him okay, than you don't eat. Give him water, milk, or juice, but not too much juice, since sugar represses hunger and gets them on a sugar high. Try 1/4 to 1/2 cup of juice. Always measure out your juices. Milk or water is always best. He will be hungry, but at snack give him another two Healthy choices or give him the choice from lunch. Keep at it, but give him fruits to eat instead of candy and junk. let him eat the same food as you do. kids will eat what adults want to eat most of the time. If you are having spaghetti, leave out the sauce for his portion. Keep it simple. Do not be a short order cook though!!. If he is in daycare, let the providers know that you want him to eat better. No candy or chips unless he eats his meal first. Always eat snack with your son, that way what mommy eat, your son will eat. Plus it is also good for moms to eat too.



Let your son have the tantrums. He is trying to get his way, but keep firm. He knows that if he acts up you will give up just to keep him quiet. He will ultimately know that he will not be eating candy and junk, but what mommy and daddy will give him. Try to at least give him two choices. That way if he doesn't want one thing, he has the option of the second. Giving them choices makes him feel very important and picking out what he want out of the choices you gave him makes him feel like a big kid.

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Minnie - posted on 09/30/2011

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Perhaps keep the lollipops, chips and chocolate out of the house?

Meltdowns will ensue, no doubt it is very frustrating to have such things denied when they were allowed frequently in the past, but kids are supremely adaptable and he will get over it.

Offer healthy whole foods, don't worry about the snacking if he is only snacking on good food.

Snacking in toddlers IS normal. No big deal if he eats a bit here and there all day long as long as it's not junk.

Kelly - posted on 09/30/2011

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I have the same problem with my 2.5 year old. He's been fussy since he was born. He would eat the baby food veggies and fruit, and then when I tried the pastas and such, he'd gag it up, and refused to eat. He won't eat meat, veggies, fruit. Wont even try it. I've made him sit at the table with me with it on his plate, and even sent him to bed with nothing (i'll give him a bit of milk before bed, that's always been the way he goes to sleep) but he won't eat it. He'll eat french fries, and every once in a while will take a small bite of a hamburger. he eats bread, waffle, yogurt drinks, yogurt, pudding, juice. he's a big boy and i know he's not starved. The doctor doesn't seem worried, but I am. I can't get him to even try it. Every once in a while he'll eat a bit of grilled cheese. I'm at a loss. He gags if I try to force him. And he will sit there forever and not eat!

Stella - posted on 09/07/2009

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My toddler doesn't like to eat much either but in the morning I make us some fruit smoothie all I use is ice, juice/milk, fruit, spinach, and vanilla flavored yogurt this makes it taste sweet and he really looks forward to this also you can switch the fruits up and sometimes I put in some frozen fruit it saves time when your on the go try using a sippy cup with a straw to avoid messes

Brandi - posted on 09/07/2009

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Try leaving small bowls or plates of food out around the house, and keep up with scheduled meal times. If he doesn't eat it, leave it there for a bit, and let him feed himself. My daughter used to do the same thing and sometimes still does. They will eat when they're hungry.

Rose - posted on 09/07/2009

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hi i have four kids the youngest being 17 and he was the worst for eating he would only eat boiled pasta, yogurt,wotsits,banana and turkey up to the age of about 7 then he added a few things but would not eat potatoes of any sort or veg. he survived on pasta he recently ate salad and chicken wraps with salsa and cheese and chive dip. thet eat what they need and now he loves home made veg soup. as for the tantrums the more you give in the worse they will get just dont get stressed when he does not eat and cut out the sweets if you can.try areward system, if he eats half his food he can have this (what he likes does not have to be sweets can be anything you choose). hope this works for you

Anastacia - posted on 09/07/2009

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If you can find one or two things that he will eat that are snacks, such as PB&J or chicken nuggets, hot dogs, spaghetti o's or what have you than its ok to let him just eat that. My son was the same way at that age. He still wont eat anything i make for me and my husband. And he wont try anything new either. I gave up on the whole if you dont eat it you wont eat cause he would skip all the meals not just one. He used to eat everything. There was nothing that i made that he wouldnt eat until two and a half. Im still struggling with it and he's four now soo... I hope this helps a little bit. Best of luck. :O)

Gemma - posted on 09/07/2009

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my kids seem to like finger food that is easy to eat or try making faces out of it 2 make it fun gl gemma

Terrie - posted on 09/07/2009

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my kids have days were they don`t want to eat so what i do is i mix there food for example 2 chunks of cheese, some grapes, slice of apple, sweetcorn, 1sandwhich square, 1hotdog chopped etc they like the variety n i just put it out on a plate and they eat what they want

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