MY TODDLER WONT EAT ANYTHING HEALTHY!!!

Tmstaffon - posted on 08/23/2009 ( 14 moms have responded )

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Hi! My daughter will be 2 in December and has recentlhy become so extremely picky when it comes to eating. I am a very healthy eater and have offered her hundreds of times healthy food such as eggs, cheese, oatmeal, pasta, veggies and fruit. The only thing she really will even look at is yogurt and chicken fingers and fish sticks! I am getting so frustrated and feeling like a horrible mother, i dont want my daughter to have an unhealthy diet! She will drink V8 splash and lots of whole milk.. and thats about it! Is this normal? Am i doing something wrong? Help please....any advice willl be SOO appreciated!!

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Rebecca - posted on 10/03/2011

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Start being a parent and put your damn foot down. Give her what you cook. Stop giving into her and letting her walk all over you.

Melanie - posted on 08/23/2009

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Around the age of two, toddlers can appear to stop eating and become extremely picky. This is because their growth rate slows down and other things become more important.



By now your daughter will have pretty good reasoning skills (although will probably resort to a tantrum). Just offer her your prefered foods (foods you want her to eat), she may not like all of them, but will eat something. Make the chicken fingers and fish sticks sometimes food.



At this age introduce her to chips (french fries), but make them yourself. My daughter loves them - I just peel potatoes, cut them into chip like shapes, drizzle a little olive oil over them (to help them crisp up), and put them in the oven (about 200C for 20 min, depending on the size I cut them). Sweet potato, carrot, pumpkin, eggplant and any other vege you roast can also be used.



At the end of the day she will not starve herself, but at the same time don't make food a battle. Meals should remain positive. Continue to model good eating behaviour and she will follow. My daughter is now 7.5 and is starting to become more open to new flavours.



Sometimes giving your toddler a little choice at meal times is a good thing, you can leave one vegetable you don't want to eat, you must eat at least two different types of things on your plate, have two mouthfuls of everything then finish anything you want on the plate etc.

[deleted account]

This is basically a repeat but I wanted to reinforce what others have said. At this age they just eat VERY LITTLE. They will not starve to death with food in front of them and even a tablespoon of food makes a difference to them. Make sure she is not snacking or drinking too much juice and milk. If she does eat snacks, they should be super healthy because if a toddler has snacks they may be too full (even hours later) to eat a meal. Even a small glass of milk will fill up their little tummy and she won't be hungry enough to bother trying anything but her favorites. At meals, feed her what you are making for yourself. If she chooses not to eat then no snacks and no juice until the next meal. If you put all junky food out of the house and only offer healthy stuff, she WILL eat it. It is all in what you model and what you keep in the house. If junk is there (and I consider chicken nuggets and fish sticks just junk food that happens to have a little protein) they will beg for it. If it's not there, they forget about it and develop a taste for healthier food. Don't show my children a Twinkie or any of those other snack cakes. They will practically throw up on you. Ditto with white bread, fried foods and no-whole-grain-full-of-sugar cereal. It's never entered the door of our house so it's considered "weird".

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Jackie - posted on 08/24/2009

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I once heard a doctor put it best... children's natural instinct is to survive. That being said no child has intentionally starved themselves to death. Toddlers only eat when they are hungry. And since they don't work or go to school... breakfast, lunch and dinner means NOTHING to them. Toddlers don't need nearly as much food as we all think they do. She will eat when she is hungry and not before. I wouldn't start making her new things because she refuses something else. You aren't a short order cook and she needs to learn that young. Its funny my son is 5 and is still out growing that easily distracted from eating stage. He will swear up and down he doesn't like something. And when I make it a few days later.. the same item... he eats it like its icecream. Why because he actually was hungry the second time around. Don't fight over food just make the rules clear and remember she won't starve.

Jami Aka JamiQuan - posted on 08/24/2009

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You are doing the right thing but a bit much. First when you offer her something dont offer an alternative. Keep offering her the item. A child will eat when they are hungry they will NOT stave. A child will eat when they are ready promise. My sons are 14, and step son 13. He was picky eater my 13 yo due to his family issues.I do not tollerate the behavior at all. They can not eat ANYTHING but what I make for dinner. Snacks I offer few options like 2 if they dont want them they are NOT hungry. Good luck

Tmstaffon - posted on 08/24/2009

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WOw...great advice everyone!! And i just cut up a sweet potato and baked it and she LVOED them! Yeah!!! Thanks so much everyone i will definatly change my ways of offering her food until she eats something. Also, i didnt realize even a cup of milk could make her not want dinner. Thanks again everyone!

Melissa - posted on 08/23/2009

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If you don't offer it to her or don't have it in the house, she'll eventually come around. My kids used to eat some pretty crappy things and it took some time before they stopped asking for those certain foods. Only offer the healthy options, and soon enough she'll be asking for those foods.

Firebird - posted on 08/23/2009

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My daughter has been a picky eater since about that age. I give her food and she can eat what's in front of her or she can have nothing.... the choice is hers. I tell her that starving kids would give their teeth to eat what I feed her. After a short bit she'll eat it because there's nothing else. Now she usually eats whatever I make for dinner before it gets cold. So no you're not a bad mom at all, this is perfectly normal. Just feed her only one thing, if she's hungry she'll eat it, if not... too bad, she'll learn. She's testing the water so to speak. If you constantly give her more and more options until she does eat something it'll only enforce the behaviour of a picky eater.

Sharon - posted on 08/23/2009

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no because then she wins. This is her exercising a new found power.

Kids eat when they get hungry.

My husband the super softy would have had me cooking 2 meals at each sitting just to keep the kids happy and if they had their way they would be eating pizza and chicken nuggets every night.

But they have the message now - eat what I put in front of you or don't eat. At 14, 10, & 7 yrs - their option is to eat a PB&J and a childs vitamin if they don't eat my dinner and they have to make the sandwich themselves.

Tmstaffon - posted on 08/23/2009

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ok....im starting to not feel like a bad mamma now...im glad to hear this is very normal behavior! So, basically if she refuses one food i should not just keep giving her more and more options unitl she finally eats something?

Bridget - posted on 08/23/2009

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I have a 3.5 year old & a 2 year old. Around age 2 my oldest daughter began to be very picky. She would only eat corn, chicken nuggets or milk. She refused to try anything else that I prepared. Her pediatrician told me that kids will go through several phases like that & there's nothing to worry about. He told me to just keep trying to encourage other foods. I gave her a Flintstone gummy vitamin every day just to help ensure that her needs were being met. She is now back to eating a variety of foods (at least a better variety) but guess what...My 2 year old is starting to refuse everything! Lol.

Sharon - posted on 08/23/2009

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They grow out of it. Offer vitamin fortified cereal - most kids cereals are - with a handful of crushed Total tossed in. Offer one thing and one thing only every time she rejects what is served for dinner. She'll come around.

Bev - posted on 08/23/2009

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Hi Teresa - this is perfectly normal....first, she's not getting stomach aches, etc. from any of these foods? second, i would suggest not keeping chicken fingers and fish sticks in your house. if they're not there, she can't eat them. YOU'RE not doing anything wrong, sometimes kids go through these phases (it's also one of the reasons it called the "terrible twos"). try disguising the eggs, veggies and fruit in other foods? i hope this was of some help to you. Good luck!!

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