Is it healthy that my little girl is a really picky eater?

My little girl is very specific about what she eats. Is this healthy, or should I be concerned?

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11  Answers

1 15

hi, my name is fran and i have a son that is a picky eater aswell its drivin me nuts. he is 4yrs old and he is very picky on wat he eats all the time. i asked my doctor about it and he said as long as he is healthy dont worry about it, also the doc said that in time his taste buds will change and he will try different things. so i would not worry about it to much. i hoped i helped u out a bit.

7 0

First of all, picky eaters in kids is pretty normal. Unfortunately many parents don't realize that they can help their children to not be so picky and to be good eaters, but it does take a little bit of effort, especially if she is already picky.

The main point is to not give in to your picky eaters. Offer a variety of foods at meal time, and do not give them something else when they refuse to eat what they were given. Also, do not allow them to have more of any food until they have eaten what is on their plate. For example, you offer dinner of chicken, broccoli, and peaches. If they scarf down the peaches and ask for more, be adament that they have to eat the chicken and broccoli first. Otherwise, you are allowing them to be picky and choose what they would like to eat. For this theory to work well, it is usually helpful to start out by not putting as much of each item on the child's plate. They can always get more once they eat up the plate, but might get overwhelmed by a big plate. You will have more success with smaller portions, and then can give more verbal praise when they finish the 'new' foods.

A second tip is to make the child stay at the table until everyone is done eating. Allowing them to get down when they are done with their food will make them more inclined to not eat as much so they can get back to playing. Just leave the plate of food in front of them. Many times my son would say he's done eating and seemingly refuse to eat, we tell him just to stay in his seat until we are done too... and after a few minutes, he starts eating some of his food again.

The most important thing I can say is that it WILL NOT harm your child if they go to bed hungry once in a while because they refused to eat a meal. Once they wake up super hungry a couple times, they will be much more willing to eat the new foods, and I know that may sound mean to some of you, but you are offering them food and they are the ones choosing not to eat... you ARE NOT starving your child by doing this. This ensures that they know you mean business and are not going to give in to their pickiness.

Ideally, it works best to have your child eating a variety of things from day one. Even just the baby foods offered in the store are not variety enough for your children. I fully believe that has a big impact on how they will eat as they get older. For example, my son ate homemade baby food... he even ate things such as pureed peppers and onions as a baby. Now he eats just about anything you give him and is not picky at all. My daughter unfortunately ate store made baby food and she is a lot more picky. Many meals go by where she just barely picks at her food. Sometimes a little bartering helps too... if they ask for more milk, try "ok, can you eat one bite of your broccoli while i get your milk?" little things like that sometimes work well too.

If it did not happen that they were able to get a variety of food as a baby and now are picky, or used to be good but now are picky, just stick to it. Don't give in to the pickiness and you will help your child so much! Hope my tips helped you!

33 2

This is exactly what we did for our daughter, and it worked; however my daughter is very stubborn so she would just fill up on breakfast since she loved cereal and not eat anything else all day. Then we began the rule, if you don't eat your supper, it comes out for breakfast. We had to do it once or twice, now all we need to do is remind her and she eats. She is still picky, she gets it from me. Everybody in my mother's family is picky. I remember throwing up at the table because my mother would force me to eat my mashed potatoes and I hated the texture. The difference is, my mother gave up and started feeding me junk when I wouldn't eat supper. Then I got fat and was a picky adult. When I met my husband, he taught me that exposure to different foods cures pickiness and by the time I had children, I was able to eat everything, even if I don't like everything. Things that I did not like before, I now like and going to eat at people's houses no longer give me a panic attack. I sure wish my mother had made me eat different things when I was a kid. I could have saved years of anxiety. My daughter still tends to pick meat over veggies, and would pick chicken nuggets or spagetti over broccoli if I gave her the option any day, but when the broccoli is put in front of her, I have taught her to take a piece of broccoli with a piece of chicken, and it goes down easier. This always helped me. Or take a drink of water to wash down something that is unpalatable. Now that she knows how to eat things that she doesn't like, with minimal whining, I can take her anywhere to eat. We also make a wide variety of foods at home because she mostly has difficulty with things that are different. The first 50 times she eats something, she hates it. Then one day she will say, I like it. We eat stir fry, curry, fajitas, chili, meat and steamed veggies, couscous, omlettes, tikka marsala, general tso, spicy food etc. Anything different we come across, we will start making it at home until she likes it. We will of course adjust the spice level so it is not uncomfortable for them, but we gradually increase the level so they are used to it. Both my kids can even eat with chopsticks. When I was growing up it was canned peas, canned corns, potatoes and meat every day. I hated potatoes, and corn, got sick of peas and like meat. I could not eat anywhere else because anything different terrified me. Now I eat Indian, Chinese, Thai, Canadian, french and I even like most of it. Growing up, when my parents went to a Chinese restaurant, I would eat a hamburger. It would never have happened on its own. If you cater to a picky child, they will become a picky adult just like I did. What kid would choose to eat something they don't like that much over chicken nuggets. If they know the choice is there, you will never get them to eat real food.

6 6

I have a 4 year old girl who will not eat hardly anything. From being 4 months old, she was even refusing to drink milk, which really made me panic. She still barely eats now, but I spoke to health professionals and to start with, they just said it's a 'phase' she's going through.
As my daughter started nursery, we realised that something was not quite right with her and am currently waiting on more tests to be done. They now say her not eating could be down to this condition she may have.
she has tones of energy, even with eating next to nothing.
I have been advised to try and split foods up, so that they don't touch each other and to place things like gravy, dips and sauces in separate dishes so she can choose if she wants them or not.
Hope this helps, I know what a worry it can be.

0 4

I am so glad that someone finally said something with a little more sense. Health issues such as Eosinophilic esophagitis and reflux are just a couple of the reason a child might not be eating the way they should. it may not just be a behavioral problem. It actually might be painful for them to swallow food. They might also have sensory issues that cause them to have an aversion to certain textures, tastes and smells. Pediatricians are great general practitioners, but they don't specialize in childhood diseases or neurological disorders. Use your instinct as a parent and research beyond the answers that it's just a "phase" or a behavior. There may be something a lot more serious going on and your child doesn't know how to tell you. It's better to have tests done then to find out later that your child was suffering all that time and you were told that they would just "grow out of it". Article Source:

512 54

As long as she is not under or over weight, is on task with physical and developmental growth, has no chronic complaints of headache, stomach aches and is sleeping well, i would not worry. If she has severe mood swing, seems lethargic or fatigued often she may be malnourished or have a hidden medical condition, so see a doctor. Being "picky" doesn't' necessarily mean you are unhealthy. I'm a vegan and i have never been healthier :)

3 0

My granddaughter just turned 3. I gave her a plate with fruit cup and mixed vegies stir fry and she said I don't like this. I said that's ok . Find the orange one (carrots) she ate it. I said find the green one( broccoli) she ate it. She said find the yellow one ( peaches) ect. I was eating them on my plate as she did hers'. When her plate was empty, she said I want some more.

0 14

I have a child who is Autistic. He gives picky new meaning. He hardly eats but grows just fine. We have NO fruit and NO vegetables. He can tolerate being around the fruit and vegetables but will not touch or eat them. Kids also graze rather than eat large meals. Keep that in mind. Write down what she eats each day over a period of 4 or 5 days in a row. Then look at what she ate a little more closely. I bet you will find that she ate more than you realize.

0 22

My 6 year old has gotten very picky. She used to eat anything we put in front of her. But on the plus side, she mostly eats healthy stuff. There are only certain treats she likes, and she loves "real meals". She has never liked fast-foods, as it was something we never offered her at a young age. I still wish she ate more of a variety, but I know this is just a phase she is going through.

20 9

my almost 5 year old is the same way!!!! It's so nice to read these answering posts and see that Im not alone in the fact that my child is the pickiest eater Ive ever seen!! Her pediatrician says if she doesn't eat what I put in front of her, give her nothing but water and try again next meal. She's gone for a whole day without eating following his plan... so Ive given in and put stuff I know she'll eat in front of her. I feel like a bad parent when we get to my inlaws and they put food in front of her and she doesn't eat it and asks for mac and cheese or pb&j instead. Im hoping when she starts school in the fall and sees the other kiddos trying stuff (shes an only child) then maybe she'll want to try stuff too???

8 5

I've gone through this with all of my children. My pediatrician said the same thing as the other posts. I made the same meal for my little one as I did for the rest of us, but I also added things I knew he would eat on the plate. With my 2nd one it had to be a separate plate. He got to where he treated the plate kind of like a buffet and chose what he wanted instead of me pressuring him. The more I fought it, the worse it got. So for a while it was nothing but mac and cheese and pb&j sandwiches. Now all my boys eat a variety of foods. It's just a phase that should pass shortly.

11 8

My little ones are picky too, but my son started preschool last year and his eating habits have changed ALOT! Once they see other kids eating different things they will end up trying new things. I also noticed that we we all sat at the table he would protest on trying anything, but during lunch if my husband was sitting on the couch eating something he (my son) would walk over curiously. He would sit beside him staring at the food and watching him. (my son only did this if we were sitting on the couch eating). My husband would ask him you want a bit, and he would curl his nose. Then my husband would another bit and my son would say "I want to try"...he would act or sometime take a really really small bit....if he liked it he would ask for another and then eventually take the whole plate...he was kind-a funny. My ped said it was probably the pressure to try new things at the table is to overwhelming to him. It was more relaxing or less tense on the couch on his own terms.

11 23

It isn't really a big deal. I asked my children's pediatrician and he says as long as they get a daily vitamin that will provide them with the nutrients they need and you find alternate foods that they like that has the nutrients they need to be healthy it is fine. They will hopefully grow out of it but if not, it will be something you'll get used to dealing with. Remember they are little people with their own personalities. :-)


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