Help, my 2 year old won't eat anything?

Heather - posted on 04/28/2010 ( 10 moms have responded )

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My son is 26 months old and he only eats mac n cheese and chicken nuggets for dinner. He won't eat anything else. Does anyone have any tips on how I can get him to eat some other things that are healthier and a more variety of food. He does eat better things for breakfast and lunch, but for dinner he won't touch anything else. I think this is a pretty common thing for this age to be this picky, but I was hoping someone out there would have some tricks up their sleeve to help me out.
Thank You.

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Erica - posted on 04/30/2010

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quit buying mac and cheese and chicken nuggets. if they arent there he will eat something else. what do you eat for dinner? start feeding him small portions of what the FAMILY meal is and he will start eating. dont feel guilty or give in if he doesnt eat well for a few days, he wont starve or die, but after he learns that you are in charge he will start eating the foods you give him. offer him a choice of two things YOU find acceptable, not things that he would have previously deemed acceptable. offering chicken nuggets or mac-n-cheese is not an acceptable choice, offering some cut up pieces of chicken breast or whole wheat pasta is an acceptable choice.

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Kloe - posted on 04/30/2010

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my lil bro is the same way sence he was a baby the only thing i can suggest it put veggies in the mac n cheese and get diffrent types og chicken nuggets like veggie ones

Joanna - posted on 04/30/2010

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well I think he's in a know's its his routine that mac-n-cheese and chicken nuggets is whats for dinner. I would say give him the same thing your eating and eat with him and if he still wont eat it then just try again in a little while he will eat when he's hungry other wise he will be eating mac-n-cheese and nuggets forever.lol

Heather - posted on 04/30/2010

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Thank you everyone. I guess I'm totally not alone in this field, so it does make me feel a little better.

Christy - posted on 04/29/2010

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No tricks here....my kids (20 months and 34 months) won't eat much at dinner time, either. They eat at breakfast and lunch, but feeding them any sort of dinner is like watching paint dry.....just present what he likes at dinner and let him eat. You are lucky, my kids don't eat anything but a bite or 2 at dinner time.

Jennifer - posted on 04/28/2010

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My 2 year old is the same way that it worries me that i try sticking the other foods that she dont like but need together to were she cant see the one she dont like an it still dont work i have gotten to were i leave it there an not force her to eat but let it wait on her an she comes back to the food eventually.

Autumn - posted on 04/28/2010

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I can definitely relate on this issue. My two year old is much like me-very picky about his food. My one year old however isn't in the least bit. My two year old wants chicken nuggetts and fish sticks. He won't eat beef or anything like that. He wants toast, mini pancakes or waffles in the mornings, occasionally poptarts. I have tried everything under the sun to get him to eat a variety, but he just won't have it. I have started slicing up apples and bananas and he is seeming to enjoy that pretty well b/c he can pick them up quick. I think they are all to busy playing to worry about eating much.

Rebeca - posted on 04/28/2010

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Hi Heather
I can relate as this problem seems to run in my family.
When I was one and my mum stopped giving me bottles I refused to eat anything but custard until I was four. My mum took me to the doctor as she was concerned I would die from malnutrition but the doctor told her that children do not starve when there is food available and not to force me but just to always have other food around and offer it if I showed interest.

I stayed with my grandmother while my mum worked, and she would lay out a smorgasbord of different foods and drinks just in case I tried something, but after the age of four I started to eat more although I am still fussy, and have found that most of the food I avoid irritates my stomach and makes me sick so its almost like my body knows to avoid them.

When I had my children (a girl and boy), they both went from great eaters as babies to fussy eaters at the age of one, and my brothers daughter has been the same, but the kids are now older and really good eaters.

I think its important to eat lots of different things in front of your child and offer him a taste of your 'special' food. I found a good trick with my son was to pretend I had bought certain foods just for me coz they were so yummy and they are not allowed to eat it all. Then I would just cook it, put some only on my plate and make a big deal of how good it tasted. after a bit, I would turn to him and casually say 'do you want a taste?' and it worked every time! He would taste it and decide he liked it so I would say "well, there's a bit extra left over if you want some" (I always cooked extra), and the next time I cooked that particularly food, he wanted some.

The worst thing you can do is force him to eat things that he refuses to try as I believe the whole "you cant leave the table until you finish your food" attitude is what creates eating disorders as children rebel and try to take control over their food.

Don't stress too much, as long as he eating and he is healthy he will be okay. Once he starts going to friends houses without you he will start trying other things as he will want to try things that other kids eat.

Good luck, hope this helps you a bit.

Krystin - posted on 04/28/2010

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I don't have any pointers for you- but my son is the same way. he only eats mac and cheese, pasta roni (some), chicken nuggets, popcorn, snapea crisps. He also will eat string cheese, cottage cheese (for breakfast) cheerios and sometimes french fries. He likes apples but other than that, no other meats, or fruits or veggies. Its very frustrating!!

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