How do I handle our 18 month growth spurt if my daughter is TOO picky of an eater? Help!

User - posted on 09/24/2012 ( 3 moms have responded )

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About to hit our 18 month growth spurt and my daughter only eats a handful of things. Oatmeal, spaghettio's, hotdogs, chicken tenders, bananas and grapes. AND THAT'S IT!!! The problem is that she wont even taste the food i've offered dozens of times. I know the rule is they have to try it 10 times before they decide they like something, but she wont even put it in her mouth. I've tried MAKING her taste things, and that's how we came to like oatmeal, but I hate force feeding her. She needs to learn to try things on her own. I am concerned that her lack of variety in diet will make this coming growth spurt a real challenge. She can't live on hotdogs and spaghettio's- What do I do?!?!? Please help.

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Katie - posted on 09/24/2012

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Prepare a meal (say lunch for example) for her, put it in front of her and encourage her to give it a go. If she throws a wobbly and refuses to eat, let her hop down from the table and tell her that when she is hungry, her plate of food is here waiting for her. Don't make a fuss by getting angry, frustrated or start pleading with her to eat. When she starts saying she's hungry, just offer her the lunch you have already prepared. Be strong and don't give in to her, especially don't give her extra milk as that will fill her tummy and she will not be hungry to eat the food you have already prepared. Children WILL eat, they will not starve themselves, even if it takes a day or so. Keep offering the lunch, then when dinner rolls around, take the leftover lunch away and make a fresh dinner meal. Keep to the same routine of offering the meal to her, but let her go if she complains. She will soon learn that if she is hungry, it's best to sit down and eat what Mummy has made me. When she does finally eat what you have offered, praise her!! She needs to know that eating what you have made, is good!

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AnnMarie - posted on 09/26/2012

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I have 2 very picky eaters. Like yours they both eat a dozen things and that is all. In fact my 9 yr old eats fewer things now than he did when he was little. I've tried many many tricks to get then to try new things(last year we tried to bribe the 9 yr old with cold hard cash to gethim to try a carrot) some times they work, most times they don't(he took a bite of the carrot but spit out out). I like to make smoothies because I can sneak stuff into it. I would talk to your pediatrician. When my oldest was about 2 I asked too. He said that if my son ate allot of cereals (which he did) it was vitamin coated and not to worry. Now my children are large (90-95+% across the board) and quite healthy so I probably worried less than if they were smaller. Also now that they are older I make sure they take a daily Vitamin. But there are tons of ways to sneak stuff in on them. Try veggie dogs or turkey dog, see if she notices. Same with the nuggets(or make homemade from chicken breasts). Sneak applesauce into oatmeal.I put yogurt into my smoothies. Tweek the foods she eats with foods she hasn't tried yet. Banana snakes with raisin eyes, or make it a butterfly by adding wings made from apples or oranges or pitas... Get creative! :) just keep trying.

User - posted on 09/24/2012

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mine is a picky eater too, def. let her eat when she wants to and do force it, itll make her not want to eat even more. I buy this brand apple and eve, its a fruit and vegetable juice and my son loves it, it helps when he doesnt want to eat certain foods. Ive also learned that if he helps prepare the food hes more willing to eat it, I know they like to play with food but this is really how they explore the food, im not fond of it so id let him do little things like if we have something and you can sprinkle shredded cheese on top, let her help by having a bowl with small amount of food and let her put the chees on top, something thats not crazy messy but shell think shes really helping, and praise her for it. Mine loves that and what I noticed really helped we eat together att he table and he loves eating on a grown up plate like mom and dads and we introduce the food we are eating that day onto his dinner plate, he sees us eating it and wants to do the same. Dont stress, toddlers will eat when they have to, they dont eat alot anyway its normal

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