How can I make my 4-year old daughter eat other foods aside from bread and milk???

Mommy Telly - posted on 09/20/2009 ( 10 moms have responded )




Hi all! My four-year old doesn't eat anything except chocolate flavored food and milk. She's in the habit of smelling and looking at the food first before she tries to eat it. If it doesn't look nice and/or smell good, she won't eat it.


Michelle - posted on 03/09/2011




My kids have all been fussy at some stage but I have never given into it. I cook 1 meal that we all eat (even my 11m/o). My boys are now older and I always tell them I will never give them anything that will kill them or is too spicy. I only cook 1 meal and if they don't eat it they don't get anything else.

As has already been said, children won't starve themselves. They will eat when they get hungry. If you give in and give them what they want after them not eating what you want them to they learn to just wait it out because you will give in.
A lot of the time it's just a battle over who will crack first. You are the parent and YOU rule the house, not the other way around.

Amy - posted on 09/22/2009




I think you have to offer what you are making or someone else is serving. My daughter used to be the same way. She was SO PICKY about everything she ate. We got to the point that we would put ONLY on her plate things she wasn't too excited about and explained that she had to eat or atleast try the food given first before she got the other "good" stuff according to her tastebuds. It was difficult at first, BUT I have to say it has been a positive outcome. The things she used to hate, she now eats. AND, she now goes places and atleast tries the food given to her rather than saying flat out "I don't like this.". We also made sure at this time we were only giving her water for a beverage because we were finding out she would fill up on milk and juice and literally wouldn't be hungry. Water helped with that.

Just stick to your guns. Whatever you try, know that sometimes it takes MANY MANY attempts before success. Our daughter eats so much better now because she knows she has to atleast try it before she judges it.

Joanne - posted on 09/21/2009




hi your daughter sounds just like my son, he is 5 and he wont eat anything other than plain pasta and microwave chips, he also smells everything before eating it his diet is that poor he is now anemic, josh has docters and specialists but no one can help, i have tried so many things but nothing works so now i encourage him anyway i can i praise him when he trys new things and we just take each day has it comes and hope that as he gets older his diet will imoprove other than that threres nothing else i can advise good luck joanne

Jessica - posted on 09/20/2009




here is the link to the kids that won't eat. It may give you some other ideas or things you can relate to. It's a five part video.

Good luck

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User - posted on 03/09/2011




i have a 4 year old that only eats yoghurt, toast, flavoured milk and any treats. no proper food. i have tried everything. nothing works. people have also told me its a phase.. maybe it is who knows. just carry on introducing new foods and you doing your part. hope things come right for both of us!

Dana - posted on 09/20/2009




Get her to help you make the food. Start with something like pancakes... let her help and SHE can also be the one to add in the chocolate chips. Then you can slowly wean her away with next time add in hald chocolate chips and half strawberries.... then maybe eventually get to the only strawberry pancakes with a few chocolate chips sprinkled on top.

What I am trying to say... If she loves chocolate just add chocolate chips to everything and eventually she'll start eating it. Then start easing back on the chocolate.

Just remember ... it's a stage and she will outgrow it!

Oh I know... a peanut butter sandwich sprinkled with chocolate chips instead of jelly. Maybe even add in bananas too...

Jessica - posted on 09/20/2009




Well at 4 she is old enough to start learning why she is eating food. Sure some is for pleasure but more importantly it's for healthy reasons. I would educate her on nutrition and have her help you make a balanced meal. Have her help you plan your meals and snacks. She can still have some sweets but not just sweets.

This is definitely an age where they try to gain control. So let her have some.. Have her go grocery shopping with you and read the labels of the food she wants to buy. Talk about good and bad things with all those foods.

Also try and make meal times fun with fun shapes instead of just plan old food. My husband gets our kids to eat the skin of an apple by pealing the apple and calling them tickets. Weird but it works. Also sometimes making up fun names for veggies will make them eat it. Like we call our broccoli and cauliflower baby trees.

You can also make dips healthy. You say she likes to chocolate flavored foods. So for a treat whip up some yogurt with chocolate syrup and have her dip her fruits in it like strawberries, bananas, apples. Also my kids like peanut butter and chocolate sandwiches just put a bit of chocolate syrup on them. When I was a kid I would slice banana in the sandwich too. You can also get a cookie cutter or buy those sandwich cutters to make neat shapes out of the sandwich. We have a dinosaur and a dolphin one and with my son I started calling them love sandwiches. So now he asks for a love sandwich with extra love he is 4 LOL

Also my last suggestion is don't be pushy and get anxious about her eating habits. Try to remain calm and relaxed about food. She maybe afraid of trying something new what it will feel like how it will taste. Reassure her that it's ok. Also take note of things that happen and bring them up with your doctor. There are some rare sensory disorders that can effect reactions from food. If I can find the documentary on you tube I will share it. There was a girl in Europe that would only eat chocolate it's very interesting.

Janet - posted on 09/20/2009




At that age everything is about "being independent and making my own choices" so I'd offer her two choices, for example: a banana with some chocolate sauce to dip (since she likes chocolate, and hey, she gets some fruit. Apple would work too, or any fruit) and something else. Being able to choose makes her feel empowered. There are also some great recepies out there where you substitute oil in brownies with apple sauce or pureed plums. See if she'll go for dark chocolate, it has less sugar and some health benefits like anti-oxidants. Maybe make some oatmeal-chocolate-chip cookies (oatmeal is healthy, maybe just try and cut back on the sugar). And don't worry too much, these things are usually phases that will pass eventually. And I totally agree with the tip on getting her involved in the preparation. It often works wonders.

Anita - posted on 09/20/2009




try to get her to try it at least once and then explain to her if she doesnt like how it taste she has a _choice_ not to eat...I guess the problem here is to get her to try it first..unfortunately u will have to force her to try the foods first and after u force her ask her if she likes it or not..if she does then let her eat on her own, if she doesnt then tell her its ok u dont have to eat it...

my lil one used to press his lips at certain things when he doesnt like the look of it or if he is busy all i have to do is say "try a little for mummy, if u dont like it then u dont have to eat it, just try"...he therefore understands he just has to take a mouth full and then after that he has a choice to eat or not to eat...

hope that helps..good luck

Bonnie - posted on 09/20/2009




well there goes that suggestion ... of making it look really presentable ... maybe get her involved in the making of the meal get her to help involve her ! dont let her leave the table till she has eaten her dinner ... because they can only get so hungry b4 they give in and eat lol im not saying to starve ur daughter offe5r her meals and snacks regulary !

if she still rejects it remove the food calmly. most foods can be kept in the fridge saftley and offer it again later, try not to buly her or fuss or offer rewards ! and set a great example of what ur eating ! points to remember : a child will eat when hungryand a healthy child will not starve to death through stubborn food refusal ... good luck !

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