Need tips for convincing a two year old girl to eat healthy.

Jerah - posted on 04/21/2014 ( 2 moms have responded )




Hi everyone!
This is my first post and I am still figuring this out so I hope this goes to the right place! I have been having a lot of trouble lately with being able to convince my two year old to eat healthy foods. I have worked in child care for a number of years and know most of the "right ways" to do things such as continuing to offer things she has previously rejected, eating the same thing in front of her to encourage her to mimic, and introducing new things she hasn't seen before. Her solution to vegetables or meat prepared in a healthy way (grilled vs. fried) is just not to eat. Another "correct" suggestion is not to give in to the dinner-time Mexican standoff and allow her to eat whatever she wants after rejecting healthy foods just to get her to eat ANYTHING. But I am having trouble with that one as well. It's concerning to me when she doesn't eat anything at all for dinner, but I know that caving and giving her chicken nuggets in lieu of grilled chicken and veggies is counter-productive as well. I'm just feeling a little stuck. I am told she eats well at daycare each day. But I am still worried and could use all of the advice I can get from other mommas! Thank you!


View replies by

Liz - posted on 04/21/2014




I'm progressing through picky eating with my 4 year old. She basically only wants to eat mac 'n cheese, but she's also recovering from chronic constipation, so we are limiting her dairy and pushing vegetables and healthy foods (as we have been since the beginning, but we are now just not ever caving).

We find ourselves singing the Daniel Tiger jingle about new foods every time we sit down to eat, have to ensure that we're all eating at the same time and that if she doesn't _at the very least_ properly try a 'new' food, that she understands there is no alternative, no dessert and no TV that night.

She has gone to bed without dinner on many occasions, as her response is often 'in that case I'm not hungry'. I used to fret about it, but now I let her do it, because she won't starve herself and she's neither malnourished nor falling on the growth charts.

We have also stopped 'snacking' times and no longer use any form of food as a reward system, e.g. for pottying.

We are at last making headway after maybe 3 months of a consistent approach. She tried (and fully ate) three new foods last week. So hang in there, be consistent, make sure your daughter understands the consequences of not eating a meal (no other food until tomorrow etc) and you'll get there.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 04/21/2014




It sounds like you know exactly what to do but it is very hard doing it. Trust me I know. One simple way to handle it? Stop buying the crap food all together so 1. you cannot cave and give her what she wants 2. she will learn that you no longer have it in the house.

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