Should I prepare special meals for my picky toddler?

Real Mom Problem

“My 2 year old is such a pain to feed! I want to rip my hair out. Cooking a minimum of 2 meals per mealtime is getting ridiculous! I can't take it anymore.”

by MedicturnedMama MedicturnedMama

Quick Tips

  • 1. Make sure there's at least one thing on the plate you know your toddler will eat
  • 2. Remember that it can take up to 10 tries for a picky toddler to enjoy a new food
  • 3. Don't let it become a power struggle -- Try to offer your child a range of appropriate choices

Real Mom Solutions

Some toddlers are tough customers when it comes to food. This too shall pass! In the meantime, check out how these moms have handled their own picky eaters.

It's Not Wrong -- It's Smart!

  • BellaMama7

    I don't see a problem with washing a few extra dishes. "If you don't eat what's on your plate you starve" causes more serious problems with kids than anything. Eventually she'll eat with you guys.

  • Bay-Rumi

    If you're fine with it, there's no reason to butt heads with your two-and-a-half-year-old and force her to eat what you eat. As adults, I don't think we'd like it if we were forced to eat something we didn't like.

  • LadyBugMom09

    I just don't like the idea of sending her to bed hungry because she doesn't like what the rest of us are eating. I hated being forced to eat something I didn't like. I mean, who likes to eat things they don't like? It hasn't been a problem for our family and as long as she sits down at the dinner table with us and eats her food, I don't see a problem with it.

  • KatlynAlanna

    It's not wrong, it's smart. Wouldn't you rather cook two meals than make something you know your kids won't eat and they go without?

  • tyleroy

    As long as you encourage her to try different foods, I don't see anything wrong with giving her things she will eat.

You Are Not a Short Order Cook!

  • alexsmomaubrys2

    I personally think it's a bad idea. Our kids eat what we put in front of them and have since they started eating solid foods. They don't get anything different and they have learned to like the foods we prepare. I think you are hurting your children more than helping.

  • Lorelai_Nicole

    I am not a short-order cook, and my kitchen is not a restaurant. My kids will eat what I make. They have to at least try it. If, after 5 bites, they still don't like it, they can make themselves a sandwich. My kids are not picky eaters, and even if they were I would not cater to them. That only causes more problems.

  • momma2b2008

    She eats what we are having or she doesn't eat! I do not understand why parents cater to a child's picky eating, they are only making it worse! In my opinion, picky eaters are not born that way they are created by parents!

  • collinsmommy_06

    My son eats what we eat. Has since he started eating table food. My thought on fixing them separate meals is they are never going to learn to try new things if they don't have to.

  • MommaSpry

    I don't give my child a choice. She eats what everyone else eats. We never had a choice of being picky growing up and we had no problem listening to and following that rule, so my children will do the same.

Try These Helpful Tips

  • collinsmommy_06

    It sounds like more of a control issue. Don't bribe, don't yell, don't beg just don't give her any other option. Don't make special meals for her; put in front of her what you cook for the whole family. Do away with snacks in between meals. I know it sounds harsh but kids need boundaries and will eat when they get hungry enough. Kids are not going to starve themselves; she will learn to eat what is in front of her if she is hungry enough. Statistically kids have to try things at least 10 times before they truly don't like or like it. So just keep trying.

  • kmencl3210

    We started the '3 bite rule' because he wouldn't even have his plate in front of him before he'd start crying saying he didn't like something. But now he has to take 3 bites of everything on his plate. If he still doesn't like it than I'll get him something else like a sandwich. But almost every time he ends up liking it and eats all of it and asks for seconds.

  • Jessica44052

    I do not make a separate meal but I will make sure they have at least one thing on their plate that they like. I try to only make meals that the whole family likes too. I guess I cater to them a little but I still make things that they don't like and I still make them at least try it

  • AHmom103

    I usually just make them at least try whatever we're eating, and if they don't like it, I'll make them either a pb&j or a bowl of cereal, but I won't prepare a completely different meal.