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How do I help my picky eaters?

Two of my daughters (one will be 5 soon tomorrow actually and the other one just turned 3) are very picky eaters. They don't like a lot of stuff. If I cook something they don't like they won't eat, which i have heard a child won't starve themselves so i don't make them something else. But how do i deal with this? Every night at dinner some one is not happy and ends up crying and screaming and eventually in time-out. Any suggestions?


Asked by Momof4Girls30 at 8:40 PM on Jan. 12, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (6)
  • Keep up the good work Mommy. Way to go on not giving in. Try putting something on their plates that is a FAVORITE of theirs and tell them they cannot have a bite of that until they take two bites of everything else on their plates. Than after eating a bite of their favorite, they take two more bites of the other stuff. Hopefully this will work and clean plates and less cryiing will be the outcome. In our house, we institute the "no thank you bite" the kids HAVE to take one bite of something new in order to be able to tell if they like it or not. My son threw a fit when he was younger about rice pilaf (he didn't like the brown pieces) he took his "no thank you bite" and now it's one of his favorite side dishes. Picky eaters are so tough, but mine have both outgrown it and eat pretty much anything now. they are 6 and 9. Good luck tto you.

    Answer by happyathomemum at 8:46 PM on Jan. 12, 2009

  • I agree with HAPPYATHOMEMUM. they will grow out of it.

    Answer by louise2 at 8:51 PM on Jan. 12, 2009

  • I wish I could help you, but I am going through the same battle with my 3 and 4 year olds. They won't even take a bite! I came to the answers section to try to find help for this very same thing. If you find anything that works, please let me know.


    Answer by kaysha at 9:45 PM on Jan. 12, 2009

  • I have a few picky eaters. We make dinner and everyone eats at the table. We make them a small plate of everything, and if they would like seconds of anything they first have to finish everything on their plate. If they don't want to eat they don't get dessert, and they still have to sit at the table with us. They do not get to eat after dinner though. We eat about an hour before bed time, and they know now that they do not get another chance to eat. We still get the whining sometimes when they get in bed that they are hungry, but we always remind them that it was their choice to go without and not try anything. They have gotten use to it, and usually will at least try something. It takes a while for them to get use to this program though.

    Answer by childrengalore at 10:09 PM on Jan. 12, 2009

  • Oh, and I forgot to mention that we don't yell at them for not eating. We always have them stay and enjoy conversation with us as a family. We make sure they understand that it was THEIR choice to not eat, and not mom and dad's. Getting that through their head has worked out much better than punishing them for not eating, and it makes meal times much more pleasant. If they choose to have a screaming tantrum that we aren't serving what they want they are sent straight to bed where they can scream to their hearts content! That doesn't happen much anymore now that they get the idea.

    Answer by childrengalore at 10:13 PM on Jan. 12, 2009

  • My little girl is what I call a "grazer" she eats little things all day. She really isn't picky but sometimes at dinner she just isn't hungry because she has just eaten fruit or a snack. I am pretty sure she picked that up from me because I never really sit down and eat except at dinner. My mom came up with the idea "the kitchen is closed" if all the lights go out in the kitchen then it is closed for the night. I think the hardest part about dinner is it's the one time we pay attention to what they are eating. I know that I don't sit with her at breakfast or lunch so it is really inconstistant. I to believe they will grow out of it. and "making" them clean their plate is okay as long as the portions are little.but as my husband who worksout and eats health as a horse says it's much better for them or anyone to graze health then eat big meals. Keeps the metabolism working.

    Answer by CowgirlCutter at 1:07 AM on Jan. 13, 2009