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picky eating.

my 3 1/2 yr old is supppppppper picky. there are nights when he just wont eat or just wants to eat fruit. then there are days when he will want to eat only breakfast stuff like waffles, oatmeal, cereal. i want him to eat more meat...sometimes he will eat cut up chicken or pork chops but not often. he only likes to eat corn and and green beans. i have tried not giving him snacks but i always fold. he is to the point where he wont even eat chicken nuggets. he used to love hot pockets and now wont touch them...idk i am at a loss. help!!! how do you get your toddler to eat???

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Asked by paulierox at 6:37 PM on Feb. 2, 2009 in Food & Drink

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Answers (9)
  • I thought I was the only one dealing with this problem. My son only wants to eat salad and rice and beans. He doesn't eat any meat non what so ever. He's somewhat a vegetarian by choice. I'd say just make sure he takes vitamins. But when my son goes to his 4yr old check-up, I'm gonna bring that up and see what else can be done.

    Answer by Buffie04 at 6:45 PM on Feb. 2, 2009

  • First I would say back off. There are not many things in his life that he can control and food is one thing he can. I would not worry to much about the meat thing. My son never liked meat very much and the DR said most children this age don't like it, Also, children his age will really only eat 1 big meal a day and they will never starve themselves.

    In my house the rule is this. You have to try 1 piece of everything on you plate. Then you need to choose one thing that you will eat all of. So if we have chicken, rice and corn, I know my middle child will eat all his corn, most of his rice, and will only eat 1 piece of chicken.

    Good Luck and try not to stress to much.

    Answer by cornflakegirl3 at 6:45 PM on Feb. 2, 2009

  • Cornflakegirl has a great answer - and be consistent! Don't fold!

    He's not going to starve and needs to know that you, the adult, are in charge.

    Answer by Wimsey at 6:53 PM on Feb. 2, 2009

  • i too agree with dd has been like that since day one!....when she was really little we did good most days to get her to take more than one bite of annnnything all day!!!!....her ped said that she would eat when she got hungry....she also went through phases where all she would eat were hot dogs and mac n cheese (and not at the same time!....they were separate phases!!! is still a pretty small eat....unless she's about to hit a growing spurt.....the all of a sudden she becomes a bottomless pit!!!!! is a little more even keeled....but even he doesn't always eat like i think he should.....i think another part of the problem is that we are from the "you have to clean your plate club" generation....with our kids they have to take at least one bite of everything.....if we're having chicken nuggets then there is a 2 nugget't sweat it....he's healthy

    Answer by bigblueeyes at 7:14 PM on Feb. 2, 2009

  • don't even worry about it. If he likes rice, try making a casserole with rice and bits of chicken mixed in. At 3 1/2, you can't really logic them in to the one piece deal yet, but you can start.

    Food is the one thing they can control. Put whatever you choose to make for dinner in front of him, and go about your business. If he yelps banana! just tell him his dinner is on his plate. This will NOT be popular the first couple times you do it, but hold tight. No child will let himself starve, and he will eat what is in front of him within a couple of meals.

    Answer by lovinangels at 7:51 PM on Feb. 2, 2009

  • I live with a two year old that's so picky. Mac and cheese. Though now she's on a fruit only diet. So I bribe. Horrible as it sounds but I'll say you can eat what ever you want after you take two bites of chicken, your bread and what ever else we have.

    Funny true oldest went three months eating only tomato soup and cheese sandwiches. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. My ped. said it's a phase she'll out grow it. She did. But at least my grochery bill was fairly cheap.

    Answer by pagirl71 at 9:19 PM on Feb. 2, 2009

  • You had part of the answer there in your own question.... you said, "I always fold". You cannot do that. You cannot feed him a steady diet of is unhealthy. You are doing him no favors with that habit, and may be doing him harm.

    That being said, don't try to force meat on him. Offer it when you make it, and only a couple nibbles at a time. Make sure he's getting protein from other sources, like soy, peanuts, eggs, etc. Make sure he gets some variety in whatever he eats. Other than that, don't make it an issue. The bigger issue you make of it, the more apt he is to develop bad eating habits, or worse, an eating disorder.

    Answer by jespeach at 9:27 PM on Feb. 2, 2009

  • i should also add that he does eat a wide variety of other foods he loves cheese, yogurt, ice cream eggs etc etc...he does eat a lot of different foods and by snacks i dont necessarily mean junk, but mostly it would be yogurt or fruit, cheese...
    tonight he ate a boneless pork chop..he LOVED it...i was so happy. he also had some grapes and strawberries not to bad of a day. i guess.

    Answer by paulierox at 1:01 AM on Feb. 3, 2009

  • It sounds like he's eating fine. It's not imperative that children eat meat every day. As long as he is getting enough nutrients, he'll be good. It is important to make sure you're not feeding him too many snacks, so he doesn't develop the habit of needing a snack all the time. He (and everyone, really) should have several small snack-sized meals throughout the's much easier on your body, and more beneficial than the traditional 3 squares a day.

    Answer by jespeach at 2:16 AM on Feb. 3, 2009

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