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My 2 yr old is a very picky eater. He refuses ANYTHING that is slightly healthy. Any suggestions?

There have been many nights where he goes to bed without eating any dinner. I do not cook full meals every night but know that there are other options besides cheese and crackers. His older brother ate everything we did and very rarely refused food until after he tried it . This one wont even eat fruit!!!

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Asked by sherrodbull at 7:58 PM on Dec. 6, 2012 in Toddlers (1-2)

Level 3 (15 Credits)
Answers (12)
  • Sounds like he will be hungry a lot

    Answer by staciandababy at 7:59 PM on Dec. 6, 2012

  • I agree with the Ensure, but aside from steaming and grinding veggies up to mix with stuff like mac and cheese, I would say the best bet is to continue to only offer healthy foods.

    Answer by jerseydiva at 8:03 PM on Dec. 6, 2012

  • He will eat it. If he has no other choice.  At least that is how it would be at my house.


    Answer by louise2 at 8:04 PM on Dec. 6, 2012

  • He would probably drink the Ensure but I dont like giving that because I feel like it has so much sugar in it. I have tried grinding up veggies but I guess my pureer? is not very good b/c he can still pick out the shreds of veggies. Most nights especially he doesnt eat b/c he doesnt want whats offered to him. In the morning he eats a little better because he likes cereal, bread, and eggs.I do give him vitamins too to try to make up for the lack of nutrition.

    Comment by sherrodbull (original poster) at 8:18 PM on Dec. 6, 2012

  • Will he eat a bowl of cereal? Two years old is a bit too young to go to bed with no food in their belly.

    I think, if I were you, I'd talk to my pediatrician. And also, beware of the Ensure or Pediasure. My granddaughter had to be on it for quite some time and it really did a number on her teeth.

    Answer by Mrs_Prissy at 8:18 PM on Dec. 6, 2012

  • Keep offering. I have one who is EXTREMELY picky. Our rule is no seconds unless you try one bite of everything. That way if there is something he REALLY likes he will at least take one little bite. Over the years he has slowly started to try things without a fight and even occasionally eats more then one bite.

    And we quit 'fighting' him over it. If he doesn't want to eat, that is fine. I don't offer it again the next day - he does get a new meal. He doesn't go hungry and we don't stress over it. I'm hoping as he continues to grow he will be more willing to try new things. :)

    Answer by micheledo at 8:19 PM on Dec. 6, 2012

  • I would give him pediasure once a day and continue to offer him regular meals with the family as usual. The sugar in pediasure is not as big of a problem as him not getting the required amount of calories and nutrients he needs while he gets out of this picky phase.

    Answer by But_Mommie at 8:32 PM on Dec. 6, 2012

  • My boy is almost 4yo. From an experience I can say it only worsens wt. the age. He can not have any other options but healthy foods. There was not an option to not have diaper changed, it was simply changed, and there is no option to eat what he wants. He simply eats healthy or nothing. He won't starve. And I go with flinstones. Juices are v. limited in amount.

    Answer by kujus04 at 9:20 PM on Dec. 6, 2012

  • My kids won't even touch pediasure. They hate the smell. Will he eat pasta? Barilla makes a "Barilla Plus" fortified pasta. My picky kids can't tell the difference. I also will put a cut up banana in front of them when I know they are hungry, like right before dinner. I don't say anything, I just put it there while they are watching TV. They always eat it. The trick is to offer it quietly when they are hungry. I also don't make a big deal out of it or force food. I don't want it to become a fight. My son will also eat baby carrots dipped into ranch dressing.

    Answer by mompam at 9:28 PM on Dec. 6, 2012

  • Try offering the meal that he refused the night before for breakfast. If he still won't eat it then offer it for lunch. He will eventually get hungry enough to eat it. I have had to do this a handful of times with my now 4 1/2 yo. We started this when she was nearly 16 mos old. She gets the point. She will usually eat all or almost all of her dinner at night. I don't like to send her to bed w/o eating b/c her reflux is so bad that she wakes up puking with her tummy hurting. She knows that when she vomits it is b/c of the choices she made the night before.

    I wish you luck!! Remember that if you let them win the battle with food then there will be NO stopping the fights you will have over things to come.

    Answer by coala at 10:50 PM on Dec. 6, 2012

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