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How can I get my toddlers to eat things good for them?

My two boys, 2 1/2 and 14 months don't ever want to eat a meal that is good for them. They only seem interested in junk food and fun food. They rarely even eat chicken nuggets anymore. Sometimes they'll go nearly all day without eating much of anything. They refuse to try "regular food" ie. the meal my husband and I eat. My 2 year old would live on fruit roll-ups.

I know my kids aren't they only ones, but I am at my wits end trying to pursuade them to eat. I feel like I've tried everything. Any suggestions??

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Asked by MommyBtwo at 11:24 AM on Feb. 17, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (6)
  • I had this problem with my older daughter when she was 2. She wanted to live on Go-gurt. We had to stop buying the stuff she obsessed over. If all you have in the house is "healthy" foods, they will eventually get hungry enough to try them.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:29 AM on Feb. 17, 2009

  • When my DD4 asks for junk I tell her she has to eat something good first, and I make sure I have lots of healthy things on hand, fresh fruit, apple sauce, yogurt, grape tomatoes, she does and 9 times out of 10 forgets about the junk she wanted in the first place. I also somehow got her excited about fruit smoothies, she thinks its junk ;)

    Answer by gramsmom at 11:34 AM on Feb. 17, 2009

  • If all you offer is healthy stuff, that's all they eat. Takes some willpower to get through the initial crying/whining, but they'll eventually get hungry enough to try it. You may want to give them stuff to dip their food in. Yogurt and honey are good options. Ranch dressing. Ketchup if you don't mind the high fructose corn syrup. My DD just got done dipping the crust of her sandwich in applesauce.

    Answer by flmom321 at 11:34 AM on Feb. 17, 2009

  • Make rules and stick to them. Then, get sneaky. Keep in mind - they won't starve themselves. Get a little cabinet with three drawers. Label the drawers 1,2,3. Put junk in drawer 1, crackers/grains type snacks in drawer 2 and veggies and fruits in drawer three. If your kids are hungry, you tell them which drawer they can pick from. (only one thing from drawer 1 a day, two things from 2, unlimited from 3, etc.). Also - do your kids like pizza, spaghetti, chili? Tomato based sauces are great for hiding healthy stuff in. Puree some broccoli, eggplant, green beans and keep it in the freezer. When you make spaghetti or pasta or pizza, throw the purees in with the sauce. They'll never know its there. You can hide squash, zucchini, eggplant well in alfredo sauces. Finally - get your kids involved in the kitchen. If they get to add the spice to the salmon...they might actually eat it, etc. Good Luck!

    Answer by ANGIE409 at 11:35 AM on Feb. 17, 2009

  • Put the food on the table and if they eat it fine, if not..they sit until the meal is over then they can go. No snacks until the next meal...put the food on the table and if they eat it fine, if not...they sit until the meal is over and then they can go.

    No snacks until the next meal...put the food on the table and if they eat......

    Be consistent. They know you'll give in now. It's going to be a little tougher, but they will get hungry and eat what is before them. You're the parent, you're in charge. You want them to eat healthy food, then only give them healthy food.

    Answer by TiccledBlue at 11:49 AM on Feb. 17, 2009

  • I had the same problems with my girls . What i am trying is to only have healthy stuff in the house- which take away the temptation - for me as well as them :) I am trying to make healthy food " fun " food for them. I will take fruits and make a colorful fruit salad - show them how pretty it is. Also give veggies with dip . My girls love anything they can dip. I think the most important though is that they see you eating these foods too and enjoying them. Another thing im trying is to have dinner everynight at the table as a family im hoping this gives them positive ideas towards food

    Answer by ssdm4ever at 12:55 AM on Feb. 19, 2009

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