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At what point do you make your kids eat what they are served?

My daughter just turned one. She still only has the two bottom teeth, which might have something to do with this issue, I'm not sure. Anyway, she doesn't always want to eat what she is served. I make sure the pieces are small enough for her to gum and swallow. I get very frustrated trying to get her to eat enough. Sometimes I resort to baby food just so I know she's got something in her tummy. My main issue with that is that she refuses to eat all 3rd foods, so she gets pureed vegetables/fruits. She also gets between 16 - 24 ounces of either milk or formula a day.
How do I get her to eat what she is given? She's still too young to go without eating but I don't want to start bad habits either.


Asked by Debbie062008 at 1:00 PM on Jun. 26, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (5)
  • Im going through this right now with my 6 and 2 year olds. My 6 yo is very picky, but lately I think hes been going through a growth spurt and Im totally taking advantage of that! He's never liked mashed potatoes, rice, eggs but this past week I snuck them in and he actually ate them. I almost died! My 2 yo will do whatever her brother does, so if I get him she'll fall into my trap as well!!!!

    The thing with 1 yo's is they are just getting used to cow's milk and they are teething and they are just not the happiest of campers. I would keep giving her cow's milk and maybe give her those meat sticks from Gerber with fruit and veggies so shes familiar with different textures and keep offering her your food. Not all kids that age are ready for more solid foods, so dont get frustrated with her, well not yet anyway! Wait til she turns 2!

    Good luck!

    Answer by CavMamma at 3:27 PM on Jun. 26, 2009

  • IMO you don't. Never force them to eat, they will eat when they are hungry. Just keep offering them the foods they aren't eating. Maybe one day they will eat it or not.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:04 PM on Jun. 26, 2009

  • Maybe when she is around age 5? Not a 1 yr old.

    Answer by skylersmom44 at 1:28 PM on Jun. 26, 2009

  • IMO never. Just because you like something doesn't mean that they will like it. I'm sure that there are things that you like that your SO/DH doesn't. Kids know what they like, and I wouldn't force her to eat anything, try a bite or two yes, but not eat the whole thing

    Answer by fallnangel3 at 2:27 PM on Jun. 26, 2009

  • This was a gradual transition between 18 months and 2.
    Give her a sippy cup with water, and keep offering a variety of healthy foods: fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, lentils, tofu, etc.
    Remember that cow milk is for baby cows, and humans don't need it. Like many other nutrients, and despite the claims of the dairy industry, plant based calcium is superior to animal based. Here is some of what the doctors at the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine say:

    The best book on feeding babies, toddlers and their families is Super Baby Food by Ruth Yaron. You should be able to find a copy at your local library; there is some great information on the website:

    Answer by rkoloms at 8:56 PM on Jun. 26, 2009