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I have a 2 1/2 year old son who is a VERY picky eater. He'll like a food one day and then absolutely REFUSE to eat it the next. I try to get him to explore and experiment with new foods but nothing is working and I don't want him to associate eating with stress but I am seriously at my wits-end!!!!! Can anyone provide me with good, solid advise to help me get my son to eat the foods consistently and to start to explore and accept new foods. Thanks :)

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Asked by ddiculescu at 9:03 AM on Apr. 14, 2010 in Food & Drink

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Answers (7)
  • Sounds harsh but this is what finally worked for us: Stop giving him anything he likes to eat. For my DD that was yogurts, fruit, breads and PB&J sandwiches. That was literally all she would eat ever for most of a year. For several weeks I would not give her any of her favorite foods. She would not eat for so long she would make herself sick and vomit, after which she would get crackers and water. Unfortunately she LIKED crackers and water lol. After a couple of weeks of her fighting at every meal or just plain not eating she started to try a bite here and there of what was put in front of her AND SHE FOUND SHE LIKED IT!

    Halle-freakin-lujah. Now she still has her days but she has always tried at least one bite of something since then. It was hard and nearly heartbreaking but I was at my wits end and it actually worked.

    Good luck, picky eaters are tough cookies!

    Answer by Xynyth at 9:12 AM on Apr. 14, 2010

  • My son is almost 6 and still picky. However one thing that has helped is a bought a few Kids Cookbooks at the bookstore and we sit down together and look through it, he points out the foods he wants to help me make (of course at 2 this may not be possible) and then eat. It's helped him try new things because when he sees the picture in the book he can say "This looks good, i'll try that" and he does. He doesn't always like it, but it's gotten him to try new foods.

    I'll also sneak healthy things into what he does eat....I made sweet potato fries (baked) rather than regular french fries. He likes fruit juice so I buy the V8 juice with the veggies in it. I buy the Edy's Fruit No sugar added popscicles instead of just "sugar water" ones as we call them. I

    Answer by Mom2Jack04 at 10:18 AM on Apr. 14, 2010

  • I have a 1 1/2 year old who is also very picky. My method is just plain and simple. I give him food that I've made for him and if he doesn't eat it, he doesn't eat. I'm not going to make him special meals just because he's picky. So far it's worked for me, every now and then he won't eat but he's now a bit more willing to try things even his least favorite food group, veggies!

    Answer by MommaCassE at 10:50 AM on Apr. 14, 2010

  • Actually, what worked for me was to, like a PP said, buy them a kids cook book, let them pick the meal, then LET THEM HELP prepare it. Make a big production of him helping you prepare "yummy" food, and keep saying how good the meal is going to be while you are making it. He will get excited because he picked it, and because he's being a "big kid" and helping to make it. It worked for all 3 of mine and they are very good eaters compared to most kids their ages (DD is 5 and she loves brussels sprouts and green beans, and my boys are 13 and 11. they like sushi, calamari, all sorts of seafood, and most any vegetable). It's awesome, I love it!

    Answer by AprilDJC at 12:26 PM on Apr. 14, 2010

  • I do things with my kid like I learned in my nutrition class.

    I control when we eat, and what options are available to eat on the table.

    My kid picks what of those options to eat, and how much.

    There are no fights, no control issues. If she doesn't eat, then that's her choice. You're not starving your kid, they really will eat whatever when they're hungry enough.

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:24 PM on Apr. 14, 2010

  • I call this the air-o-tarian phase; they all go through it. First, make sure that she is drinking water, so she doesn't get dehydrated.
    Most important, do not create a monster who only eats nuggets, mac and cheese and hot dogs.
    Just keep offering a variety of healthy foods, and eventually she will start eating.
    Frozen foods are fun to play with, and will get eaten, like peas, blueberries and corn. Chunks of avocado and tofu are loaded with great nutrition, and are fun to squish between little fingers.
    I have never met a toddler who wouldn't eat hummus (lots of calcium, protein, good fats and iron), you can mix it with a mashed egg.
    Offer cut fruits with yogurt dip, fresh veggies with hummus or salad dressing, cooked whole wheat pasta and veggies with marinara or peanut sauce or cheese sauce


    Answer by rkoloms at 5:50 AM on Apr. 15, 2010

  • We use the 3 bite rule. You must try 3 bites of what is on your plate; if you don't like it, you fix yourself peanut butter and honey on whole grain toast with a kiwi or apple. Even my husband is expected to follow the rule.
    If you cave now, you will forever have a picky monster on your hands. I promise that your child will not starve. Parents who cave are part of the reason why one half of American children are be both undernourished and overweight. One third of children born in this century will develop type 2 diabetes.
    Keep offering a variety of healthy foods; stop buying junk foods until the picky phase has passed

    Answer by rkoloms at 5:51 AM on Apr. 15, 2010

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