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How do I get my very picky three year old daughter to eat other foods

My daughter is a very picky eater I cook all the time and make her a plate and she will not touch it she litterally has a diet of about 10 different food items people tell me to not give her anything else to eat until she eats whats given to her first she wont let herself starve but I always give in because I dont like her to be hungry any suggestions

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Asked by kayliers at 5:48 AM on Apr. 18, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (11)
  • Stop catering to her. Fix her some food, put it on a plate. Put in in front of her. If she does not eat it. Take it away and tell her. "You either eat what I put in front of you or you do not eat at all. Between meals do not give her anything but water. She will eat,


    Answer by louise2 at 5:56 AM on Apr. 18, 2010

  • I have a friend who also refuses to eat veggies so she has a hard giving to her kids. She bought a book called the The Sneaky chef. She loves it. It gives you different ways to prepare veggies where you can sneak them into foods and not know.

    Another neighbor lets her child choose how much they want to have but they have to eat what is on their plate.

    I went with letting them choose and it seems to be working for my 9 year old. My 3 year old isn't so picky except with meats, I still have her try it and if she doesn't like it she can eat something else on her plate.

    Good Luck Momma

    Answer by Shiloh76 at 8:01 AM on Apr. 18, 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 8:47 AM on Apr. 18, 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. Make sure that you are setting a great example by eating a variety of healthy foods, and letting her see how much you enjoy them.

    Answer by rkoloms at 8:48 AM on Apr. 18, 2010

  • you can always try cutting other food into little bits and mix it in with other food she does like. or you could tell her to at least take three bites of the other kinds of food and if she doesn't too much she doesn't have to finish it.

    Answer by incarnita at 8:50 AM on Apr. 18, 2010

  • My kids went through this phase and actually my youngest is still in it, I just make sure to include one of his likes and offer ther other alternatives on his plate as well at meal time. Make sure she sees you enjoying a variety of foods as well. It's worked with my three oldest, she will want to be like you and eventually broaden her picky menu!

    Answer by CokietheClown at 9:39 AM on Apr. 18, 2010

  • With my LO who isn't 2 yet, we fix her a plate or bowl of what we are eating. If she choosees not to eat then she goes hungry until the next meal. She is only given water and she is offered the same food again. If she refuses a 2nd time she gets to have it for breakfast the next morning. She usually eats it the 2nd time, very rarely do we move onto the morning the next day. We have been doing this since she was 14 mos old. The only thing my LO WON'T touch is anything with tuna in it. I have a great eater and I attribute that to the fact that we hold our ground when it comes to food.

    Answer by coala at 9:39 AM on Apr. 18, 2010

  • My ODS used to eat everything, but once he turned 3, became a very picky eater. One thing we do, give the foods fun names. We now make frisbee eggs or amazon eggs for him and various dips. We don't force him to eat anything, but make sure to cook something he likes that the rest of us are eating as well. I've read it's just being 3, you child understanding that they actually like and dislike things. Of all the battles you'll have with your child, I personally don't make this a battle. i would just make sure there is something you know they will like on their plate and encourage them to try other foods. Then there is no need to stress! I hate the advice of letting your kid starve because you need to been in ultimate control. There will be bigger, more important battles in the future, why make this one a battle!


    Answer by nwdeserangel at 12:43 PM on Apr. 18, 2010

  • I feel your pain! My son had a serious issue with eating and many of those issues due to some medical situations. He had yeast in his stomach and throat, asthma, ear aches, and now his tonsils may be the ultimate culprit. But regardless of the reasons....he was a "picky" eater. He had four things and it was hard! It still is. Only recently has this come to a point of break through. First, it is not so easy to anyone who says stop catering to your child. In my child's case he really wouldn't eat even when hungry because his fear of choking and he truly felt he was choking. Many children do not like the texture of foods and can be sensitive to the smells.  What helped us with the food is another issue that was more of a problem.  Because of his diet my three year old is now constipated.  So we are in some heavy duty recovery from a serious blockage.


    Answer by frogdawg at 11:00 PM on Apr. 18, 2010

  • Something had to change or he was risking surgery and life long issues with his bowels. Not to mention risking the set up for an eating disorder. My son's doctor was fantastic and I am lucky to have some supportive coworkers who work in the medical field. Having cheer leaders support you is a BIG help. First, we put fiber in just about everything. Then making sure he got all his vitamins. We introduce some things he does like (one or two items) with our meal on his plate as well. At first he did go to bed hungry. Just know it is our job to provide their job to eat. He did have tantrums, he did cry, he did have some ruff times. He was also begging me for his comfort foods. I hid all his comfort foods. I always left available left over items from his meal in case he wanted to try it. So far he has done spegetti (twice but decided against it), chicken (which he NEVER did before) and some bread (doesn't do usually


    Answer by frogdawg at 11:06 PM on Apr. 18, 2010

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