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How to get a 2 & 3 you to eat more diverse foods?

I've been trying to get them to eat more than nuggets & fries, pb on crackers, pizza, hot dogs, or spaghetti. Oh the spaghetti can only have butter, no sauce. We've done roasted chicken, grilled cheese, lasagna, soup, potatos - baked & fried, corn, beans and they won't eat any of it. They stopped eatting yogurt, string cheese, pudding. I try and offer atleast one new item but it's left on the plate. I have even resorted to bribery, if they eat it they can have a treat. Nothing. I would just like to expand their diet a little to make sure their getting enough nutrients. I've also tried sending them to bed w/o dinner because they would eat what I had fixed but them felt guilty. For months and months they've been stubborn. I can't keep taking food to people's houses because they won't eat they food. Or should I???

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 7:21 PM on Aug. 25, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Answers (7)
  • Make dinner, give it to them. Don't make other food. Let them eat it. When they are hungry they will eat it especially when the nuggets, hot dogs, and other junk food is no longer an option. Tell them that you want them to be healthy. Give fruits and veggies for snacks.

    Answer by Mommy2Gabrielle at 7:25 PM on Aug. 25, 2010

  • I know the feeling, but I can't give u a very good answer. My kids pretty much refuse almost any kind of meat except chicken nuggets or thos frozen bbq rib dinners. My son is allergic to alot of stuff so its kind of good for me that he does not like a big variety and usually ds wants what he is having so it kinda works out for me. Up until the age of 2 she ate everything then after that she did not want anything to do with meat. I think it is just a phase that kids go through because sometimes mine will eat everything and other times they only want mac and cheese and nuggets. I know its not much help but as long as they are eating something I wouldn't worry. U don't wanna send them to bed w/out any dinner because then there losing more nutrients. Sometimes it helps if I give mine a choice of 3 things that they want even if its 3 things they usually wont eat.

    Answer by mama2005 at 7:26 PM on Aug. 25, 2010

  • for a 2 or 3 year old that is a diverse diet. My 2 year old lives on oatmeal and yogurt cups. Sometimes I chop something up to mix it in the oatmeal or give her V8 or Apple and Eve (same but for kids) juice to make up for lost fruits and veggies....but they will eat what they want in the end.

    Answer by amber710 at 7:28 PM on Aug. 25, 2010

  • They end up eating at least one of the 3 decisions that I gave them I figure if thats not good enough then they just go to bed hungry as long as they have eaten everything else I had given them throughout the rest of the day.

    Answer by mama2005 at 7:28 PM on Aug. 25, 2010

  • Put only the food you want them to eat on the plate. Tell them they have to eat it all. ( only give them a small portion) Tell them if they eat that they can have something else too. I never let my kids drink anything but water at meals. And I never gave them a choice of what they wanted to eat. They ate what I put in front of them or they did not eat, tell the next meal.


    Answer by louise2 at 7:31 PM on Aug. 25, 2010

  • Children that age are picky little critters! My daughter is that way too.

    It's important to not make food a battle at this age. It's normal to be picky. We're all picky in one way or another.

    Try offering "fun" foods, such as grape tomatoes, chunks of banana, olives, watermelon, shredded cheese, cubes of bolied (or baked) potatoes, whole wheat bread cut into fun shapes, whole wheat pancakes served with no-sugar-added applesauce, etc. Boiled eggs make a tasty treat as well. How about almond slivers, peanut butter sandwiches?

    If they don't like meat, it's ok. My daughter doesn't like meat either. She loves shrimp and scallops.

    Good luck!


    Answer by Fallaya at 9:13 PM on Aug. 25, 2010

  • The rule for my 4 year old at the dinner table is he has to try at least one of everything on his plate, if he doesn't like it he doesn't have to eat it, but he at least has to try it and it has worked great for us. We don't bribe him with anything, he eats what he's given or he doesn't eat and goes to bed hungry. May sound rude, but it kicked the "picky-eating" and "only eating what he wants" right out the door. It was a hard for a couple weeks, but I read somewhere that kids have to be offered something new at least 7-10 times before they will actually like it & eat it. Kids won't starve, they will get hungry enough and they will eat whatever you give them. And don't offer them options, just make a meal and give it to them, they either eat it or they won't. If they don't and ask for something later, give them the same thing. Eventually they'll learn you aren't giving in and they'll take what they get. It worked for us!

    Answer by mishmashmom at 11:31 AM on Aug. 26, 2010

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