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How do I get a 3 year old to eat?

My grandson, 3, only wants juice,milk, french fries and cold sugar cereal(with no milk)He refuses to eat anything else. What do I do.

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Asked by catsandra at 11:16 AM on Aug. 26, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 2 (6 Credits)
Answers (7)
  • Are you the primary caregiver of the child? If so, get rid of those things in your home. Offer him healthier options, he'll eat what he's offered when he gets hungry enough. If you're concerned your daughter/son isn't feeding him right, sit down and talk to her/him and let them know your concerned about what he's consuming. I would not be offended if my mother/mother-in-law came to me and said she was concerned about the well being of my child if I knew I wasn't taking proper care and giving my child the proper nutrients he needs.

    Answer by mishmashmom at 11:20 AM on Aug. 26, 2010

  • Lately, I have been giving my kids two choices for lunch and sometimes dinner. If they don't want to pick from their choices, I do. Then I give them 20 minutes to eat. Clear the table and tell them, they can eat at the next meal. They only called my bluff once.

    Answer by van5 at 11:24 AM on Aug. 26, 2010

  • Stop offering crap. He's not shopping, so he's not in charge of how often fries are available to choose from. Why there is 'sugar cereal' in the building at all is an interesting question, but can hardly be considered his fault.

    Hungry children will eat virtually anything. That's one of the reasons 3yos become really picky: they're not very hungry. Freaked out parents (and 'spoiling' grandparents) dance around trying to get them to 'eat anything'... and the kids aren't dumb enough not to noticed that if they wait another 20 seconds someone's going to pull out the fatty, sugary salted crap.

    I knew one kid who apparently would eat nothing at all except chocolate yogurt. It was news to me that yogurt even came in 'chocolate' because the only yogurt at our house, ever, was plain. Magically, my kids ate plain yogurt--and fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, real (not processed) meat and fresh dairy products (not possessed cheese).

    Answer by LindaClement at 11:25 AM on Aug. 26, 2010

  • We had the same problem with my step son(now 4 1/2). He comes over every other weekend and at his house he gets whatever he wants when ever he wants it. He was soo picky when it came to food and refused to eat unless it was what HE wanted when he wanted it...we quickly got fed up with this. We ONLY offered what we were eating when we were eating it and he sat at the table until bed time(8:30 at the time) or he finished. If he wanted to watch tv before bed he HAD to finish before that time. Whatever he did not finish was wrapped up and put away until the next meal where he would see it again...took him a good month(remember we only got him every other weekend) to start getting the hint...He only got ONE cup of juice or milk with each meal and the rest was all water, no exceptions!!

    Answer by mylady13135 at 12:55 PM on Aug. 26, 2010

  • i was like that... my mom delt with my by throwing all junk food out - tramatic!! but it ended the conflict. the only things that were in the house that werent 100% healthy were waffles and vanilla ice cream, this allowed her (btw this happened when i was 3 - dad was on a business trip) to let me eat what i wanted and when i wanted and never cause her to worry about all the junk... now if you dont live with the boy -- then you just have to go along with it --- you should talk to the mom/dad - your child - about your beliefs but if you dont have custody it isnt your place... my mil battles dh about cutting ds' hair but that isnt her child - it is our child - and we have the final say about haricuts - just like diets...

    Answer by AmaliaD at 2:58 PM on Aug. 26, 2010

  • I call this the air-o-tarian phase; they all go through it. First, make sure that he is drinking water, so he 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 11:12 PM on Aug. 26, 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 11:12 PM on Aug. 26, 2010

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