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What can I do to get my 3 yr old to eat?

My daughter is extremely picky and my choices are quite limited due to the fact that I cant think of anything creative or fun to get her to eat. She eats Mac n Cheese, rice, pasta, potatoes, rarely eats vegetables, rarely eats meats. I dont know what to do! I need help with creative foods for lunch at school and dinner at home.

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Asked by KayGia0704 at 2:03 PM on Sep. 14, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 20 (9,835 Credits)
Answers (14)
  • I don't know if sandwiches are an option, but cookie cutters can make sandwiches more fun.

    Oh, also, I'm not sure if it would actually help or not, but one of these books Food Play might give you some inspiration on ways to present fruits/vegetables in a way that's more "fun".

    Answer by coder_chick at 2:05 PM on Sep. 14, 2010

  • Only offer whatever healthy foods you want her to eat. She will either eat them or not. Eventually though, she will come around and eat because she has no choice. Don't make a big deal about it or fight. Just let her leave if she won't eat. She WILL NOT starve. She will however, see you not giving in and she will eat.

    Answer by BradenIsMySon at 2:05 PM on Sep. 14, 2010

  • I think you need to allow your three year old to eat a little of different foods because they can be picky eaters at first. My kids loved cold cuts and things they could eat with their hands over a fork. My son refused to eat chili and would pick out the beans from the meat. It takes them time to learn to eat certain foods mixed together.

    Answer by CafeMochaMom1 at 2:06 PM on Sep. 14, 2010

  • iam right there with you..
    my daughter refuses to eat.. she is soo picky..
    the biggest problem is meat.. she wont eat meat!!

    Answer by supermommie1 at 2:12 PM on Sep. 14, 2010

  • My Son is 3 and eats everything there is. He like variety. When I go grocery shopping, I avoid the sweets isle but let him choose the things he would like to try. I get him all hyped up for things and then at dinner time I let him choose what he wants. My DH works late so I eat with my Son. He likes broccoli or zucchini with garlic & oil on his pasta with grated cheese. I'll make a london broil and he'll dip pieces in ketsup, He eats a lot of salad. I buy the salad mix bags with added veggies in them like radishes, carrots and cabbage and I throw in cherry tomatoes & Olives. He loves scrambled eggs with mushrooms or broccoli even for dinner. When I let him choose things, he usually eats it right up. Eggs are an excellent source of protein if she wont eat meat.


    Answer by ILovemyPaulie at 2:25 PM on Sep. 14, 2010

  • Just keep trying. My son doesnt eat much veggies nor meats, but the Dr said not to worry since he eats yogurts, cheeses and lots of peanut butter

    Answer by sstepph at 3:25 PM on Sep. 14, 2010

  • I would not worry about a large variety either; just keep offering new items as well as her fav's. If she is thriving, developmentally, then food should not be an issue.

    Answer by Radarma at 4:04 PM on Sep. 14, 2010

  • I wouldn't worry about expanding her diet right now... she has a lifetime to try new things. If you want to sneak in some extras then shred and cook up some carrots and put in her mac n cheese. On the same token, you can finely dice bits of chicken and put in it too! Hiding veggies and proteins in foods that they love is a great way to add some nutrition. I also will make tortilla pizzas for my little ones and let them pick what toppings to put on... include some veggies that you have cut into fun shapes. She will outgrow this stage... continue to offer other foods to her, but if she refuses get her an old standby and try again another day.

    Answer by ThePieLady at 4:16 PM on Sep. 14, 2010

  • Get a cook book and just start cooking things and putting new stuff in front of her. Don't stress out and feel like you need to play games to get her to eat things. She won't starve. If she's hungry she'll eat. I like this website: There are all kinds of cool recipes for home and for school lunches.

    Answer by PhilsBabyMama at 4:52 PM on Sep. 14, 2010

  • My daughter is similar with the vegetables its a war trying to get her to eat one!! She loves dipping meat, chicken etc. in ketchup not sure if you have tried that? I recently introduced a little ranch dressing, sometimes it works. I am just glad she loves fruit etc. at least. GL.

    Answer by sarasmommy777 at 5:04 PM on Sep. 14, 2010

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