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How do you get your picky eaters to eat?

My 3 yr old son is not so much of a picky eater as a play at the table eater. he will poke at his food, drop his everything but eat.... on the other hand, my 5yr old daughter sits for an hour picking at her food coming up with every excuse as to not eat...last night it was she was too cold to eat. She had a sweater on already... I have tried everything. Time outs, eating food that wasnt eaten at the next meal, taking away toys/privliges. I am at my wits end and starting to fear their wondering if they are getting enough. I am at the point where if you dont eat then you go hungry, but i feel bad for doing that. Its also hard because we live with my in laws and my Mother in law gets very upset if my children dont eat her food or say something bad about her food or that they dont like it....she i think is being really immature about it and needs to get over it because they are 5 and 3 and speak their mind. But my Mother in laws temper tantrums are another story...How do you deal with eating issues?

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Asked by Mama_G312 at 2:41 PM on Jan. 16, 2011 in General Parenting

Level 5 (62 Credits)
Answers (6)
  • First remember they won't starve themselves so if they aren't eating they might now be hungry. IN my house the rule is you have to try everything on your plate and eat all of one thing, so if we have steak, potatoes, and corn you have to try everything and you could eat all the corn and be done. It get he kids to try new things we put a trying plate out when we are having something new. I have always done this and it is how I have gotten my kids to eat fish and brussel sprouts. I don't think you should punish them for not eating, although that is me. Also, food is something they can control so they might be fighting you because you really can't force them to eat.

    Lastly, i would say try talking to them and asking why they don't want to eat. Listen to what they have to say and don't get mad.

    Good Luck!

    Answer by cornflakegirl3 at 2:47 PM on Jan. 16, 2011

  • You are turning it into a huge thing. Relax. Don't make such an issue out of it. Offer reasonable, healthy choices. I see nothing wrong with throwing in some chicken nuggets for my picky eater if he doesn't like what we are having. If they don't want to eat, don't force it, let it be. They will eat when hungry.

    Answer by mompam at 2:50 PM on Jan. 16, 2011

  • My son has been extremely picky since he was 3 and he is now 6...and he will starve himself until he gets something he desires. there's only 5 or 6 things he will eat and I keep those things on hand and feed him only those things. I have a cousin who adopted a 2 yr old boy and the kid will hold food in his mouth from breakfast until bedtime because he just doesn't want to eat what was given to him. This is a battle i would rather not have and just let my son have what he wants...
    Another thing to remember is go by what they have eaten in a whole week versus what they have eaten in a day. Also I give him Ovaltine drink mix in his milk for extra nutrition

    Answer by alotleft2do at 3:05 PM on Jan. 16, 2011

  • 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 he will start eating them again.
    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 3:14 PM on Jan. 16, 2011

  • 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 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.

    Answer by rkoloms at 3:15 PM on Jan. 16, 2011

  • well I am a vetern at this issue and my advice is this; children will eat what they need. Before you blink a eye you will be sharing these issues with your children about there children. It all is in-material they eat what they need.


    Answer by rosetoes at 6:42 PM on Jan. 16, 2011

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