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2 year old picky eater.

My 2 year old is getting pickier and starting to treat me like a 24 hr buffett. I want to nip this right away. What is the right way to go about it?

Tonight for example we had lasagna. It was really good- not spicy or anything. He loves spagetti, so I thought he would eat it. Well he wouldn't touch it and just ate some bread. I put him to bed without anything else, which I know I'll pay for about 3am. Is this the right thing to do? I don't want to be that mom that makes her child a seperate meal for his whole life. I know it sometimes takes a kid 10 times to try something before he likes it, but if he had it his way he would just get mac -n- cheese and chicken nuggets. I have recently gave him snacks before bed to relieve hunger, but now I feel like he will just skip dinner because he know he will get whatever he wants later.

What do you do?

 
sunshine58103

Asked by sunshine58103 at 10:11 PM on Jan. 29, 2011 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (15)
  • I also have a 2yr old picky eater. I also have 5 kids. And it's pretty normal behavior. There are days when the 2 yr old won't hardly eat anything and other days she eats a couple of helpings. I have noticed that she doesn't like foods that are or appear to be messy. She enjoys more finger foods. It's just because of her age. I have offered her things that she will more than likely eat as well as giving her new things hoping she will try. Whether she eats a good supper or not, i always offer a snack because their stomachs are so much smaller than ours and calorie intake is very important right now for growth. After having 5 children, at this age I am pretty much happy that at least she is eating something. If I have to make her something different, thats ok. Her eating is important and it won't last forever.
    hoping73

    Answer by hoping73 at 10:21 PM on Jan. 29, 2011

  • If the dinner you are making is something he has never tried before, I would offer him a little of it, but then maybe have a few things on his plate that you know he likes. I don't make things my daughter asks for, I just try to give her things I know she will eat...within reason. And Yes, this is just a phase, As he gets older you can reason with him more on trying things before he gets a snack and whatnot. But at this age it is a struggle. I would never just send them to bed hungry, even my peditrician says that it can lead to really bad eating habits, like hoarding food and overeating so they don't feel hungry later. If she chooses not to eat even the things I know she likes, then at least I tried. They won't let themselves starve but I try to encourage as much as I can.
    hoping73

    Answer by hoping73 at 11:04 PM on Jan. 29, 2011

  • Also, the peditrician has told me when they are sick or not feeling good to try not to offer new things. When they don't feel well they will do better with familiar foods..it's kind of like a comfort to them to have the things they are familiar with. I try to offer new things when she is well and not cranky. There is a better chance that she will try it if she is feeling good. And you're right you do have to offer things about 10 times before they will try it. I hope some of this helps..good luck!
    hoping73

    Answer by hoping73 at 11:08 PM on Jan. 29, 2011

  • I do the same thing. Send him to bed with nothing but a sippy cup of milk (the milk helps him to not wake up in middle of night). My child will not eat ANYTHING! He won't even taste anything. It pisses me off so bad, but it's really important to not show your anger and stick to your guns about not getting anything else.
    usdragonflies

    Answer by usdragonflies at 10:15 PM on Jan. 29, 2011

  • Something else we do is..when I do fix something else...me and my other kids make a really big deal about how good the food is we are eating. I'll even say things like"look mommy is eating it and it's so good"...sometimes then she will ask for a bite..or I will offer her some. Little ones have very few things they have control over at their age..and how much and what they eat is one of the things they can control. Feeding your child doesn't have to be a power struggle..nutrition is the most important thing. and in my opinion, I wouldn't send my baby to bed with a sippy cup..just because it's bad for their teeth and an awful habit to start..Plus the child can learn to drink their meals instead of eating them..but thats just my opinion.
    hoping73

    Answer by hoping73 at 10:27 PM on Jan. 29, 2011

  • I agree with............."Offer him the dinner we are eating, if he doesn't eat that send him to bed hungry?" But have something at each meal that he likes even if it is just some carrot sticks, fruit pieces, etc. Present it to the whole family on the table. Do not let him think it was prepared just for him.
    elizabr

    Answer by elizabr at 10:11 AM on Jan. 30, 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.
    rkoloms

    Answer by rkoloms at 4:54 PM on Jan. 30, 2011

  • We also have the 3 bite rule, It usually works well. With 11 kids it's for sure I would have cooked something somebody didn't like. I tried to make a side dish that everyone would like. I would not make a seperate meal or give a snack because you are teaching them to be even pickier. At their growth rate slows down and most kids don't eat as much anyway. May you could get one of those little folding tables and chairs for children to bring out at meal times. Some kids eat better with their own little chair and table. We eat in the livingroom too, and even though we're down to only "4" kids plus a grandson we don't have a diningroom either and our kitchen is tiny. Some times turning off the tv and put soft music helps my kids to eat. I usually put the 18 month old in a walker to eat because it's low so he can "eat" with us. I getting him a new table as I gave the other one away thinking his 7 year brother was the last. LOL
    MelissaCarole

    Answer by MelissaCarole at 7:06 PM on Jan. 30, 2011

  • my son is 3 and just starting this nasty behavior.. I have had to put him to bed without dinner because he refused, he asked for a snack before bed and woke up at 4 ams starving but... I made him wait... he will at least TRY our dinner now but.. his likes are getting fewer and fewer, our fault and not strict dinner times and letting chicken nuggets win on late nights lately.
    maxsmom11807

    Answer by maxsmom11807 at 10:18 PM on Jan. 29, 2011

  • Oops! And really no offense to moms that do make their kids seperate meals - I just don't have the time for that. I'm not saying you are bad moms!!!
    sunshine58103

    Comment by sunshine58103 (original poster) at 10:19 PM on Jan. 29, 2011

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