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Toddler Not Eating

My son is two years old, and whereas he's always been mildly a picky eater he's still always had a strong appitite. However, within the last couple of weeks he has weeded out more and more foods that he refuses to eat. Within the last week he has been sucking down milk (I have to cut him off, otherwise he'd go through a whole gallon by himself) and refusing to eat more then two bites of food. That's even if I can get him to eat that much. I'm throwing back and forth possibilities as to why this is, but really all I'm asking here is for new food ideas. Something that I can at least offer him to try. Though I doubt he'll be brave enough. One food he'll still eat usually is Peanut Butter and Jelly.

His staples WERE ... Fruit, Mac and Cheese, Speghetti, Turkey Lunch Meat, Hot Dogs, Noodles-Chicken-and Gravy, Tuna Cassarole, Pizza, Lasagna .. Those are the ones that I can think of .. I need NEW ideas.

He's two, three in September.

Oh and please no parenting advice, or "He'll grow out of it" comments .. I'm not going to let him starve himself waiting for him to "grow out of it".

Answer Question

Asked by JazzlikeMraz at 2:51 PM on Jul. 12, 2011 in Toddlers (1-2)

Level 30 (42,083 Credits)
Answers (8)
  • Oh man, I know RIGHT where you're at. My daughter is 3 and has been doing this to me since she was 18 months old.

    How about cream cheese and ham (or turkey or whatever) on a tortilla, rolled up and cut into "pinwheels"

    smoothies (which are super easy and tasty! Use plain yogurt if you're concerned about sugar content and spinach and zucchini/cucumber are veggies that go well in smoothies without overpowering the fruity taste, you can even add pasteurized eggs for extra protein)

    mini pizzas (grate some cheese, put a little bit of pizza sauce on a flattened biscuit and bake)

    chicken fingers

    sauces... oh man, sometimes all I have to do to get my daughter to eat something is give her something to dip it in. It doesn't even have to go with what I'm feeding her, she has dipped fruit in barbecue sauce and ketchup lol.

    Scrambled eggs

    Pediasure if all else fails. It doesn't taste bad at all and my

    Answer by Ati_13 at 3:01 PM on Jul. 12, 2011

  • He is likely not hungry, milk is just like a meal & fills us up the same. Maybe soup, grilled tuna, let him make his own pizza or sandwich with your guidance?

    Answer by 1northwestmom at 3:03 PM on Jul. 12, 2011

  • Also, I don't see anything wrong with a little bribery once in a while. "If you take 5 more bites of your dinner you can have ice cream with mommy."

    I have also been known to insist she eats something once in a while. I just keep offering what she asked me for until it's at least partially consumed lol.

    Good luck, I know how frustrating and scary this can be! My daughter is already skinny like her dad, I don't want her to be any skinnier lol.

    Answer by Ati_13 at 3:03 PM on Jul. 12, 2011

  • I think this is pretty typical for a 2-year-old. It's a control issue. When we went through this phase, we used pediasure to the extent we thought she needed it. A couple of great parenting tips I received from others - 1) a child will never starve to death when there is food in front of them, and 2) you choose what foods your child has on his plate, the child chooses what of those foods to eat.

    For new food ideas - DD loved baked fish, lo mein and spanish rice at that age.

    Remain calm and good luck!

    Answer by Mom2Just1Kiddo at 3:56 PM on Jul. 12, 2011

  • We had been going through this with our son for the last 3 weeks. He would barely put anything in his mouth, but wanted milk and apple juice all the time. He refused nearly all food and water. It is just a phase though and they will not let themselves starve. When they get hungry enough they will eat. DS finally broke his hunger strike last night for pizza and tonight he ate corn on the cob and broccoli =)

    Answer by asmcbride at 7:05 PM on Jul. 12, 2011

  • One thing DS loves and would eat, even at his worst, is the beans you get at Mexican restaurants. Do you think your son would try something like that?


    Answer by asmcbride at 7:08 PM on Jul. 12, 2011

  • This a good time to try other ethinic foods, chinese, oriental (for some reason children that age seem to love it) mexican, etc. It would also be a good time to expand your cooking resume LOL A friend of mine used to make fruit and veggies into funny shapes or "people". Encourge him to "help" with meal time whether it be picking out sides or main dishes to helping set the tables (napkins etc) Let your child pick how much and what items to put on his plate. These are things that have worked for me and my friends in the past. Also try making up funny names for the food. I thought for years that Peanut butter and Jelly was seriously called Pajama sandwich.... (PJ and PBJ....?)

    Answer by baquick at 2:24 PM on Jul. 13, 2011

  • Thank You All for your advice. I really appriciate it!

    My son is verbal, but doesn't answer direct questions. Like if I were to ask what he'd like for dinner he won't answer me. Yet he can recite lines from his favorite movies. He's coming around, and I believe once he crosses over that three year mark it'll change. But that in itself is the most frustrating. That he's not verbal in the sense of communication.

    Comment by JazzlikeMraz (original poster) at 8:31 PM on Jul. 17, 2011

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