C.L. asks from Walland, TN on August 31, 2011
Picky Eater - Walland,TN
my 2 year old daughter is so picky she hardly eats anything i make her she only eats oatmeal yogurt chicken fish sticks ramen noodles and juice me and my husband try everything im running out of ideas she does seem to like those little gerber graduates cups that have pasta and vegetables now as well she will not drink milk or water anybody else have or had a picky toddler and any suggestions on things we can try for her she does take a multi vitamin everyday too to help her get extta vitamins she doesnt get from her food plese im desperate for some help to break her of this
S.T. answers from Kansas City on August 31, 2011
simple, stop letting her get away with it. you have created a picky eater by not making her eat and giving in to her. when you cook dinner for you and your husband, give her the same foods, much smaller portions obviously. if she doesnt eat, put her down. no snack until the next meal. same thing, put the same foods on her plate that you and hubby are eating. if she still doesnt eat do the same thing, put her down from the table with no snack. if that means she goes to sleep with out eating dinner then so be it. it will not take long for her to realize that YOU, not her is the boss, that you are not a short order cook and that if she wants to eat she has to eat what you give her.
we have never made special meals for our toddler, he is 2 1/2. there are certain foods, tomato's for example, that we know he genuinely hates. if we have something with tomatos we will still put 1 bite on his plate, he will try it but usually will spit it out. but by doing that we have gotten him to like green beans and chicken where he previously didnt want to eat them. since he has started with table foods he gets what we get. by just doing the "kiddie" foods you end up causing picky eaters and other issues. nip it in the bud now!!
and you really need to get her drinking water and milk. i dont know how you say she wont drink it, put it in her cup and nothing else, when she is thirsty she will drink. be the mom not the friend.
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S.H. answers from Honolulu on August 31, 2011
Also remember, that eating habits are not static.
I don't know of any adult, that has eaten the SAME way since they were a Toddler.
Don't battle about food.
Food eating disorders, originate in childhood and sometimes carry over to adulthood.
Just don't battle about eating.
She will not starve.
This is one drop in the bucket, of many raindrops.... and it will change.
Nothing is permanent.
1 mom found this helpful
L.M. answers from Kansas City on August 31, 2011
It seems like she is getting enough nutrients. However I can understand your frustration.. I went through the same thing with my son. Turned out he has Sensory Integration/Processing Disorder, which means he lacks sensory input in some places and needs stimulation and in other areas he can get too much too fast. It can be that she can tollerate some textures better than others.
Does she feed herself?
Oatmeal, yogurt, chicken, fish sticks, noodles, graduates with veggies... see the combination of food she is already getting? Try toasted cheese sandwiches (whole wheat bread) and cheese, with a side of fish/chicken, and offer her one new thing, be it a strawberry or a spoon of peas.
Don't get too stressed over this.. as far as the juice is concerned.. you can try Fruitables (costco) made of fruit and veggies... you can start by diluting it as the taste is quite strong, and has less sugar than other juice brands. Mott's Totts has a variety of juices too that offer lower sugar. Start diluting it until she gets used to mild flavor. Leave a sippy of water available for her and only offer juice in the morning, and MAYBE at lunch.. the rest of the time, offer her the sippy with water. She will get thirsty and try it at least eventually.
Give her what she WILL eat, keep offering one new thing (per week, don't mix it up.. let her get used to it on her plate, feel it even if she puts it down and ignores it... its a step in the right direction) and make sure you give vitamin/mineral supplements. Pediasure is great, so is polyvisol drops for toddlers, or you can give her gummies if she will eat those. (my son did not.. so we put the drops in his juice/milk)
Picky eating is a big thing with children suffering from Sensory Integration Disorders. Please talk to your pediatrician, and look up SPD and picky eating.. as they often go hand in hand.
Does she hate it when you wipe her nose? Brush her teeth? Wash her hair?
those are all symptoms of SPD.
here are a couple of links to help you see if your little one has SPD
H.J. answers from Lexington on September 01, 2011
Your daughter will not starve...feed her only what you want her to eat!!!
Many taste habits are created before children are 3, so getting her to eat something now will have a HUGE impact on what she wants to eat later.
If she is getting such a narrow variety, and several of the items you have listed that she likes have zero nutritional value (juice, ramen noodles, fish sticks) you need to make a change and fast.
Children who are very picky at a young age often get worse. They go from eating PB&J and a few other foods, to only eating PB&J, then being extremely picky about which kind of PB, which kind of jelly, and which kind of bread they like. This will be difficult if she ever eats a friend's house, or at school.
Is this really what you want to deal with for the rest of your life?
It can take time to get used to new foods, so start slow and mix in stuff she is used to, but be firm and she WILL eat.
J.W. answers from Lexington on September 01, 2011
If she is not drinking water (or milk), you may be giving her just juice? That's the same as giving her her calories via sugar all day long, and I have heard this same thing many times before about them then not wanting to eat many things. I have a friend who even now as a young adult will not drink water - just sweetened, flavored beverages (yes, she is a bit obese and with has problems with tooth decay, and I am very concerned about her health).
W.B. answers from Johnson City on September 01, 2011
Wow. You are so lucky your daughter eats that much! My son is 4 and has been picky since birth. Even breast feeding was a struggle. He eats chicken nuggets, french fries and will choke down a hamburger if we force him, but that's it. I have to feed him Gerber baby food (and very limited flavors) to get him any kind of nutrients, because he won't take a vitamin. He won't drink juice, but does do milk and water. The doctor says he's healthy and will eventually grow out of it. I worry, but when I see him happy and playing, I trust that this too shall pass. Hang in there honey. If she is healthy and happy, she's fine.
M.L. answers from Colorado Springs on August 31, 2011
When my children were babies, their doctor told me, "Pick your battles carefully; choose only ones you can win. Battles over food you cannot win. The eater is in complete control."
So don't obsess about the food. Do keep in touch with your doctor, to make sure your daughter is healthy! But it's amazing what strange diets toddlers can live on and remain perfectly healthy. You are not a bad mama if your toddler refuses a lot of new foods!
At meal time, offer things that are generally healthful. Use those Gerber cups if she likes them right now, but try offering something new once in a while. Try not to make a battleground out of the lunch table. If she refuses to eat, then she's just not hungry.
You can always establish snack times mid-morning and mid-afternoon if it will make you (and her) feel better, but the same rule applies: make it something healthy, and she can take it or leave it.
Keep your cool and your sense of humor. As she grows, she'll change her tastes on her own.
One of my granddaughters has been one of the Top Ten World's Pickiest Eaters practically since the day she was born. She's gotten a little better, mostly because her parents haven't fussed over food. If she doesn't eat, she doesn't eat - and she does get praised when she tries (gasp!) something new. This girl is a healthy, happy fifth-grader who does well at school and runs all over the playground.