A.B. asks from Broken Arrow, OK on November 09, 2006
Picky Eater - Broken Arrow, OK
My daughter has always been small for her age but she does not eat really well and really never has been a big eater. But it does worry me. She will eat something one day and not the next. She used to love Brocholi and now won't touch it. Same with Carrotts. And we've tried being very strict as in not giving her anything else to eat besides what is put in front of her. But after her skipping a few meals and one night going to bed w/o dinner I just can't do it anymore. People have told me she'll eat when she's hungry but she doesn't if she doesn't think she likes it. And she's still too small to really communicate with. It seems like all she eats is yogurt, plain bread and chicken nuggets. Any suggestions?
P.B. answers from Peoria on November 10, 2006
Moom, be patient and try asking her what she wants to eat, be it pizza, sloppy joe, whatever she wants. I know we try and feed them the right way, but if theres a problem with her eating, there are ways to get her to eat if it's what she wants. You won't win forcing her to eat what's cooked. My daughter was a vegetarian when she was 5 until she was seven, wouldn't touch meat, but she grew out of it.SStay in touch
T.T. answers from Kansas City on November 09, 2006
I also have a picky eater. Sometimes she likes to eat on her own time table, after everyone else, other times she's fine eating with the family. My daughter weighs just 31 pounds at almost 4 yrs old. I have asked the doctor and they aren't concerned either as long as she is getting taller which she is. My youngest isn't picky at all and at 21 months weighs 24.5 lbs so I hope this helps.
J.S. answers from Springfield on November 09, 2006
I have two picky eaters. Our ped told me to give them Pediasure once a day. That'll break the bank quick, tho, so now I give them the generic version of Ensure. They have their "milkshakes" with breakfast, and I know they're getting the nutrients they need. With my 4-yr-old, he has to try at least one bite of dinner (his hardest meal) or he goes straight to bed. I also try to limit their juice and milk intake, so they don't fill up on that. But at this age, if you can get one meal in them (and it's usually breakfast) then they will be fine. You could make your own shakes, and puree all sorts of fruits and veggies. If kids think they're getting a treat, they'll slurp it up. Just don't tell them it's good for them, heehee.
And at least once a week, they get to pick dinner. Lots of times it's pb&j, or pancakes or french toast sticks. I used to worry about it soooo much, but I'm trying to mellow, heh. Good luck!
D.A. answers from Decatur on November 10, 2006
CREATE A MENU WITH HER AND TELLHER SHE CAN HAVE TWO DAYS OF THINGS SHE LIKES ON THE MENU ONLY IF SHE EATS WHAT IS THE OTHER DAYS. IT IS TRUE, CHILDREN ARE STUBBORN BUT THEY ARE NOT STUBBORN ENOUGH TO HANDLE THE PAIN OF NEEDING TO EAT. SHE WILL EAT. HOW OLD IS YOUR DAUGHTER? AND CULD THIS BE A CONTROL THING? IT WAS WITH MY LITTLE GIRL AND AFTER TWO MONTHS OF DOING THE MENU THING SHE STARTED EATING MOST THINGS AND TODAY AT 17 SHE EATS ALMOST ANYTHING EXCEPT CINNAMON. GOOD LUCK AND I WILL PUT YOU IN MY PRAYERS.
B. answers from Oklahoma City on November 09, 2006
My son is the same way, he will be 3 on Dec. 4th
My mom has a hard time with the thought that he does not eat very much. AND when he does eat ~ he might only eat a few bites or a whole plate full. It does not matter what it is,
He will even turn down a cookie, I have tried to get him to eat after he said no, and he has thrown up because of it. The doctor told me that he is growing fine and he will eat when he wants to.
I hope this make yous feel better.
C.S. answers from St. Louis on November 10, 2006
Hi A., I have a picky eater, too and she rarely eats! My daughter is 22 months old (average size) and she will usually only eat cucumbers, chicken and wheat thins or pretzels. Occasionally I can get her to eat cereal, yogurt and sometimes pizza. She will only drink milk and occasionally water. I also tried the same thing and felt horrible. Have you tried feeding her baby food?? I know I think my daughter is too old for it too, but if it works and sometimes it does, why not!! As long as she is not loosing weight she should be fine. I know it is frustrating, but you cant force them to eat! I ask my daughter if she is hungry and she will tell me, so that seems to help. If she had her way she'd probably only drink milk all day. Just be patient and I'm sure things will get better. It seems like just recently my daughter has been willing to try new things (and of course doesnt like them), where as before she would even give it a chance. Good luck to you and your daughter.
Signed, Just as Frustrated!!
T.S. answers from Columbia on November 12, 2006
Try to turn her on to peanut butter. When my husband was a kid his mother had the same concern. She was told that if a child eats a lot of peanut butter then that is okay. But do stick to 'no substituting', it works with my 2 1/2 year old daughter. If she says she doesn't like something we will warn her that if she doesn't eat at least some of it then she will go without. And they are right.... once the child is hungry enough... they will eat anything. But seriously, peanut butter is very healthy. Just make sure that you child is well hydrated.
W.Q. answers from Tulsa on November 09, 2006
I know your daughter is still pretty small but this worked for our 3 year old grandson and his picky eating habits. My daughter had him help her with some aspects of preparing meals. She would have him wash and dry the carrots or celery and then have him help pour the ranch dressing for dipping. She would also cut up some cheese and have him arrange it on a plate. And, help helped getting out the bread and butter. things like that...she had him involved in as many simple preparations as she could think of and he was more apt to eat part of his creations. Hope this helps some. Good luck.
A. answers from St. Louis on November 10, 2006
I suggest checking out the book "The highly senstive child". Most little ones are sensitive to strong flavors, and your daughter might be especially senstive. I agree with the other mom(s) who said that if you force her to eat certain things, it might cause problems down the road. You want her to trust when she's hungry or not (and right now she may not be growing much, so she might not be that hungry, and hence, pickier). Having said that, maybe you can spruce up some things she likes to sneak in some more nutrients (like making marinara sauce with sauteed minced or pureed vegetables added so she doesn't notice; letting her dip things she doesn't like in ketchup- that's gotten my 17 month-old to eat dreaded carrots and other things). Also, maybe you could try serving her what the rest of you are eating, and making two other things you know she'll like. That way you're not a short-order cook, and you've already made stuff she'll eat, even if she doesn't like your food. Remember, this happens to most toddlers and she'll come back around to healthy food later, especially if the rest of the family eats healthy food- she'll want to be like you. Oh, and maybe she could help you pick out produce at the store and help prepare it (wash it, etc.). Good luck!