2.5 Yr Olds Diet/nutrition

Updated on January 16, 2013
J.B. asks from Elmira, NY
7 answers

my 2.5 yr old will only eat raman noodles or chicken nuggets. he wont touch any type of breads or even drink milk. I give him v8 fusion to supplement his fruits and veggies, and he takes a multi-vitamin daily, but have concerns about his sodium and sugar intake and not much of anything else. he is an extremely willful little boy, and lets just say that im a sucker for his manipulative ways! LOL ...but seriously- i need some help in finding ways to get him to try more things-healthy foods that he might like. any suggestions? gorcery day in tomorrow and I'm lost. HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

More Answers



answers from Detroit on

Let him be hungry and don't buy the noodles or chicken nuggets. You will be amazed! I do this with my kids and they are begging for apples, all fruits, veggies with cheese, etc.

I can't have junk in the house. (Now, sometimes I get annoyed because I want a snack sometimes that's not the most wholesome). :) But you really can't have it in your house, specially as you say you're a sucker for his ways. He could be on the path to serious iron deficiency or learning problems so nutrition really is important, at any age.

You don't need to find "ways." Just serve him only healthy food, and he'll eat it or not (but at some point he'll get hungry). Kids are smart; they are programmed to eat. He will. Give him time and be firm.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on


First, please take a step back from your post and try to look at it from another person's perspective.

He's not being 'manipulative' or scheming in an adult sense. It's that you have let him get his way and whatever he's done to get him his way (tantrum, crying, refusing food) has worked up until this point. I point this out to you because I want you to see yourself as a strong, authoritative parent who knows what's best for her kids and not as a victim who is being wrapped around Kiddo's dinky finger.

Okay, once you've got that mental image of yourself as the person in charge, do what most of us do: Do NOT buy the problem food. Do not have it in your house, period. Cold turkey on the junk food, today. The levels of sodium in ramen are crazy-high-bad. And can be for the nuggets, too, depending on the brand you are purchasing.

At every meal, you call the shots. Reasonable-sized servings of whole-grain breads or crackers are fine. (Reasonable means just that, they are only one part of what's out for the meal.) Start serving fresh fruit or a bit of applesauce; I offer yogurt to my son as one part of the meal (now that he's older, he only has yogurt as a topping for fresh fruit or berries.). Offer simple veggies on his plate-- carrot coins or sticks (you can offer a bit of ranch dressing or peanut/sun butter to eat these with), red pepper strips, peas (he might like them frozen, my son loves them like this) , a few bits of salad to dip into a dressing. Some kids prefer their veggies raw, others like them cooked, so don't just decide he 'doesn't like them' if you haven't offered them both ways several times.

Cheese is a good protein, and kids don't need much of it. A few cut-up cubes of a mild cheese might work, or cream cheese on good crackers or bread will be fine. Hard boiled eggs-- remove the yolk first, and find out if he'll eat the whites, because most little kids I've cared for don't like the strong taste and crumbly texture of the yolks. Little kids often like scrambled eggs too.

If it were me, I would offer some standard noodle soups, like chicken noodle or grab up a box of veggie broth and some egg noodles, add some veggies and you have a very easy, health soup with so much less sodium and no nitrates.

Now, at meals, I will tell you to do what's worked for me and the children I've cared for over many, many years:

First, NO asking 'do you want this or that?' At this point, your son has been trained to throw a fit when he doesn't get what he wants on his plate, right? (At least, that's what I infer from your post.) So, your job is to put two or three choices on his plate and let him choose *from the plate*, not from the cupboard or fridge. Whether that is a little bit of mac and cheese and some peas and some apple slices or if it's more of a ploughman's plate (good bread with butter, a few slices of cheese, some raw veggies and fruit, hard boiled eggs and a couple of black olives)-- whatever works for your to prepare that's healthy is fine. I'd make sure he has at least one familiar food on the plate (apples are a huge hit, usually, so are cheese cubes or sticks) and set out the good food for him.

At this point, it's up to him if he eats. Your magic words are "this is what I have for you." And then, don't talk about it. Don't try to make him eat it, don't try to talk up the foods he's eschewing, just DO NOT GO BACKWARD.

It will take a week, likely, but what you are doing is setting up a new dynamic. Expect that he may not want to eat at meals and will hold out for snacky foods, so at snack times, you don't want to be serving anything 'fun'. This is the time for simple, wholesome snacks like bread and butter, raisins, cut-up fruit and veggies, cheese. Once again, don't make this a time to 'hold out' for.

Good luck going forward and remember to keep any 'not great' foods out of the house entirely.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Appleton on

Unfortunately, this is the time when you need to be the adult here. I was always the 'mean mom' who made my kids eat what was served. I made healthy meals meat, potatoes, veggie, salad or chili or spaghetti, but to bad so sad if they didn't like it, they ate it. I had a firm rule they had to taste everything on their plate. In time they grew to like almost everything. Today my kids are all grown up and they all eat healthy.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Talk to your pediatrician. You being a "sucker" will harm him, so "woman up" LOL. Ask him to help pick stuff. Have him try things. Fruits are tasty so get him going on that - blueberries, strawberries, etc. My son likes frozen peas cause they are crunchy and kinda sweet. Keep offering at every meal. Milk tastes yucky to kids unless it's whole milk - go for yogurt or cheese sticks.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Are you sure he is being picky and doesn't have a sensory issue?I have one (3) who will not eat sauce at all on anything, so we take it off for her. Luckily she trusts me to get it all off for her.:) and then I have a 20 month old who is so picky that we have been to 3 dieticians. But, we are having some good results, so lets see what you can do to expand his pallate. I know that there are kids who will starve rather than eat and then as mom's we get to deal with the cranky hungry kid!

So, if he likes nuggets, buy the good ones from Trader Joe's that don't have any icky chemicals in them, they are natural and are low in salt. Then maybe expand to fish nuggets. They also have some good ones there, but I recommend the cheap ones instead of the expensive cod ones, it sounds funny, but they taste way better!

Ramen noodles....so maybe try and cook some basic noodles with a chicken bullion base and maybe try to move to cream of chicken sauce on spaghetti noodles or linguine. You are not really introducing new foods, just expanding.

You have NO idea how lucky you are that have a kid who will drink a V8 fusion! I would count my blessings if I were you. You didn't say anything about allergies so I am guessing you are good in that department.

What about crackers? It seems like they are empty food, but Triscuits are shredded wheat so they are actually good for them and they are crunchy. What about potatoes? most kids like fries, so what about oven roasted potatoes? I seem to have good luck with these as long as I can get them crispy. Banquet makes a Grillers product that is really good for this and the kids love them.
Fruits and veggies are good, but they play a huge role in fiber so you might want to try some dried fruit, Winco has these in the bulk bins, let him try them in the store so you know what he likes and he can be adventurous. I just pay a little extra at checkout for this.
You may need to be a stronger parent, but also remember that for little ones food and toileting are the two things they really have control over in their lives and for some kids they really need to have that control for their mental health.

Good luck! Be experimental at the grocery store. You are not alone in this "battle"!!

Oh, if he likes hot dog, Oscar Meyer is making a new kind that is good with low fat, lower salt, and no nitrites or nitrates. They run about $5 a pack here, but if you put them in stuff, then they go farther and its worth it. I also find them on sale or at Grocery Outlet every now and then and I fill up the freezer since its a good food my guy will eat. (We also deal with no dairy or soy for allergies so we are limited in different ways.)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Champaign on

Good luck - I can feel your pain. My son was picky from the time he started baby food.. I couldn't get him to eat veggies without a ton of rice cereal mixed in with it, he would gag on meats (except meat sticks) and as far as fruit - he only touched banana's and applesause. At 2, he was still very picky and the doctor told me to hid veggies in his spaghetti sauce - that's a great idea if he ate it. He is now almost 6, and where he still won't touch veggies and only eats banana's and apple sauce - he now will eat spaghetti (occasionally), chicken, turkey, ground beef & steak. But even then - it's hit or miss on meat. But he surprises me more and more with things he wants to try or asks that i get from the store. Hang in there, keep offering up the vitamins and maybe see if he will drink the pediasure shakes (it didn't work for us). I never wanted to push food on him and demand him to eat things. Just offer him something healthy along with something you know he will eat and try to encourage him to try it. It's a long frusturating battle. Good Luck and do what is right for you and your son.



answers from Oklahoma City on

The only way you can make him try different foods is to poke it in his mouth then down his throat.

So, you don't want to do that???? Okay, then you do this instead. Just keep offering him other foods. The best you can do it actually take the pressure off him so he won't feel like digging in his heels.

There is no need to go to war over this. He is not going to starve, you're taking care of his deficits. He will eventually like different foods. My granddaughter is like this. She has geographic tongue so she will literally puke up anything I tried to make her taste. Then she'd just dig her heels in further and refuse to even eat anything at all new.

Now she's 9 and likes all kinds of new stuff. It takes peer pressure sometimes to get her to try something but once she does then she almost always likes it.

Ramen noodles are sort of empty but they do have some nutrients. Our kids like them too so I tell hubby if he cooks them for the kids they can only have them for a snack. Not a meal. I think nuggets are okay too. They have some breading but they're not bad food.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions