My 2 Year Old Daughter Is a Picky Eater.

Updated on October 28, 2006
S.M. asks from Miami, FL
13 answers

My daughter is a very picky eater. One day she will eat the next she won't. She tells me no mama no eat all done. I have her sit in her seat and she will just play with her food she won't eat it. Does any one else have this problem? If so, what do you do to get them to eat and what? She's always been a picky eater but I use to be able to get her to eat something but lately its just been getting harder and harder and I don't want to force her to eat and I don't want her to starve. Any Ideas on what I should do? Thanks

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R.D.

answers from Miami on

Zoopals, animal shapped paper plates, work great for my kids. I was desperate and nothing seem to work. But these plates really are amazing, my 3 and 2 year old both sit together, at the same time, and eat almost everything I put on their plates!

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V.

answers from Boca Raton on

hi S.
first off to introduce myself, best way it with this: i even dream about what will i feed my girls tomorrow. they're 2 (27 months) and very picky eaters. i have tried everything even dancing around and did not help. my girls will eat in front of TV but i decided against doing that. it is not healthy. instead i offer a variety of things and if they take a few bites out of each thing there there you go, one meal down.
suggestions
breakfast:
mini panckakes (with syrup or jam, or peanut butter) but it in a fav. plate (mine like nemo one) cut it in half and give her a toddler fork.
-toast with PB and J
-hot cereal oatmeal, peaches and cream, strawberry and cream, or the organic one it has the sesame street characters (and comes in different variety),
- a bowl of cheerios (the fruity/colorful one)
-yo baby youghurt, banana (if everything fails)
- eggs ommelette with cheese (cut it in squares and triangles/ because of shapes they seem to go for it)
whihever they have eaten is followed by some kidn of fruit and they can eat their fruit in the living room

lunch
definitely first choice mac and cheese
-grilled cheese sandwich
-PB and J sandwich
-sweet potatoes, i cut it in cube sizes, microwave for a minute for example then add some butter on top of the sweet potatoes, and microwave for another 2 minutes (try it with fork if they're done). when they're done, add a bit of brown sugar on top, just so the first taste is a bit sweet (i usually serve sweet potatoes with turkey bacon)

-dinner
-brown rice and fish sticks
-if they didn't get mac and cheese for lucnh then for dinner some sort of pasta (they only like white sauce) so either alfreado or one of those organic bunny shaped, starts, shell pasta whatever, with chicken nuggets and mixed veggies. whatever they get for dinner it always starts with some veggie soup. they play a bit with soup and drink some and play some more, when it becomes all play then they're done with soup.
-when my husband is home then some nights he'll make ribs. they love ribs and i offer ribs with some starch even iof plain toast.

before bedtime some kind of fruit.

so basically all this rambling is to tell you is what i offer and then a bite her and a bite there my god 3 meals done :)

i don;t give snacks. my girls fill up with air let alone some snack. so they get fruit for snacks and no juice or anything that will spoil appetite unless they're sick then yes diluted

good luck. you're not alone in this, and neither am i. :)
V.

1 mom found this helpful
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S.J.

answers from Orlando on

My son sometimes has dinners where he doesn't want to eat. I usually just tell him that its fine if he does not want to eat right now but he still has to sit at the table until everyone is done and dinner is over. He'll stay there and pick on his food and sometimes even start eating.

Once we are done with dinner, he continues with his evening routine with Daddy while I clean up, but I just leave his dinner plate alone on the counter. Sometime before he goes to sleep, he usually says he's hungry. We just give him back his plate and he'll eat whatever is on it.

There hasn't been a day yet that he's gone to sleep without eating dinner. However, this has caused us to sometimes have to brush his teeth twice in one night or go to bed a few minutes later than his bedtime, but I feel its a small price to pay to make sure he gets all the nutriets he needs to grow up healthy.

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A.R.

answers from Melbourne on

The pediatrician told me that no child has starved when food was readily available. Just make it tasty and easy to eat, they will have to watch their weight when they get older so try to avoid making them believe you think fat=healthy (like my mother did). If they can make it to their teen years as thin girls they will be lucky indeed.

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S.P.

answers from Miami on

Hi S.,
I had this problem with my son and it drove me crazy. I was afraid he wasn't eating enough or that he would get hooked on chicken nuggets and not eat anything else. I saw this show one day that said it was ok that they eat like that just try to introduce foods that you think they would like and then make sure that they eat enough by giving them what you know they do like. I don't worry anymore if my son is getting enough to eat because I know if he is hungry enough, he will ask for food. I started to tell my son to atleast taste it and 9 times out of 10, he would like it. Sometimes I just see that he is afraid to taste it and then when I force him he makes himself sick, so forcing is not a good idea.

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A.F.

answers from Lakeland on

Hi S. ,
At my daughter's 2 yr check up , I was told by the pediatrician to "expect her to become more picky at this age ".
Take it from a mom with a kiddo that has ALWAYS had finicky eating habits : she won't starve herself.
When my girl was not even six months old , her pediatrician at the time pressured us so much about her weight gain ( and she was not even underweight ) that it caused a heap of totally needless stress in our household ... and we realized we could not force her.
We switched pediatricians , and the new one told us to leave her be. She said to be sure to offer her the food , but not to force. Our daughter has always been very healthy , reguardless of the picky eating. I wouldn't stress too much , unless you feel she's ill or underweight.
Hope this helps a bit, :0) ~ A.
Oh , and P.S. , I have been told not to let them play with their food at the dinner table ... if they are playing with the food , they're not hungry.

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A.S.

answers from Miami on

I had the same problem with my daughter when she just turned 2. She is also a picky eater and doesn't really like to eat meat. I got her to start eating a little more by getting food that interest her. She loves Dora so i would buy her Dora soup and show her the can let her help me make it and she would eat it. Its worth a shot!

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V.

answers from Orlando on

My daughter goes through stages. Eat and no eat. I have to remember that I had the same problem with my son. She will eat when she's hungry. I promise. It's hard, I know. My daughter had the stomach flu a few weeks ago. It took he forever to really eat anything again. She was so gun shy. No I can't feeed her enough. It balances itself out. She doesn't eat when she grows, until her little growth spurt is over. Then she eats like a horse for a few days. Just remember to offer her the food. She'll eat it when she's ready. I've even left food on her plate at the table. She came back to eat it after we had cleared the table. It wasn't anything that could go bad, so I didn't care. They also have small stomachs and tend to be grazers.

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T.L.

answers from Melbourne on

There are some days where my daughter only eats yogurt.
I offer her 3 meals and 3 snacks, and she eats most of the time. I learned quickly the more I tried to force the issue the less she would eat. So I offer, and she eats or not. The truth of the matter is she will eat when she's hungry. My ped said she is doing fine and that it is normal for toddlers to be picky. Hope that helps!

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A.H.

answers from Port St. Lucie on

I have a little girl who just turned 3 about a month ago. She is a very picky eater herself. I have found a couple things that she will eat that I use as plan B. For example, waffles, eggs, pancakes, cereal, french toast and mac and cheese. Anytime we eat anything other than that.... she wants no part in it. I know they aren't the healthiest food when you eat them all the time, but it's better than nothing. And she's healthy. I stopped packing her lunch at school because her teacher said she was eating like the other kids. So, stick with her. Eventually they will open their horizon up and experiance new foods. I hope this helps... feel free to email me with any questions or if you wanna just chat with someone. [email protected]____.com

A. - 22 yrs old, with a 3 year old lil girl

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J.S.

answers from Orlando on

One thing that worked for me was a toddler tray. Take an ice cube tray and fill it with bite sized pieces of different foods, just two or three bits of each one, like apple chunks, pretzel sticks, grapes, cooked carrot circles, chicken chunks, gold fish, etc.

Then put it out on a low table when she is running around the house, she'll swing by for a bite or two and before you know it, she'll have had a decent amount of nutrition with no pressure or struggle.

Toddlers like control and get overwhelmed by big plates of food. Keep is simple and small for her. Also, you didn't mention is if she is drinking much. Try and give her water during the day and avoid filling up on juice. Her tummy is little and can get full from other things. While she is only eating a little bit, make every bite count with high protein, and healthy choices:)
Good luck!
J.

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A.H.

answers from Fort Myers on

the toddler tray is a good idea that workd for us here also. Lately my son 2 will mostly pick and play w/food at the table. But if I take a plate into the living room and while he is b usy playing and watching noggin I say for him to take a bite and he will fly by and eat, next thing I know he has eaten quite a bit of food. Yeah it is pita to feed him but it makes me happy that I'm getting food in him.

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F.L.

answers from Orlando on

Both of my daughters are picky eaters, but I have found that when they are hungry they will eat. If I try to make them eat it is stessful on all of us. Usually they will eat a couple of bites during meal time, and other than that I try to keep healthy snacks around so that when they finally want they can eat something healthy.

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