New Food Ideas for 2.5 Year Old Girl

Updated on February 26, 2007
A.L. asks from Minneapolis, MN
11 answers

My preschooler has a rather short list of foods she will eat. I want to introduce new things, but need IDEAS! She's very picky (exactly like I was when I was a kid!) What are some kid friendly foods? Here are her current favorites:

Yogurt, eggs, Cheerios, all fruits, cheese, crackers (all types), applesauce, hot dogs, french fries, chicken nuggets (frozen type), macaroni & cheese, waffles, toast with PB&J.

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answers from La Crosse on

My daughter is 13 months and she'll eat just about anything. Since she likes french fries and maybe she will eat the veggies, try a tator-tot casserole. Its got the potatoes and meat and veggies. Maybe she'll eat that.

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answers from Minneapolis on

I got my daughter to eat broccoli when she was your daughters age by telling her they were trees. She and I would roar like dinasours and we would have a "contest" to see who could eat the most. She always won and now she loves broccoli (she still roars). Another idea I got from my mother in law is to scramble some eggs and put Kraft american cheese slices in the scramble. The rule of thumb she gave me was for 1 slice per every egg. My child eats everything. I have always told her to try it, if she doesn't like it she can throw it out. For the most past she like everything. Another thing you might want to do with fresh vegetables is to give her something to dip them in like ranch dressing. Make it fun for her to try new things. Also have her "help" with cooking, for example have her hand you the eggs or put the spoon in the sink or lick the spoon after you have made cake mix. I hope it helps, it worked for my now 4 year old. I also did this will all my nieces and nephews and they are all good eaters. Sorry to rumble on and on. Good luck ;)

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answers from Minneapolis on

I think the key to kids not being picky eaters is to have them try as many different kinds of food as possible between the ages of 1 and 2. My kids are 3 and 7, and they have their favorites, of course, but they will eat/try ANYTHING. I can't take all the credit for that, of course. Make sure that every meal includes only healthy choices and that your children can choose what they want from those, but that they don't get to dictate that they want something else.

Here are some of my tricks for sneaking in foods, especially vegetables:

shredded carrots (the thinnest shreds): you can sneak them into PBJ, or mix with crushed pineapple or applesauce and warm up a little in the microwave

shredded zucchini can also hide in PBJ

making any veggies "cute" can help (arrange different raw veggies on a plate in the shape of a face or an animal or something), ants on a log, etc.

also, you might be surprised what kids will eat raw that you might only want cooked: green beans, zucchini, broccoli.. my daughter loves frozen peas or French cut green beans right out of the bag (frozen!)

also, you can mix low-fat cottage cheese with peanut butter to use in PBJ. it tastes almost the same, has a nice creamy flavor (reminds me of peanut butter cheesecake), and is lower in fat that plain PB and has plenty of protein

if you're feeling adventurous you can try tofu as another protein source (I'd be happen to share simple preparation techniques)

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answers from Madison on

Try offering her everything that you guys eat. A bite of this, a bite of that. She's sure to like something, maybe?! I know a family that has 2 girls and they eat EVERYTHING! Their secret is that they don't really make separate meals for the kids; they all eat the same stuff. Maybe they're lucky though. I can only hope my little 9 month old will be that good.



answers from Milwaukee on

Hi A.! You may want to try some foods that aren't considered traditionally "kid" friendly (and a lot healthier than kid friendly food). I started feeding my daughter "grown up" food as soon as she had teeth. She was eating steak, grilled fish, chicken, stew, and pork, as well as raw veggies with ranch. By feeding your child foods such as these at a young age, you are developing really good, healthy eating habits from the start.

Good luck!



answers from Minneapolis on

Hi A.,
We do a lot of "roll-ups." Most anything rolled up in a tortilla gets eaten. PB&J, melted cheese, tuna salad.

I also agree to offer her what you are eating. She will soon realize that if she wants to eat, she will eat what you are having.

Good luck!
mom to Gentry and Ainsley 11/03



answers from Minneapolis on

frozen waffles, instant oatmeal, string cheese, spaghetti o's, cereal, pudding, jello, grilled cheese,chicken noodle soup,plain lettuce, raw carrots, pizza, rice,plain butter noodles, bagels, freeze juice for a treat, mashed potatoes, chicken kiev,bolognia sandwhiches,fish sticks, etc....

My daughter is not the least bit picky and never has been maybe it's the way I started her on foods or maybe I'm

I am very lucky. She LOVES meat. When she started eating table food I gave her a very wide variety and gave her foods that I even disliked in hope she would like them.

The one food my daughter was never interested in was eggs, no matter how I cooked them or what I did with them. I never gave up on offering them to her and now at age 5 she will finally eat them. Just keep on offering and sometimes they will try it and find out it's not that bad. I know my daughter will eat anything she can smoother in ketchup.

Your daughter seems to like a variety that is good, with time I'm sure she'll like more and more.

My own 5 year old doesn't know what tuna fish is and has NEVER been offered it, I have never had it in my house and hate it so I'm guilty of not having her atleast try it. None of us our perfect.

I also just make dinner and never make my daughter anything seperate, I donot cater her own individual meals. I ask sometimes what should we have for dinner etc. and we agree together on what to eat or I just plain say NO that's not a good dinner idea.



answers from Janesville-Beloit on

I used to have to trick my son! I would buy fish sticks and tell him they were chicken nuggets! Eventually, I told him the truth, but it got him to eat something different! I have a snack drawer in my fridge and that is where I keep the majority of my sons snacks: go-gurts, fruit cups, applesauce cups, sugar free pudding, etc. I even have my son eating ring bologna now, because he thinks it is a big hot dog! I just really try to relate new foods to the foods that he will eat! Maybe that would work for your daughter to try something new!



answers from Milwaukee on

Dear A.,

when my oldest child was 3, all he would eat was mac & cheese, chicken ramen noodles and pancakes with grandma's homemade strawberry jelly. The only beverage he would drink was milk (no juice or water). I used to worry about his health, but he eventually grew out of it after about six months. Your daughter seems to have a taste for the healthy foods, so I would not be too concerned about what she is currently eating. To get her to try new foods, it's a matter of hit and miss. Let her pick out the new food she would like to try (give her a choice of "A" or "B" (too many choices makes it more confusing). Also, try taking her to the grocery store duing the times they give out free samples. This got my middle child to like fish sticks, however, we have have to serve them with toothpicks (like at the store). It's a small sacrifice to get her to eat a new food. And when you are eating, if the food is something other than what your daughter is eating, ask her if she would like a bite. I read somewhere that it can take up to 10 times of trying a food to develop a taste for it. My daughter is five and just started eating tuna. We had subs for dinner and I always get tuna. My daughter finished hers and was still hungry. I told her I would share my sub with her, but told her she had to try a bite befroe I gave her half. She saw me eating it, and with still being hunry, she took a bite, said she liked it and went on to eat the other half of my dinner. Now, she eats tuna subs all the time. Unless you are extrememly concerned about her diet or her Dr. expresses concerns, don't worry about her limited "menu". She will develop tastes for other foods as she grows. GOod luck!



answers from Minneapolis on

Another idea that I learned at our ECFE class is to take an item she currently likes, and add something new to it. Adding new fruits to her yogurt, spinach in her eggs (this worked for my son, he called it green eggs like Dr. Seuss), vegi's in her mac & cheese, etc. We have a hard time with yellow vegi's (carrots, squash, ect.), so I add it to our spagetti sauce. Canned pumpkin is a great source of Vit. A, and you can't even taste it in the sauce. That way we all get some added benefit. Carrots or spinach also go well in spagetti sauce.

I don't feed my son chicken nuggets, but have bought the boca burger soy variety on occasion, and he likes them. It's an easy way to add another variety of food.

And, since she eats PB&J, maybe she'd like cream cheese with jelly? My son has a peanut allergy, so we do cream cheese and jelly and he loves it. I also make home made whole grain pancakes with blueberries, and put them in the freezer. That makes an easy and healthy breakfast for him. I also have a good whole grain (whole wheat and oatmeal) blueberry muffin recipe that freezes well, they make good snacks or breakfast.

Good luck!

Jess - mom to Charlie (23 months) and Joey (2 1/2 months).



answers from Minneapolis on

how about lo mein with vegetables?? oatmeal?? also tomato soup with a grilled cheese to dip. cut up turkey and cheese with crackers. also, i have a pampered chef circle tool that takes the crust off bread so she will eat a lot of sandwiches. how about the frozen meals with different types of pastas and veges? my daughter also like salad and cucumbers in vinegar? i agree with the other post....give her what you are eating to try...and if she really doesnt like it make her a sandwich.

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