Picky Eater

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MichiGal23's picture
Joined: 09/19/07
Posts: 152
Picky Eater

Anyone else having an issue with pickiness? I know it's totally normal for toddlers to do this, but it is driving me bonkers!!

Izzie will eat a good breakfast (she will rarely stray from her banana and french toast sticks), lunch is usually pb&j or chicken nuggets with pears/peaches/or mandarin oranges, and then comes dinner which is a huge struggle, unless we're eating breakfast for dinner or hot dogs and beans (in which she won't eat the hot dog, but could eat a whole can of beans). I get so frustrated with her during dinner time, and she's normally whining and crying, and DH is negotiating "if you eat this, then you can get that" and Max by the point is whining/fussing in his high chair, dinner time stinks when it's supposed to be an enjoyable family time.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

DunyaWolf's picture
Joined: 07/25/08
Posts: 223

Argh, Kieran has good days and bad days when it comes to food, but we have many evenings just like the one you described. My general rule for dinner is: I don't want to make food a power struggle, but I'm not going to let him eat snacks and junk food either. So when we sit down to eat and Kieran decides he's not going to eat it, I say, "ok- if you're not hungry then you don't have to eat. But when you're hungry, you can have your dinner." In other words I'm not just going to give him snacks in 20 minutes, which he inevitably asks for lol. If he eats at least a substantial portion of his dinner first, then yeah sure. Some nights we go all the way to bed time with him asking for food but refusing to eat his dinner. But, he almost always eventually decides he's hungry enough to eat it.

tink9702's picture
Joined: 09/28/08
Posts: 2977

I do what Jessica does - no snack if he doesn't eat dinner, so he can go to bed hungry if he doesn't eat a decent amount of dinner. I also bargain with him sometimes - if you eat three pieces of chicken you can have apple slices! LMAO - yes my kid will eat things he doesn't like for fruit! ha ha ha Hopefully he never figures out how to hold out for something better!!!!

Ethan eats a huge amount of food for breakfast and likes everything (pancakes, french toast, eggs, bacon, sausage, cereal, fruit, nutragrain bars, waffles - everything but hot cereal). For lunch we have been doing either leftovers from dinner, hot dogs, chicken nuggets, or meatballs. He always gets yogurt, a veggie (which he won't eat unless it's corn), and a fruit (lately bananas, apples or mandarin oranges). He usually eats some of the meat, all the yogurt and fruit and no veggie. For dinner we tend to eat fairly kid friendly food - chicken, pasta, ground meat etc. I know he won't eat pork chops so I do cook him something different those nights, he also doesn't like pasta sauce, so I give him pasta with shredded cheese on it instead. Otherwise he eats what we eat. We do pancakes once a week on Wednesdays and that's his favorite dinner.

My biggest issue with him is the veggies. I just can't get him to eat them anymore even though he loved carrotts, ate beans, peas and even tried spinich, but now the only thing he'll eat is corn. I offer veggies at lunch and dinner but they just sit there no matter what I do. Not sure how to fix it either...

MichiGal23's picture
Joined: 09/19/07
Posts: 152

I've saved her food for the next time she's hungry before, but only for lunchtime, and then struggles to eat the TINIEST bit for her snack after naptime. I've really only done that with her veggies from lunch, if I offer them which lately has been very rarely since I just feel like I'm wasting food with them. I feel like saving her food from dinner would be pointless because she's so stubborn that she'll just go to bed hungry then eat her yummy breakfast in the morning.

We did have a breakthrough tonight. I made beef foldover (crescent roll packets filled with bbq ground beef and cheese) and she ATE SOME! I pulled the whole "good ballerinas always eat their dinner before dance class" and even fed her each bite (they were airplanes and choo choo trains and horses, etc). A bit riduclous for her to eat about 6 or 7 bites, but its the must meat (besides chicken nuggets) she's eaten in about a year! I can't see myself feeding her bite after bite every night, but maybe she'll get tired of that too and just want to do it herself?

Side note - what I have found works with getting her to eat her veggies (even if its like 5 or 6 peas), is assigning a letter to each of them. Sometime's I'll spell out her name and so then I'll say "eat the pea for letter I", or we'll just use random letters from the alphabet. She seems to have fun with that. Like I said, it usually only works for a very small amount of pieces, but at least a small amount is better than nothing.