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I am tired of putting a meal in front of him and him not wanting to eat it. All he wants is what I posted in the title. I feel like if I give into him and feed him those items instead of what I put in front of him that he will know that if he doesn't touch it he will get his way. He is 2 1/2 going on 3 in April. I really don't want a picky kid but i know most of what he is eating is good for him. I just really wish he'd eat what we prepare for him instead of what "he wants". Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

asked 09 Dec '10, 22:47

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Dan 3
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Welcome Dan. Answers to these similar questions may also be helpful to you: http://moms4mom.com/questions/306/picky-eater-help http://moms4mom.com/questions/3553/how-to-teach-a-toddler-to-eat-what-they-are-given

(10 Dec '10, 01:52) Tammy ♦♦

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Oh my god have we ever been there!

The long and short of it is you can't force him to eat what you want him to eat.

Here are some things we do/did (our son is 3 3/4 and still has lots of food likes and dislikes, which seem to change daily)

I try to accommodate him as much as I can (for example he doesn't like food and sauce together - such as mashed potatoes and gravy - so I keep them separate, another example is he prefers raw veggies to cooked ones so when we have carrots I give him baby carrots raw instead of cooked...). In the event I want to cook something I know he won't like (such as the nights I'm craving Chinese food or an Indian curry...) I plan something different for him from his list of "go-to foods". I try to make meals that he's historically enjoyed, I even asked my other mom friends for their kids' favorite foods, to try the same things here. Winners include mashed potatoes, thick sliced ham, meatloaf, spaghetti (sauce on the side), chicken noodle soup...

If he insists he won't eat what we're eating even after we try to do what we can to accommodate him, we encourage him to taste his food anyhow (no obligation, he can spit it out back on his plate if he does not like it). On occasion this will encourage him enough to eat it and he finds that he likes it.

We used to offer him a single "alternative" meal (peanut butter and jam on bread) if there was a chance he wouldn't like what we're having, but now we ask that he sits at the dinner table with us for the duration of the meal (til everyone is done), whether he eats or not. Sometimes he eats, sometimes not. Usually if he does not eat, we save his meal up in the fridge, then when he plays the "I'm Hungry" card at bedtime, we can just put him back in front of his dinner and 9 times out of 10, he'll eat it then without any argument.

A couple of other things we've done are:

  • moved our evening meal to a later time (he just wasn't hungry at 5:30 but by 6:15 he's ravenous)
  • bribed him on occasion (if you eat your supper, you'll get dessert, but if you don't, no dessert for you)
  • reduced his portions to something that we KNOW he can eat, so he doesn't get intimidated with a mountain of food on his plate (this also means less waste, in fact the only loser is the dog who gets less leftovers in her bowl...)

Best of luck...it can be tough.

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answered 10 Dec '10, 01:35

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Melanie
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+1 for relating all the good experiences

(10 Dec '10, 05:31) Scott ♦♦

+1 on giving him things to try but not making it an obligation. I was a bit like that too. For a very long time, my lunch would always be potatoes with butter and nothing else. I wouldn't eat anything else either. My parents didn't stop trying though, so they always gave me things to try (if I wanted to). Nowadays there are not many things I don't eat and mostly because I find them disgusting because I tasted them. So just because he's like that now, doesn't mean he will always be a picky eater.

(13 Dec '10, 21:22) Alexander

Melanie gives really good advice. I just want to add that sometimes my picky eater is more willing to eat something, particularly meat, if we offer a sauce for him to dip it in. Sometimes we give him ketchup or steak sauce, at other times it is applesauce.

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answered 10 Dec '10, 19:22

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mkcoehoorn
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"more 'shup, Daddy" :)

(13 Dec '10, 09:20) Benjol
1

no meal is complete without a puddle of ketchup... and we find our little guy is more likely to use it (ie eat food off his plate, albeit covered in ketchup) if we let him squeeze the ketchup out of those little "to-go" packets himself. He's old/neat enough to get most of it out of the packet AND onto the plate, so this does work for us.

(14 Dec '10, 20:39) Melanie
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Asked: 09 Dec '10, 22:47

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Last updated: 10 Dec '10, 19:22