I have a two and a half year old that just will not eat what I put on his plate unless it’s junk. I tried a chicken patty today, which he eats at daycare; he refused for a solid 2 hours and then threw it up all over me. He eats at daycare but not at home! I don’t know what to do anymore! I’ve tried cheese, ketchup, bribing him with chocolate, tried taking things away, sending him to bed. I feel horrible trying to argue with him about food when I get home from work every night. Any helpful tips that I could try would be awesome; thanks!
Maybe you could try a reward system. It helped me some with my picky 3 year old.
You could fill a bin with prizes from dollar tree or just cheap toys, create a chart with different healthy foods, and give him a point for trying new things. After every so many points, they get to pick a prize.
Not sure if this is the best way since it teaches them to expect a prize for eating but it was worth it for me.
Following, cause same.
Mine is picky and doesn’t eat often and I guess toddlers don’t eat much. Try fish sticks? They make this drink you can buy if you are worried about your child’s health. Pediasur or something like that.
Following cause yes same ! With my 6 yr old . Jesus it’s a battle
I just stopped buying snack foods because when they’re in the house it’s all my kids want! If they want a snack, they get fruits and veggies now. If we go camping or on vacation I’ll buy snacks but at home I don’t anymore. It’s easier to keep my kids eating healthy when that’s the only option.
Don’t argue with him, it’s a phase, the bigger the issue you make of it the harder it will become! My son was the same (although he hardly ate anything) we went to dieticians etc & they said never argue or make them feel bad over food, give him choices, get him to help make it, if he doesn’t eat it then just remove it but DO NOT give into him, he has to learn that eating junk food all the time is not the right thing to do… I’d never let him starve & would always offer fruit if he didn’t eat his dinner, if he did eat his dinner he would get a reward - a chocolate mousse or a biscuit but I never made a big deal of it if he didn’t, if he sees your stressing he will do it even more! It’s a power struggle & you stressing will make him stressed & it will never work… he will get there eventually but forcing the issue can cause eating disorders…, my boy is nearly 16 now & although not great with certain foods he is healthy & eats a lot more variety xx
My son only does fruits and vegetables with food tubes. It’s annoying
My son lived off of mac n cheese, hot dogs, and chicken nuggets for a whole year. I spoke to his pediatrician and he suggested PediaSure as a supplement, but not a meal replacement. I also would take him shopping and let him pick fruit and other healthy foods. It will get better.
Don’t buy anymore snacks at all
Don’t fight. My son likes to cause trouble over dinner often. I just excuse him from the table. I tell him he can eat it when he us hungry, and place it on the counter. When he is hungry, he is offered the plate he left for dinner. He is not offered any other snacks, when he asks hes told his food is on the counter. He almost alwayd ends up eating the rest of dinner.
Figure out what the favorites are. And work with it. Add 1 new item. And you also eat the new item to show its ok.
Fruit & finger size veggies, baby carrots, string cheese.
He eats at daycare but not for you…hmmm…mom the best thing you can do is manup! Geez your kid is playing you …he knows how upset you get and knows you will give in…stop showing these kids your suckers…he won’t starve trust me!
I let my son grocery shop and cook with me. Giving him the option of what he wants that’s not junk really helped
Don’t just fight. Our pedi has always said if they are hungry they will eat.
My 3 year old eats great at daycare. She gets healthy snacks at home fruit and vegetables but she will hardly ever eat meat or a protein at our house. When it’s time for bed she gets a shower and then is put to bed she usually isn’t hungry in the mornings either
But our daycare says she eats excellent there
Five kids here,offer them healthy meals and they will eat when they are hungry. The pickiness passes. When they are teens they will eat you out of house and home. Its part of who they are. Just roll with it. Making it a big deal makes it a big deal to everyone and it becomes a daily fight.
Do not give him junk food! Keep offering real food. He might refuse at first. He will start eating when he gets hungry enough
Don’t buy junk food. Don’t eat junk food either as they are going to want to eat what you eat. Find smart ways to introduce veggies into everyday food. Like pasta? Blend veggies together to make the sauce.
Unless your child’s pediatrician is concerned about them not thriving, don’t make mealtime a fight. It encourages unhealthy attitudes about food.
It’s a phase. A very very fun phase. Our pediatrician has said that we have two options, let them eat what they want for the time being or only offer them the foods you want them to eat because a child that age will not starve themselves (unless their are other factors such as neurological issues). Basically that eventually they will get hungry enough to eat what you give them. We have done both and have went the route of letting them eat what they want because it’s easier on us. One of our kids lived off of red vines, Oreos and chicken nuggets for awhile. She is perfectly healthy and thriving and is now 11 years old and will eat most anything we give her.
Most chicken patties really are junk-you have to read the labels. Maybe that’s why he threw up. Offer veggies and fruits cut into bite sized strips - arrange them attractively with something to dip them in (kids love to dip) don’t say anything, just leave the tray on the coffee table or where ever and walk away.
He knows he is going to get what he wants in the end with you one way or another. Put what you want him to eat on his plate and tell him if he is hungry he will eat it and I’d he dosnt he will not get a snack or something different but if he eats his good he can have 1 snack of his choice. My doctor told me not to make special meals if they dont eat that’s on them they are not going to starve by refusing a few meals and they will get hungry and eat what you offer them!
Fun plates, treats after dinner, airplane noises, sometimes going back to the basics helps
If a kid is hungry they will eat.
It’s a phase. They’ll get over it when you sit together as a family and see that they aren’t eating the same. Good luck!
My 4 year old does this… usually I can bribe by saying “take just 2 bites”, okay maybe “2 more”… yes its a pain but we manage. If she absolutely refuses then she leaves the table & we aren’t eating anything else… no snacks etc. The supper is still there for her to eat up until bedtime.
When I didn’t eat what my Mama put on my plate, I had to wait til the next meal to eat.
Sounds like the child is turning eating into a power struggle. Refuse to argue. Make the healthy foods and when they are hungry, they will eat. Don’t feed into the power struggle (excuse the pun).
You say your child will eat at daycare but not at home after you’ve been to work.Maybe it’s too late for him to eat a full meal? have you tried picky bits for him? You could try carrots and apple slices with a pot of peanut butter to dip in with some crackers, cheese and meat on the side. Pancakes with some bacon/sausage and egg.
Put a small portion of something he likes on his plate along with the healthy food you want him to eat. If he wants more of the food he likes, he eats some of the healthy food. If he chooses not to try the healthy food, then at least you know he had something on his tummy from the food he likes.
They’ll eat what you give then stop giving them junk they’ll learn
When he gets hungry, he will eat!
Kids generally like to eat something they helped prepare. Even a 2 yr old can measure dump stir etc. give him a choice between 2 healthy options “do you want the blue berries or the purple berries? “
And dips! They love to dip everything
Don’t argue and don’t fight. Put out for him what is there to eat and he can eat or not. When he is ready to he will eat. Even if he only eats a little that’s ok. If he wants a snack after than make it fruit, veggies or cheese. Kids go through stages and this is just one of them
Maybe go to the store and have him pick out special things for him, or if you’re up to it my kids always enjoy me shaping things or making things with their food if they’re having a picky phase.
Adults have weird ideas about food. They wouldn’t eat food they don’t like but expect children to because “we had to do it as kids”. Children do NOT have the same taste buds as adults. Pretty much they have sweet and salty, and subtle flavors you find so delicious are not there for them. Forcing them to eat food because you like it is a sure way to guarantee they will never eat it, ever. So give him what he will eat. Peanut butter sandwich. Fruit with a yogurt dip. As long as he is healthy the phase will pass and the food variety will expand. Many vitamins are available in multiple foods. So as long as they are healthy stop fighting over minor stuff. All you accomplish is making meals in to battles and both of you miserable.
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Honestly, I fought all 3 of my boys for so long, I was exhausted and guilty half the time because I felt like I was failing. Finally, after hearing my grandma say it 5764 times, the pediatrician told me 1.) they will eat when they’re ready 2.) if they want to eat chicken nuggets and Mac and cheese ONLY for months, let them. They WILL grow out of it.
So…now my oldest will not touch anything sweet. My youngest will trade candy for literally any fruit on the planet. And they all 3 eat well rounded meals every day. I’m not saying let them eat candy and soda all day every day and “walk all over you”!! But find what works without a struggle. You’re only going to drive yourself nuts and frustrate the both of you more by trying to fight. It doesn’t last forever, promise.
When my kids were little and wouldn’t eat what I made then they went without
Its a phase, buy pediasure shakes
My 1 year old is going through a stage where she throws ALL of her food on the floor. I cant get her to EAT ANYTHING
He’s testing you keeping your guard this will pass he knows he has to eat there but that’s his home and his snacks
Just leave it out they will eat it when they are hungry enough hide the junk food
Then stop arguing. Put his plate in front of him. If he chooses to eat, fine. If not, fine too. He’ll have to wait until the next snack or meal time. Be consistent with it and it will stop.
Toddler Foodies - Meal Ideas and Recipes
My youngest is mad picky so I always have at least 2 of the things he likes n will def eat then he can chose from those items (hotdog, chicken nuggets, cheese) n a choice of a fruit/veggies. They like being able to choose! N if he eats those he will get a small treat after (few gummies or piece of chocolate) put something new to try once in a while. Works for us!
I tend to find that kids like to eat what they have helped prepare or prepare themselves. My 6 year old’s school turned me to it as it is what they do. My daughter made a fritatta with tons of veggies and she was so proud of herself. She ate it. Almost all of it by herself. It is worth a try.
He knows he’s got ur number. If he won’t eat dinner let him get down from the table and go to his room. Not the front room. No need to yell or argue. Tell him we eat at the table, we eat what is being served for the night or you can go without. For one he won’t starve. For two after a couple times he will realize who is the parent and he will eat when it’s given to him. The more you cater to his whims the larger those whims will be. You are his parent and you can do this
Keep trying Mama! It’s hard. My son did this with any kind of meat. I would cut into teeny tiny pieces and give him 5. He had to eat them before he could get up. He would end up swallowing the 5 pieces. I was the Mom that ordered him a foot long chili dog with out the dog, lol. He is grown now but eats meat with out a problem. Good luck
My 2 year old lives off of fries and Oreos currently. A noodle here or there. it’s a phase seriously. It gets better and comes in waves
Fix the plate make sure there’s something on it that you know he eats and then don’t worry about it. If he eats it fine, if he doesn’t eat it, oh well. Do not try to make him but don’t give him anything else either. He’s not going to starve to death if he misses a few meals
Just make sure your baby is fed. The being picky will get better with age, this I promise. But absolutely do NOT send them to bed or take their stuff away ESPECIALLY AT 2 years old. This is asinine and they will develop food insecurities, that’s why he puked . Just keep offering different foods, leave them out and let him eat what he likes. This broke my heart reading this.
My daughter was a fussy eater - but she liked to pretend she was a bunny - so while I was fixing meals she would hop over and eat anything I gave her. Then she started eating meat and bread - that’s all - I limited her to two pieces of meat and two slices of bread. She would eat a hunk of lettuce at times. My Mom said don’t feed her that - but I did. She eventually started eating most everything - now - she is a vegetarian - - - ha.
It seems mean, but kids won’t starve themselves. He knows he can push his limits with you, and also know eventually you will cave and give him junk.
Went through this with my step daughter, it was rough (still is sometimes, and she’s 10). They learn to eat. I made my step daughter make her own food when she wouldn’t eat (PBJ, ham and cheese, sometimes noodles) that way she also learned she’s capable of making something herself because I won’t cook a bunch of different meals.
There’s a group for moms with picky eaters. Lots of good tips and tricks
Why would you try for two hours… Kids wlll eat if they get hungry enough… I agree pedia shakes. Etc… Snacks whatever. A peanut butter sandwich has the same protein as a whole entire meal… Chill out momma… Your baby isn’t going to be malnutrition or starve. We have all been there. The more you fight it… The less they will eat it also… Some tips… Make it fun…my God children use to hate peas at home… I called them pea balls and we would count how many pea balls we ate… They loved them… Lol…, it’s also hot… Lots of times kids eat more this time a year in the evenings when it’s cooler also…
Fix a plate and stick to it. Make sure there is something he will eat on it. When he gets hungry he will eat. Once my kid tried something 3 times and out right refused to eat it, I say they don’t like it and move on with something different for now. I also keep the junk food hidden so that they don’t feel it’s an option
Don’t give him an option. He will eat eventually when he gets hungry. Been there with ya!
I’ve learned it’s best to not force food. Just keep offering healthy food and they will eventually at least try it. If you feel he isnt getting what he needs be sure he is on a vitamin and maybe nutrition shakes. If a meal is taking 2 hours and he is throwing it up I would be sure to not offer that food item again unless I had alternatives.
Only have healthy items and healthy snacks in your home until he adjusts.
My kids had to see dad+ mom eating it if it was not on there plates that wanted to taste then reverse phic tell them no this is just mine for grown ups then let them taste yours.
He knows he can control you. Believe me….he will get hungry enough to eat.
Kids will eat when they are hungry.
First, check in with your pediatrician and have a chat. SOME KIDS WILL ABSOLUTELY STARVE THEMSELVES.
My child’s feeding therapist talked about that myth at length.
Make sure there is nothing underlying like a sensory issue or allergy. The vomiting is worth looking into.
Once your pediatrician gives you the green light and you’re positive you’re not dealing with a bigger underlying cause, then work on making a new routine and positive associations to meal time at home. Your pediatrician might even have information to give you to help set you both up for success.
Eat healthy with him
It’s the norm !!! Very challenging times
Give him dinner . He doesn’t eat it then he gets it for breakfast the next day . Kids will eat before they starve. Or blend it all into smoothies and no fighting plus they get the nutrients
Try getting rid of all of the junk food and then when it is time to eat let him choose what he wants. You can also let him help make the food. My two year old chooses her food in the morning she will go to the kitchen n tell me what she wants to eat (usually fruit) but if it’s something I want to cook (pancakes for example) she helps me mix the batter.
You eat it. That’s how I get my kids to eat things lol if mamas got it it must be good! My kids all love fresh veggies cause I do. Even broccoli!
I don’t understand he will only eat junk means …he’s 2 1/2 ? How would he know junk food if it’s not available?
I had a client who said her child around same age would only eat junk …but when she came to mine for day care would eat fruit sandwiches etc , we don’t label it health food, it’s normal food that should be readily available. The mother of this child was baffled , but in her home instead of a fruit bowl, there was a lolly jar… We are the role models for these little people, including what foods are introduced into their lives… My eldest daughter was fussy and picky, she wouldn’t sit and eat a meal but would graze … it’s not easy having a fussy child but honestly, we set the standard of living for them from the get go…good luck with it all
I usually give my 2 year old options, but he only gets to choose between those. Do you want crackers or apple? Berries or applesauce? Then he feels like he has some control over what he eats. Also I just try and just avoid giving him “junk”… eat it after he goes to bed lol
Edit: if he doesn’t want something, maybe he has never had it, I ask him to lick it first to taste it… I would say 75% of the time he ends up liking it/eating it
My kids prefer fun shapes and food on sticks
He’s 2 years old. The fact that junk has been introduced to him at such a young age hurts my heart. Your child will only eat what they know, so if you feed them healthy options from birth, no added sugars, no candy, no chips no soda, no nothing like that then they won’t know what they are missing and eat healthy. No child under 5 years old should be consuming candy, soda, koolaid, or other fast food or junk foods on a regular basis, the fault lies with the parents solely. I know you say he eats at daycare but not at home, which brings me to my next observation of maybe you can’t cook? Is your home nasty and a mess? Is the food you prepare not tasty? There is an issue if your child always eats somewhere else but vomits and refuses your food. Something is amiss here. Not getting the full picture.
What I used to do is sit down with a plate of food for myself and start eating. My kids would come over and want some so I would sit them down and we would share my food. Whereas if I gave them their own plates, they wouldn’t touch it. It works really well
Don’t give in anymore and send him to send his room he’ll eat what’s on his plate when hungry trust me.
Do not argue with him! If he doesn’t eat it at home and does at daycare, he knows you will give in and hand over what he wants. Simple. Be the adult and he will eat.
I’m in the same boat hun. My problem was my fiancé has these big vintage candy jars full of candy right in the dining room I told him we gotta compromise and find a different location cause she will just not eat when she has candy or junk on her mind and I always give her the opportunity to have a snack so it’s not like she’s thinking if I don’t eat this I won’t get this like I don’t know what to do wither
Don’t give him junk food to snack on in between meals instead try to give him a piece of cheese or some fruits/veggies. Also eating in front of him might help since they always want to eat/drink what we have. This worked for both of my girls. If he’s using electronics don’t let him have it during lunch/dinner time that way he can focus on his food. Good luck mama I know how frustrating it can be
Make sure your kids get exercise and fresh air, build up an appetite, some kids just veg in front of the tv or computer at the age of 2, they need to be active, if they are in nursery school they are active, so get outside with them, lots of fresh air and activities, then they will eat…
My 1 year old has a chocolate once a week as a sweet.
A custard or yoghurt a day
A couple of Cheetos puffs (which is his favourite chip every 2nd day as a snack ).
Other then that he picks at a lot of foods.
An sometimes a couple of Oreo biscuits every couple of days or a plain biscuit…
Other then that his given protein, fruit an veg, pasta /rice etc with 3 meals an roughly 3 snacks a day
he will try a variety of foods - he sometimes surprises me. Sometimes it gets thrown straight on the floor. He loves peas an broccoli.
Drinks water all during the day.
Where as my 6 year old has her certain foods to. She knows she needs to eat her vegetables (I get her to eat one thing of each then i repeat can u eat one of each again - before she knows it she has ate it all. If she could eat eggs an bacon an cheese on toast every day I think she would .
- but she literally can’t have sugar. I always thought yeah sugar isn’t bad they don’t go hypo… but oh my my daughter does. Snacks for her are more savoury or snack sized an limited.
My thing is limit an amount of snacks etc ur buying an do it as a treat.
My kiddos went through a spell of this. Take away all junk, no bribing, and being stern but not harsh. If he doesn’t eat it, put it away till it’s time to eat again. Also giving him water instead of juice as he may just fill up on the juice instead of actually eating. Children will not starve themselves, they will eventually eat what they’re given but you have to be strong and put your foot down and take away the junk food till it is earned by eating healthy meals during breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We allow our children to pick out their own snacks but they have to eat their meals or snack privileges are taken away.
He’s eating good at day care so take comfort in that. And remember little belly fills up fast and you may be giving snacks too close to mealtime. My youngest wanted nothing but mac and cheese for lunch and dinner. Not exactly healthy. I didn’t fight it but while it was being made id have her sit down at the table and tell her you can have as much mac and cheese as you want but you have to eat 2 bites of whatever meat and veggies that everyone else is eating. 2 bites doesn’t seem like a lot but it usually was more. I was also lucky that my kids loved dry cereal so they snacked on Cheerios and such. Try to stop having it be a battle, easier said than done I know, but kids are aware what buttons to push. And they will push them. Try baby steps you can have 10 m&MS but you have to try some apple slices as well. Or you can have this Oreo right after we have some strawberries. Good luck.
Let him help you decide what’s for dinner and prep n cook with u and see if that helps
Can you trick him into saying the daycare brought him dinner?
We had a mom do that and it worked.
Make meal times fun and relaxed. Eat good food with your toddler, show them you like it and relax while they eat their meal - hopefully they will copy you and eat the meal. Offer 2 courses so you know they are eating. A child won’t starve if there is food available. Make shapes with the food. Smile and make yum noises.
The child recognizes your stress and probably gets more attention for not eating than eating.
Just leave it out he will eat it when he hungry don’t give any snack
Simply cut out all the junk only give him healthy food for a snack give him fruit or frozen yogurt tell him it’s ice cream
I’m not a parent but I work at a childcare/preschool. A lot of parents have a hard time at home even tho they eat it at childcare. We work together to get the child to eat healthy options. One in particular only will eat chips, candy, and junk at home and REFUSES to eat healthier options. We try to let parents know, they will eat what’s available to them… and if that’s soda/chips/candy/ junk that’s what they will eat. Another thing is they will eat/drink what they see parents and those around them eating/drinking. So it’s really up to making the change as a whole. If that’s all
They have available, that’s all they can eat/drink. I’m not in anyway saying you only have junk in the home. That’s just what I’ve experienced on the daily. Especially when we have a new student it takes a while to make those changes at preschool/childcare. And sometimes it comes down to the power struggle. If you’re bribing they’re going to see how far they can get. The reward for them should be growing strong and growing healthy habits. All my training and education points to bribing being one of the worst things you can do. Because it gets to a point where they need a reward for anything and everything and then to a point where it’s not effective at all for anything. Bribing can cause major behavioral issues now and further on in their life. (Again not saying you’re a bad parent) I again am not a parent, and realize that I’m only getting the perspective of having the child 10 hours a day rather than 24/7. I just know that a lot of my parents will come to me asking how to get their child to eat at home how they do at childcare/preschool. There’s a huge difference once parents make the change, and there’s a huge difference in the ones that don’t and bribe and continue to let them have junk after they don’t want to argue anymore. Another huge thing is to let them make choices to feel in control! Let them HELP make meals/pick out meals/ go to the store and pick what veggie, fruit, and healthy snack they want to try (stores with kids are hectic but letting them have some of the control will help with the power struggle. That way you can remind them “this is what’s available, and you helped make the choice on what snack/meal you’re having today.”)
Hopefully this helps, if not that’s okay too! Good luck! Littles are hard when they make up their minds. Also keep in mind, they are in a stage where they know what they want, but haven’t learned the effects it has on their body.
Try to make a food with him with his help like he is preparing food for u n himself he will eat hopefully
Choose your battles while raising children!!! Some days they might want only Mac and cheese for a week, some days they don’t like it. Offer healthy foods but also incorporate their favorite at the time.
Its normal for a child to go through a fussy stage its called food neophobia and they usually grow out of it.
If hes eating well at nursery thats good, whats your approach? Are you giving in then giving him junk food? X
The good thing is he eats at daycare so you know he’s getting a good meal. My daughter went nearly a year and would only eat sausages I would give him what you know he will eat, pick up teas are good because you can add 1 new thing each time and see how it goes
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Well when you eat make sure you eat everything on your plate and then enjoy a bowl of ice cream or something he really loves. When he starts crying for some say only people who try all their food get some and continue to eat. It may make him try it if he wants it bad enough. But try not to give in to the temper tantrum that’s gonna follow or he will know that’s all he has to do to get what he wants. Just bribing a child will not always work but actually seeing it puts it in a whole new perspective for them.
My little didn’t use to like to eat veggies or meats but he loves rabbits so veggies are called rabbit food In my house and he thinks meat is called mouse meat it’s funny to him to eat mouse meat so now if we go anywhere he’d rather have rabbit food and mouse meat than junk food.
Let him pick what he wants to eat and help you prepare it. List 3 meats and let him pick one. List 3 veggies, 3 fruits, etc. Let him eat with his fingers. It’s easier to control bites. A pinch of rice is easier the a large spoonful. Let him help you make a dessert for AFTER he eats all his food. I’m a very picky eater; smells and texture gross me out. So there’s a lot of foods I just won’t eat. He may eat better at daycare because his friends are eating and he wants to copy them.