What to feed a picky eater?

So this morning my husband made our kids sausage , eggs and toast for breakfast , my 4 year old is SUPER picky and wouldnt eat any of it . I offered her something healthy ( a banana ) and of course she wouldn’t eat that either . my question is how do I get her to eat ? She is already skinny and tall but underweight according to her doctor . my 4 year old tells me " I rather go to bed then to eat " and it breaks my heart . her doctors told me to make her sit there until thw meal is complete but that don’t work either :unamused::unamused::unamused: TIA


Milkshakes?! I mean full of nutrients. .

At the very least, try to get her to drink like pediasures or something so she can get the nutrients she needs
Then maybe try asking her what she wants to eat? I know kids go through phases where they literally only want like 1 or 2 things


I give my picky eater two options and she has to pick one. That has worked better for us than making her sit until she eats what we pick.

Is there anything that she will eat?

It is unusual for a child to go more than a few hours without eating because kids are just naturally hungry.

Ask her what she wants? Have her help make food. Make milkshakes. Sneak in veggies into stuff she will eat. Get pediasure and a vitamin for her. My 4 year old is picky but not underweight. I make her try one bite of everything and most of the time she likes what is made she just wants to be difficult. Also. Make sure there isn’t a sensory or texture issue going on with your daughter. Cause a kid that doesn’t want to eat isn’t going to. Making her sit at the table til she eats will just be a battle.


My middle daughter was horrid and eating her meals, our doctor put her on pediasure and said to show her small amount of meal she had to eat before gets her choice and that each week up amount needed to eat till they are full and not needing there choice
I was reassured that at 3,4,5 they won’t starve themselves
Hang in the Momma

Eat it or don’t is the name of the game. My boy has to at least eat 1 bite even if he don’t like it. And really the only thing he won’t budge on is raw mushrooms. So I don’t offer them.

Let her choose what she wants to eat just so she eats something fruit snacks go gurts yogurt cups things Judas like I keep this stuff for the grankids bc they e picky too keep her options open & good luck

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Vitamins, limit snacks?

Mine is the same and it’s completely normal… what ever she will eat let her eat…

Make sure she take a vitamin a day!

Maybe you should consider another Dr opinion

Why don’t you try getting her help with cooking and preparing meals? If that’s something she’s into it might make her a little more excited to eat something she helped make :grin:

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Omg following my 2 year old is like this. And causes him to get constipated


But i bet she eat snacks allday smh. My 2yr old tried to pull that and i say sit and eat or imma whoop ur ass lol everybody parent different and 9 times outta ten she sit and eat without getting a whooping. No way imma allow my child to not eat. Plus my family didn’t play picky eater games u eat ur damn food period. Lol

Mine is older now, but I always found bribery gets you everywhere.lol Offer her a reward if she eats her food

Have her help cook/prepare foods. She will be more interested. Try smoothies also full of nutrients and you can sneak veggies in

Maybe try something like Sustagen ect , or let her pick and help prepare/cook what she wants to it if she’s more involved it could make her more interested

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My son is super picky, he also has autism and he’s nonverbal. The only thing I can usually get him to eat is chicken nuggets(it has to be a special brand) and a banana, but there are days he refuses to eat, it scares me because he doesn’t eat enough already,so when he don’t eat it scares me. Good luck it’s taken me 4&1/2years to get to eat the little bit he does eat. Just keep trying.

Don’t reward bad behavior ! Make her sit at the table until she has eaten enough even if it’s for a few hours and if she doesn’t eat send her to bed without extras no tv or anything like that. Sometimes you have to be mean as a parent and put your foot down… milkshakes :roll_eyes: come on guys like that’s going to help her not be picky


My little sister went through a phase like that she’d only eat for me. My 4yo is picky and is on the smaller side sometimes ill reward him with a treat or I’ll feed him like a baby I’ll do the air plane thing which will get him to smile n eat. My kids will sit they eat too.

Buy her some Ensure put it in a glass or instant breakfast all the nutrients are in them both so that’s a good breakfast idea

Let her participate in cooking. My daughter had failure to thrive. But she would eat what “she made”

The mdo also has appetite enhancers if it comes to that. It’s a liquid u put in her juice!

My granddaughters the same way she’s 3 and we can’t get her to eat anything. I come to a point to a point I don’t care what she eats as long as she’s eating ofcourse not candy all day

Buy ensure drinks full of vitamins they are missing out. Try to incorporate veggies in pastas & sauces. Or anything you come up with that hides the fact they are eating good veggies. Ask them what THEY LIKE. Then go from there.

Mama, please pm me. I’ll happily add you to a Facebook group created solely for this. A bunch of parents with mealtime troubles.

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Kids will eat when they’re hungry. Never MAKE a child sit there and eat when they don’t feel like it. That’s setting them up for a potential eating disorder in the future.
Let her listen to her own body. I went through this with my daughter too. Believe me she’ll eat when she’s hungry. :heart:


Maybe she has allergies to food…and has experienced pain after eating so doesn’t want to deal with it. Get food allergy testing. You may be surprised.

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Give her vitamins could help

Get her to choose her food or at least something get her to help make it or grow in a pot something herbs or something small. Let her make a pizza or pasta or do her own breakfast might help x

my mom used to say u better eat cuz im not cooking until tomorrow lmfao.

My son is 8 soon to be 9 and he’s the pickiest ester ive ever seen lol I just found the things he likes & feed him that. I’m not gonna force my child to eat what he doesn’t like.

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She will eat when she gets hungry. Just no snacks in between meals…when she does it make sure its healthy


Get her to cook with you! I do this with my oldest and he is so proud with the finished meal that he has to eat his work. You can also give her pediasure or ensure for added calories and vitamins to help with her weight. I think most children go through phases like this.

Unfortunately at that age that’s what they do. My 3 yr. old as now come into that stage, 6 mths. ago she finished her meal before her brother, he’s 6 an also very picky. Just do your best.

I recommend joining this group. Lots and lots of mommies facing the same daily struggles that you are, and coming up with/sharing ideas of how to get their little ones to eat a healthy diet.

Sounds like smoothies are in order, and possibly some pediasure/ensure. My daughter(3) goes through these phases where she wont eat so I give her pediasure.

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My oldest was always considered under weight. Our doctor told us that kids don’t know to starve themselves and if they are really hungry they will eat. We supplemented with pediasure in between meals or the carnation instant breakfast. We later found out he was having some acid reflux issues and once that was treated he became a different child when it came to eating.

She will
Eat when she is hungry do not make her eat.

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Sausage is a NO for me. Even the smell makes me sick. Bacon eggs might help Scramble eggs put cheese in them. Omelet , Hash browns are good. Ensure drinks are okay too. As long as they are really cold. Straw. Like a milkshake. I was never hungry in the morning so maybe she isn’t either. I usually was hungry at brunch time. Mom never made me eat, I would eat when hungry.

Make sure zhes on a daily vitamin and dont force it she will eat when shes ready

Hi there, I feel you Momma. My daughter is 3, and she won’t eat for the life of me. I bought her Pediasure over the weekend. It’s a nutritional shake for picky eaters. I just tell her its milkshake. Eventhough she’s not eating, I know she’s getting some vitamins in. Other than that, good luck… I really hope you get something that will work for you and your daughter.


Tell her how pretty and healthy she will be if she eats

My sons ped suggested for him…while she doesnt for many because he too was underweight…although medicine played a part. To give him literally anything he is willing to eat, within reason of course. But as I said in another comment smoothies helped tremendously during those times. You can add anything to them…vitamins, protein…etc. So doing that sometimes outweighed the “bad”.

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My 4 year old will listen to logic and reason. I’ve explained that our bodies need food in order to grow and our brains need good healthy foods in order for us to learn new things. My daughter absolutely loves school, so I’ve told her that if she doesn’t eat well, she won’t be able to learn!


My boyfriend tells his older kids that if they dont eat what’s given for dinner that they aren’t getting anything else to eat til they eat that. It goes in the fridge and next time they say they are hungry that’s what they are given.

She will eat when she gets hungry enough

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The doctor will tell u what supplements to buy if they feel she’s underweight but the human brain doesnt let itself starve

My son knows he’ll starve if he doesn’t eat what we make him but we also don’t put down foods we know he doesn’t like. Allowing them to say no and then giving them other options is the problem imo.

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My 3 1/2 old daughter is just like this. So frustrating. I told her yesterday that she doesn’t get to go outside, play with her toys or watch tv until she ate something. She finally ate a slice of pizza. Took over an hour for her to finally realize mommy wasn’t playing. Sheww here’s to hoping today is better.

My sons Pedsuggested I make a shake or smoothie and add spinach or kale because the flavor doesn’t alter much with it added in. She is small so you really dont need to add much at all. Add a silly straw and hope she asks for more!

My son was like that when he was two years old… I let him have strawberry milk or chocolate milk and some gold fish crackers or something else if he refused to eat
He’s now four and eats EVERYTHING :joy::rofl: and now he is a little chunk

I would find another doctor that is horrible advice. Find anything they like and feed it to them everyday if you have to. Honestly it’s a faze all kids go through. Milk shakes/fruit smoothies with added nutrients. Those were always my go to as all my kids are growing up. I have 15,12, 8, almost 3.

My brother only ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches from the time he was like 1 years old till he was 7. Doctor just said all right if he’s long as he’s eating it just keep feeding it to him. You could try and ensures

Maybe take her to the store and pick out some veggies and something good and let her help you make it!

Dont make a deal about it just walk away go on to lunch

I feel you! There are only a handful of things our 2 year old will eat for meals! He is picky and has texture issues so trying new foods is nearly impossible! I’ve given up the power struggle and decided it’s better he eat what he wants than not at all. He is a pretty good snacker so I try to look at the positive. He loves apple sauce pouches, serving of fruit. He loves cheese and yogurt, getting his dairy in. Peanut butter & jelly sandwich for lunch means some protein. His pediatrician said he is skinny for his height but that he isn’t unhealthy. He told me some people make plumper babies but that doesn’t mean I have to. Good luck girl, stay strong!

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If she is hungry, she will eat. If she is.just holding out for something sweet, don’t worry. She is getting what she needs.

My daughter was like that my Doc. Told me to let her eat what ever she wants at the end of the day she is eating something. As she grew up she started to get bored of the simple things she eat and finally tried new things. My girl eat peanut butter n jelly sandwiches every single day then turned that to salami with toast plain every single day for years

Now she is 18 and tries new things but can still be picky at times. All cuz I used to force her to eat and she would throw it up. Doc said dont do that let her have the junk if that’s what she is eating. What else was I to do so I took the doc word for it and thankfully she changed

My oldest son was like this from when he was a toddler til like the age 9. I used to call him a tall string bean. It didn’t help he had fast metabolism too. I gave him vitamins and always offered food. He barely ate. But there would be days he was eating like it’s Thanksgiving. Then go back to barely eating or he just eat the same thing everyday all the time. Now he’s 11 yrs old and we don’t have much trouble of getting him to eat and he’s at a healthy weight. If I knew what I knew now I would have tried giving him homemade shakes and smoothies.

When my two year old refuses to eat we feed her protien bars. Not the super sugary ones. Either quest or kirkland has ones that have 21g of protien and like 3 net carbs. Quest also has protien cookies.

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I dont agree with sitting there till they decide to eat or putting it in the fridge til theyre hungry. Sorry i remember that as a kid and it never worked. If an adult doesnt like something or doesnt want something they dont eat it right? Kids have a palate too. My oldest refused to eat green bean casserole, he hated it but every year at thanksgiving we would have him try a bite and everytime hed spit it out. Now he is 11 and this past year he actually loved it. Point is they develope their own taste over time it doesnt start out like ours automatically. Granit there may be kids who only wana eat junk but not all kids are that way.

If you make a huge deal out of her picky eating it will get worse. Just stay there atctge table until the end of mealtime like suggested by your ped and see if theyll eat any of it, bites do matter. If they barely touch it or act like want to throw to the floor just calmly move the plate away from them- still sit there until your done. If they barely ate by the end of the meal- personally at first I would let it be and allow them to get hungry so they’ll learn and hopefully theylk learn to eat next mealtime… If tgat happens too much n too long then just give something quick that you know they enjoy and will eat.

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Just let her pick what to eat as long as she’s getting fed :woman_shrugging:t3: you could also try cutting some foods into fun shapes and stuff that works for some kids but not all

Let her drink Pediasure grow & gain (pediasure recommends 2 per day but my aunt’s pedi had my cousin on 1/2 per day and he gained pretty well) but they make different flavors. My daughter calls it her shake and loves it.

Our 4yr old son is the same :frowning:

Feed the child what they can eat (my nephew lived off chicken nuggets and hot dogs and pizza pockets for yearssss) and get those sidekick drinks to get the extra nutrients in there. They are pretty tasty. Just tell them its special milk

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Let her eat whatever she wants (not junk) like pizza, chicken nuggets or anything at whatever time she wants. Take her to the grocery store and let her pick what she wants. Pediasure will help her. Also have her seen buy a behavioral specialist she might have a texture issue.

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Keep trying! You’ll eventually find something that appeals to her. I was a SUPER PICKY eater when I was little. Literally all I ate was cereal until I hit puberty lol then EVERYTHING tasted good. Idk if that’s why Im anemic though. My son was the same way too, so I actually started him on supplement drinks. He loved them and I would just always keep trying. My thing with him was, you HAVE to take 1 bite to at least see if you like it. If not, I wouldn’t argue with him. Thats how I got him to at least sample different foods. We eventually made some breakthroughs. He loved fishsticks, pb&j, graham crackers and mash potatoes, but with extra butter lol. I was happy we found things he liked. She will grow out of it. It’s better than fighting with them and stressing yourself out on an already stressful situation. Even if it’s just graham crackers and milk or pretzels and yogurt. She’s eating something! It will get better

Do not force the child to eat. That will only lead to an adult who dislikes most food. If a child is hungry they will eat. My 6 year old only eats certain things and she doesn’t eat often. I don’t worry because she has plenty of healthy options that she chooses from when she does want to eat. She also doesn’t really eat meat which her dad and grandpa both try top get her to do by telling her she has to eat it which doesn’t work obviously. They will eat when they are hungry, I used to worry about my daughter not eating but that is exactly what her doctor told me.

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my parents used to sit me down for hours to eat and i just hated it it was torture! forcing food down my throat didn’t help i figured if i was going through so much i rather eat everything before everyone was finished and it was a put down bcs i felt terrible after … i still didn’t gain a pound this was happening till i was in 6 grade . Just maybe your baby girl is a vegetarian or even a vegan … i was hiding food before they forced me down to eat it, i would hide my meats in drawers :sweat_smile: and i would get in trouble ask her what’s wrong and if she wants to talk about it … if not don’t push it too much , i was also going through things so therapy might help . When i was little that’s all i wanted some one to notice what was wrong with me … thankfully i gradually ended up trying more bcs i felt bad for my parents not bcs i wanted to actually change it’s not a good pattern … trust me …

You don’t force anyone to eat. A child will not starve themselves. Use a drink supplement and only offer healthy foods, and lots of snacks through the day. Maybe she prefers many small meals like is natural for the body anyway

Protein shakes they make them for kids and keep offering new foods my rule you don’t have to eat if you don’t like it but you have to try it my kids love veggeis and fruit of course there are some they don’t like

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dont offer sweets, treats and crap throughout the day. Mo drinks before eating as they get too full…
maybe she needs a meal replacement drink for kids

Start giving her pediasure, you can make them into a shake with ice fruit, and greens as well. At least then you know she’s getting the nutrition she needs. She will come around. You can’t force her to eat and it gets worse when you try to. Offer her healthy snack on top of pediasure, peanut butter and celery with raisins on top (ants on a log :joy:), raw veggies with ranch, and so on. Picky eaters are hard. But she’ll be ok mama.

My 4 year old is 25 lb and since all her blood work checks out doctors are not concerned… She’s just tiny … Some days this kid can eat the house down other days she’s not having any part of it … Doctor’s said don’t force her or it will cause a feeding aversion and I already have a baby with that due to reflux… I just offer a huge variety of different foods every meal and snack which usually helps them both eat

My daughter only liked cheese and noodles. Doc said “so give her cheese and noodles”, so I did. Today she eats everything. Fred her what she’ll eat.

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Feed her what she wants. I always have mine have what we have and take one bite… But if she doesn’t like it I get her something I know she will eat. I can’t send her to bed hungry.

Vitamins to hold over. If she likes pasta get the veggie pasta… mashed potatoes sneak in califlower… there are tricks for the picky little ones but she will eat when she is hungry. Good luck. It’s a phase.

Try making smoothies. My youngest is very picky but would down smoothies in a heartbeat. Yogurt, fruit, etc. Have them be part of making it. May get them more interested. If that doesn’t work, try Pediasure kid shakes. Good luck.

My oldest was that way and the Dr. told me that only a mentally retarded child would starve themselves to death and that he would eat when he was hungry. He’s now 20 and 5’8 and 170 lbs. (I work with special needs adults every day, and am not in any way degrading them because I love them as my own)

I tried the whole feed him what he will eat. It just made him worse so at 8 i had enough and tough love if he didnt eat dinner he knew i wrapped it in fridge for him or he had to wait till breakfast next day hes finally eating what i make and actually liking it

My youngest grandson was the same way a couple yrs.ago.He was so little when he was five they kept him back from starting school til the next year- he was still 5. But he started eating & has not stopped. Lol. When he started growing he really grew. Now almost 8 & he loves to eat.All kids are different.We can’t treat them the same.Some are just slow at growing.Let the kids help you cook.They like to eat what they help fix - some do" . Good luck.

My oldest went thru that stage too, 1 item she would eat Pizza, pediatrician said " Perfect! Carbs, meat, veggies, dairy. Pile it high"!
I never worried about food again.

Our dr told us to let them eat what they will at that age as long as they are eating. And maybe try pediasure drinks my kids say they taste like milkshakes.

Ask her what she want and get her to help u cook it. She will eat if she hungry if she ask for food give her fruit or something healthy cause she probably won’t want it so she with more hungry at meal times

Make her try it before she screams she don’t want/ like it! I was a picky eater and that’s is what my family did with me if it was something I hadn’t tried before I was asked to try it if I didn’t like it I was made something else plain and simple. Kids are like us we just don’t like surten things and they don’t either also maybe try the paper animal plates to make dinner fun she may be like me and hate her food touching if I could eat out of a TV dinner try my whole life I would :joy:

Why don’t the doctor prescribe something to enhance her appetite? That type of hunger she can’t resist

My 4 year old daughter likes battered noodles. Like spaghetti noodles with just butter. It’s easy and simple.

You could try making smoothies or leave stuff that you think she might eat out and available to her. If she’s hungry and there’s something there for her to graze on, that may work better. My daughter loves string cheese and most fruits as well as some veggies so I try to have those readily available for her to help herself to.

Lol I lie. No joke I tell my kids “Ariel brought this for you she’s really excited to hear how much you like it!” Or I use food dye to make it rainbow for my unicorn child. … other than that let them help you cook and decide what they would like to have for dinner

My son is the same way. Very picky. Tall, skinny and underweight. If he doesn’t eat then he gets no fun, at all. No tablet, no TV, no play time. He doesn’t get to go to Grandma’s and Grandpa’s or to auntie’s, and he loves those places. It sounds harsh but at his last check up he had lost 3 pounds and he was already underweight to begin with.

Our pediatrician said leave them alone. They will eat when hungry. I also used to freak out about no vegetables and fruit. He said don’t worry about it they will get the nutrients in some fashion. She did. She’s played extreme sports for almost 10 years. Healthy as can be other than asthma. Don’t cook special. Don’t beg her. Be strong. I think they enjoy their control game. Goid luck. :+1::blush:

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My daughter is the SAME WAY! I give her orgain organic shakes every morning and a pediasure every night to help her get her nutrients and protein. Then hope for the best in between! Lol little butts!

It’s so nice to hear I’m not the only one with an underweight picky 4 year old!

I just tell her ok if you don’t eat then no snacks. She will run off to play and then when she gets hungry she tells me and I give her back the same plate rather she likes it or not. She will usually eat them. They won’t starve themselves

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I used to only make things I knew my picky son liked and would eat, but now I at least make him try new things. I tell him he has to eat or he can’t get a snack, his tablet, his toy etc. And if he wants a special treat he has to eat everything on his plate. It has worked so far and helped him gain a bit of weight.