Thursday, January 10, 2008

picky eater

My almost 16 month old has decided to boycott almost all foods (she used to be a very good eater). She has been consistently refusing more and more foods the past couple weeks, and now she basically only wants cereal. I know they say you have to continue offering the same foods upwards of ten times before a kid may try them, but that isn't working. I am very quickly losing my sanity and need some help! How did you get your toddlers to stop being such picky eaters? Have you found any great techniques that have helped your kid eat more veggies? Any other tips or recipes that worked for your child?


Linz said...

You're not alone!!!

Mine will like something one week and completely veto it the next. I still continue to offer her new and old things and don't plan on giving that up anytime soon. But if she rejects a food one day, I usually don't try again the very next day, I wait awhile.

Pretty much the only meat that my 16 mo. old will eat is deli meat, but like I said I keep trying other types!

I got the recipe book, Deceptively Delicious, for Christmas. I haven't tried it yet, but Chantel has, and she has continued to apply the same principles in meals that aren't necessarily in the book. She puts like a little plastic baby food container of squash into her mac and cheese, or sweet potatoes in pancakes. I love this idea! My little one will eat some vegetables on their own but totally rejects them other days!

This is an issue that my husband and I are always concerned with. We're always trying new things. I have to mix up breakfast all the time. If I don't do the same thing each day, she will have oatmeal (she can feed it to herself when I hand her the spoon because it sticks to the spoon), or drink a yogurt smoothie from a straw. I do toast on occasion, just always trying to mix things up because that's what seems to work for us.

My husband makes her cheese quesadillas or grilled cheese sandwiches with deli meat hidden inside.

A friend of mine who is a nutritionist told me once that at dinner she gives her kids (who are older) a choice between like salad or watermelon and says that a lot of the same vitamins are in both. Of course, it's best that they get fruits AND veggies, but at least they will get some great stuff from fruit if not so much from vegetable intake.

Again, you're not alone!

Liz&Meg said...

food jags (completely refusing foods that were "preferred" before) are VERY common in toddlers. they can last for a few days or a few weeks or longer. in picky eaters, they usually go back them eventually. i recommend to my parents that they keep a "preferred food", like the cereal, at every meal. Also add other things. I'm strict about recommending a starch, fruit/veggie and protein at EVERY meal/snack. However, i don't stick to this with my own child. Bad therapist! so i would keep offering the cereal if that is what she will eat and also offer other things. almost all toddlers are picky eaters (mine will eat tons one day and eat like a bird the next!) and not problem feeders.

and don't give up! it can take many many times for kids to return to foods after a food jag!

Liz&Meg said...

i feel i really need to add something else. If weight gain/loss is a concern, they have a history of picky eating or they're only eating a handful of foods anymore (literally only four or five) then i would definitely take them to their pediatrician. good luck!

The Schacher Family said...

My son is a very picky eater and he has gone through some times where he has lost weight. My doctor has me mix carnation instant breakfast in his milk to help him get some nutrition and some fat. He also told me to keep offering food, give him vitamins, and let him eat what he will eat. I have continued to offer foods and he has started eating better. On days that he won't eat I just give him the one thing I know he will eat which is yogurt. But the carnation has helped him gain weight so if you are concerned about weight or nutrition I would recommend trying that.