4yo (&2yo) diet issues - she's so picky!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
4yo (&2yo) diet issues - she's so picky!
Sat, 04-05-2003 - 8:53pm
My 4yo DD doesn't eat very well. She has just started the "looking at food & saying EEWW!" and it drives me crazy!

Here's what she'll usually eat - but not always: Mac'n'Cheese, PB&J, grapes, oranges, pears, peaches, cinnamon & sugar toast, Am. cheese, salami, hotdog, salad - if it's plain lettuce, maybe cheese & either ranch or my Italian dressing, chicken McNuggets or Hardee's chicken strips, quesidilla.

Now, on the surface, this looks fine. However, she's a REAL pain when it comes to dinner time. My DH & I don't exactly have PB&J or hotdogs for dinner.

Here's my BIG question. Since she does have a variety of 'her' foods that she likes, would you just serve these or try and make her eat the other food? I have a 2yo who has the same tastes as my 4yo, so I'd be serving two kids from the above menue.

Avatar for three_rugrats
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Sun, 04-06-2003 - 12:50pm
Just popping in but here is what I'd do..... we've had this problem too. I usually make dinner and they just eat what they like best - like if mac & cheese is a side and they don't want the steak then they just have to have a few bites to try it but mainly give them the mac & cheese. My almost 2 year old still doens't eat meat - sometimes chicken nuggets, she'll try it but doesn't like it... so I just add some fruit or yogurt to her meal. Jessica my 5 year old doesn't like fries for some reason and my dh doesn't like rice, so I'll make both.

Be creative but always remind them that they have to atleast try it - 2 bites no more expected and no less accepted.


Andrea aka: Brit
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Sun, 04-06-2003 - 2:56pm
I agree with Andrea. My 5 yr old when he was that age would only eat spaghettios,

chicken strips, fries, and cereal (king vitaman). I talked to my ped. and he said feed him what he will eat and dont worry about it. he has now started eating meat its still a struggle with vegies. I guess its just a phase. Hang in there!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 04-07-2003 - 10:20am
My ds has these same issues. He just now started eating corn and some fruit. He won't eat meat at all. The dr told me not to worry too but it gets frustrating fixing different things. It becomes a struggle getting him to try different stuff.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Mon, 04-07-2003 - 10:40am
My opinion varies slightly. I think it's time to help her regulate her appetite! *wink* Although she gets lots of good foods that you described, hotdogs and chicken nuggets aren't really full of nutrition. I would try to get her into chicken breast, more so than nuggets. There's great selections in the meat department in your grocery store. An occasional hot dog isn't bad. Fresh slices of cold roasted turkey might be good to her. Or maybe you can get her to eat cold meatloaf or beef instead? I know Tre at that age loved meat cold, not hot. It was a major issue, but if it meant he ate healthy, I complied! LOL!! I found that it just took experimentation. Sometimes certain spices or temps made him eat different foods.

What I do agree with is serving one food that you think she will eat at dinner, and then add different things to the meal. We have a rule at our house, as well, that everyone must taste it befre claiming they don't like it. ONE of the reasons children at this age aren't particularly interested in different foods is because they get what they DO like most of the time. It's like anything else, to broaden the horizons, it has to be offered. KWIM?

You may want to cut down on juice and fluids during the day, too, if you serve them more often. Research has shown us that children's appetites are lessened by the sugar in juices, and milk gives a false sense of being full. PLUS, juices don't have the nutrition fruit has. It's basically sugar water, even the 100% juices. It's much better to eat the fruit instead, and offer water to nourish(sp?) the body.

Another thing I do is offer a vitamin, so when he isn't eating all that healthy, I know he's got insurance for the rest of the nutrition. *wink*

Hopefully this doesn't sound soap box like! Good luck, and let us know what works! We' love new ideas! =)

Janet =)

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