Picky Eater Stage

My daughter is entering the picky eating stage. To date, her favorite foods are ketchup, anything with ketchup and ketchup. She also likes juicy fruit, plain bread, plain rice, food she prepared and other kid’s food. She has mastered the art of sucking the flavor from food and spitting it out. I call it lazy regurgitation.


Watermelon trumps pasta


Her friend's snacks trump her own. (Hers is the blue one)

She eats an adult portion meal in several days. My doctor warned me but it’s still worrying. Our family pediatrician friend went as far as reassuring me that toddlers grow even without food. (Huh???) Call it first time mother paranoia but I had no peace of mind until I did what every sane mother in the modern era would do: I googled it.

Here’s what I found that made me breathe easier.

(Thankfully Specific) Toddler Feeding Tips

Serve toddler-size portions. Let you child ask for seconds.
• Offer finger foods often.
• Introduce a new food along with familiar foods.
• Go easy on seasonings and keep foods separate. Young children prefer simply prepared foods.
• Present a variety of foods from the four food groups. Let your child pick from what is available.
• Present food in a way your child can handle, in bite-size pieces for example.
• Encourage one bite to taste but don’t overdo the coaxing. You can’t force your child to eat anything.
• Don’t bribe or reward with food. Present food in a neutral fashion.
• Keep the television off during mealtime.
• Have your child sit with the rest of the family, at least for part of the meal.
• Don’t hurry your child. Remove the plate without comment after a reasonable length of time.
• Set a routine for eating. For example, foods are to be eaten at the table.
• Seat your child at a comfortable height to the table with feet supported.
• Eat with your child. Children learn how to eat by watching others.

Source: Lambton Health California

What are your child’s eating habits?

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4 Responses to Picky Eater Stage

  1. nald -- CIA says:

    good job!

    parents are always on the lookout for helpful tips.

    (Child-ish Intelligence Agency)

  2. Tess Demir says:

    Aaahhh… The Picky Eater!

    R has been one since he was 10 months old. I always hated mealtimes because coming up with ideas for nutritious meals became such a chore! I started letting go after I read this book called “Child of Mine: Feeding with Love and Good Sense” by Ellyn Satter. She says:

    “Successful feeding demands a division of responsibility. Parents are responsible for what food they serve to their children, and when and where they serve it; children are responsible for how much food they eat and whether they eat any of it at all.”

    So as long as I’m serving healthy and nutritious meals and snacks, I’m fine. Whether he eats or not is something I just need to let go of and trust him with. When he gets hungry enough, he’ll just gobble up everything I serve him anyway, if not more. So he makes up for the times he didn’t want to eat. He’s not a stellar eater just yet, but at least we don’t have battles over it and I’m not stressed out. That’s what important.

    It’s just a stage… They’ll be better eaters, I’m sure!

    • Wow. The writer sure knows how to reassure a parent. It’s true though. They eat when they’re hungry and they’re not always THAT hungry. Maybe mommy can’t relate because we’re always hungry. At least I am! Hahahahaha

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