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Picky Toddler Ideas

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

My dd is 2 next month, she was ebf for 8 months and then started solids with no problems... I was pretty happy how things were going until she got sick about 6 months ago. First she had diarrhea, so I started giving her plain rice, bananas, toast, etc. Right after that she got sick again and had to go on antibiotics. Since then her eating has changed... she ONLY wants plain rice, crackers, plain bread, pasta, no vegetables. She still eats some meats and fish ok, eggs no problem, some fruits, but is pretty picky about these things, it's hit or miss depending on the day. I am having a hard time getting her to eat any vegetables. She used to love broccoli. I used to be able to mix other things in with rice - beans, vegetables, etc. but now it must be separate or just rice. (we live in a heavy rice and beans country smile.gif). We avoid sugary things.


Is this just normal toddler-ness? She is still bfing so I haven't pushed cow milk, I have tried to get her to try yogurt, but that's not worked... cheese not really. I'm going nuts about trying to get vegetables, I always offer, and she sees me eating them, but no interest.


She also tends to want all her foods seperate - like the rice and beans can NOT be mixed. She will eat dried mango or pureed mango but will not eat fresh mango chunks - I think she doesn't like holding slippery things.


Any ideas? I don't really like the idea of "hiding" veggies in other foods... but sometimes I do put shredded carrot in her rice. Sometimes she tries to pick it out...eyesroll.gif


Do they just grow out of this?


post #2 of 8

I think it's pretty normal around that age.  I know my 2 1/2 yo is just now starting to eat veggies again.  Peas (frozen) are fun, since they're not messy and he can pick them up and put them in his mouth (good for dexterity, too). 


Does she talk?  Does she ask for specific foods?  For us that was big - once he started realizing that he could ask for foods and receive it, we started working on identifying more foods for him, even if he doesn't always eat them.


Will she eat off your plate?  That's another big one - he'll eat/try foods off our plates that would never get near his mouth off his own plate. 


Right now I don't worry too much about veggies.  I make sure he's getting plenty of fruit, protein and fat every day, and everything else is bonus.  Since she is still bfing, I would stress too much over it right now.  My guy gets banana, egg, sausage, maybe some toast every morning for breakfast.  If I have it, I'll give him other fruit too like strawberries or blueberries.  Snacks are apples, bananas, mandarins, cheese, graham crackers (Annie's bunnies), popcorn, savory crackers, cereal, granola bars - lots of starchy stuff, but I make sure he gets fruit and cheese in there somewhere every day.  Dinner might be pasta, it might be salmon, it might be corned beef, etc.  Or it might be more snacky stuff (and more cheese).  Since he gets a bottle of milk at bedtime, I don't stress too much.  He'll eat peas, potatoes or sweet potatoes on his own, but that's about it for veggies right now. 


All you can do is keep modeling, and keep offering.  You don't want to make a big deal about it because that's how you create aversions. 

post #3 of 8

Will she drink smoothies?  I know you said you don't like the idea of hiding the veggies, I don't either but my dd2 is a tough sell on veggies so I try a lot.

post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 

Cristeen - she does talk, a lot! and asks for rice or pasta at pretty much every meal time! 


I hate feeling hostage to the situation... nothing I can really do other than offer... I don't want to limit her options too much to try to get her to eat better or she will just want to nurse more or be hungry.


Somedays she eats great and other days it's just not happening. I guess such is the life with toddlers??!?! I feel like it is getting progressively worse, but maybe we are just on the bad eating days...


Cobabymaker, what veggies do you try to do with smoothies?? I've tried carrot with apple juice ok, but anything green has been fully rejected.






post #5 of 8

Carrots, greens and beets are what i usually add.  My 20 month old won't drink smoothies but will drink fresh juice (like carrot, kale, orange from the juicer) if I add a little sparkling water.

It's tough.  I completely agree.  My DD has hardly eaten the last two days because she is getting more teeth.

post #6 of 8

The bouts of pickiness and needing all food separate have been normal for my kids, so I say try what you can, eventually they'll eat some of those things again, then maybe not for awhile, then they will again.


Some big veggie hits for us: 

edamame (since they're fun to eat - sometimes green beans or pea pods can get 'played with' the same)

carrot/zucchini grated into muffins

simple frozen veggies with 'herb sprinkle' and maybe a little butter - I always let the kids pick which frozen veggies

coconut-squash sauce for serving with plain rice or rice noodles (simmer piece of ginger and minced garlic in coconut milk about 20 min, then strain out and puree with 1-2 cups of steamed cooked sweet potato or similar winter squash)

Cucumber sticks (so seeds are cut off) - cucumber is also a win for homemade veggie sushi or 'fake' sushi with bread/tortilla & cream cheese






post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 

Well, thank you ladies for the ideas and letting me know I'm not alone! 


Some days - banghead.gif and then other days, she eats great eyesroll.gif... I should probably be much less stressed about this - she is happy and healthy and good weight. Do any of you give vitamins? I do sometimes sneak iron into her orange juice. I am just kinda hoping that most of the vitamins she is not getting through vegetables can be found in most fruits.... Have found that dried fruit is a big hit. I am trying to be really liberal with olive oil/butter/flax oil on her pasta/rice. 


Will try some of your ideas!!


post #8 of 8

Re: vitamins


I do give our 2 y/o vitamins, but not daily and more because the rest of us (5 y/o big sis, me & dh too) take them and she likes being included and being 'like us'.  I have gummy calcium ones, chewable basic kids vitamin, and I will add some flaxseed oil to the kids juice when I have mine if they want it.  

IMO the iron you do is probably a good idea 1-2x/week (maybe not as crucial if she's eating meat sometimes and isn't overdoing it with dairy foods and cow milk specifically, in which case you might want to give it more often).  

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