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3 year old won't eat anything remotely healthy.

post #1 of 59
Thread Starter 
My DS used to eat everything, and I mean everything. All vegetables, fruits, meat, fish, dairy, you name it, he ate it. Now he eats yogurt, ice cream, crackers, cookies, and maybe chicken. It's a big maybe lately. I don't give in to his requests for the sweets, and he has to eat something else before he gets a "dessert" but I'm really upset over losing my good eater. Is this just a phase? It's so frustrating to have him eat not a bite of a home cooked dinner, but then scarf down pizza if he gets the chance.
post #2 of 59
My 3yo has a much more limited diet than she did a year ago as well. I do think it's a phase.

We have stopped buying/making things that we don't want her to have for the most part. We do treats of course but we don't keep things in the house. If she doesn't want her dinner she can have plain yoghurt.

I'm told, and I really hope it's true, that macro nutrients are more important than micronutrients at this age. So as long as she's getting carbs, fat and protein and not too much sugar then I'm ok. Not thrilled but ok. She sees us growing, shopping for, cooking and enjoying a range of great foods. I'm sure she'll eat most of them eventually.
post #3 of 59
Thread Starter 
Thanks. I've been allowing yogurt or kefir in place of a meal if anything.
post #4 of 59

I do think it's pretty normal for toddlers to start limiting the scope of what they want to eat at some point, but for some kids it's a result of bad gut flora; the line of reasoning being that they have an overgrowth of pathogenic bacteria (like candida, which loves dairy and sugar), and the overgrowth causes intense cravings for sugar and dairy.  I just wanted to mention it because anytime I hear of a kid who self-limits to bread, cookies, crackers, cheese and milk, I immediately think candida.  Sometimes it's pretty obvious, like the child becomes suddenly super picky right after getting over a stomach bug.  The stomach bug disrupted the gut flora, the "bad guys" moved in and took over, and now the child is feeding an overgrowth.  

 

If it were my child, I would keep sugar out of the house entirely and give a really good probiotic and see if that helped at all.  For what it's worth, my 2.5 year old was always a phenomenal eater, and while he will still try pretty much everything, he would live solely on bananas and rice if we'd let him.  

post #5 of 59
It's a phase. Six months ago my daughter only ate potatoes and chicken nuggets (exaggeration, but that's what it felt like)! But now she can help me with the dinner, rinsing vegetables and putting them in a bowl, little things. The other day she ate pesto roasted cauliflower because she helped make it!! Soups are another way to get in some veggies when they're chopped very fine. Beans and rice are another staple.
post #6 of 59

When DD (20mos) started to push her favorite veggies aside in lieu of potatoes, I just stopped giving her potatoes - until after she ate some other stuff.  Then potatoes became more like a snack, or part of a multiple course meal.  Some nights she just would rather toss everything to the dogs and nurse in place of solids, which is fine.  We never have junk food in the house so she only ever has healthy options, has never had a chicken nugget before and I plan to keep it that way for some time! 

post #7 of 59
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone. I never offer what I consider junk food, but unfortunately I work full time and can't totally control what he eats all day. However, at dinner and snacks I keep it healthy, and sometimes he will choose not to eat at all. I guess that's my concern...I know he isn't going to starve himself but there are nights that he has gone to bed without dinner because he didn't eat what I made. Part of me is fine with this, part of me hates that he didn't eat. He only nurses once at night, so it's not even like I can rely in that to fill in the gaps.
post #8 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by sassyfirechick View Post

When DD (20mos) started to push her favorite veggies aside in lieu of potatoes, I just stopped giving her potatoes - until after she ate some other stuff.  Then potatoes became more like a snack, or part of a multiple course meal.  Some nights she just would rather toss everything to the dogs and nurse in place of solids, which is fine.  We never have junk food in the house so she only ever has healthy options, has never had a chicken nugget before and I plan to keep it that way for some time! 


my son is eating chicken nuggets right now.... :)

 

I hope this is a phase. But pretty much spaghetti chicken and zuchini are the only thing he is interested in right now.

post #9 of 59
Thread Starter 
This thread makes me feel a lot better!
post #10 of 59
Same here. Mine is 3.5 and sometimes she eats ONE BITE of scrambled eggs, other times she won't have anything. When we are out shopping she requests junk food and both me and my DH cave because we are weak!!! We are all trying to stay off gluten so I usually manage GF.

I've tried everything to make food fun. She cooks with me a lot! I ask her to have a bite of meat before we eat any junk. She usually has whole milk yogurt though its like 26 grams of sugar per tiny 6oz cup.

I just keep offering anything I can think of. Pistachios was a welcome surprise! I just have to peel them for her. Carrots with ranch dip (I buy a "natural" one with like 5 ingredients), apples with cheese cut into tiny fun "squares" (you just slice up a cheese stick into 6ths or 8ths, so easy!). But yeah... Most of the time she just refuses.

The part I hate the most is ordering for her at a restaurant and her not even taking a bite. We bring home the leftovers but they usually get thrown out.

So when does this phase end? lol.gif
post #11 of 59
Tillymonster, have you tried giving your daughter choices when you go out to eat? Not easy when you're GF and looking at the children's menu, but she might eat more if its something she favors.
post #12 of 59

I can't see myself ordering a specific for DD in a restaurant for quite some time.  She actually more interested in food that comes from someone else's plate anyways so DH and I make sure to get something she will enjoy too and we share ours with her.  She's a bean fanatic so Mexican anything is great for us, and she loves fish, which are pretty much the two things we get if we go out to eat anyways.  She's good for a few bites then just gets distracted by everyone coming and going.  She has her moments, like tonight where she was shoveling in her quinoa but putting the green beans aside...until I told her they were like peas at which point she began to dissect them for the beans lol. She does lean towards carbs, like me, so I just make sure it's healthy carbs or limit them in the house.  I buy things like nut crackers so that we can enjoy the crunch without the wheat.  The other surprise I got was seeing how much she LOVES spicy food.  I made a one-dish pasta meal that I'd seen online and had put a bit more red pepper flakes than I planned on and when I took a bite it caught me a bit off guard.  But DD?  She had 3 bowls!  So a bit of spice and some nutritional yeast (we're dairy free so it's a sub for parmesan) goes a long way in our house!

post #13 of 59

Rather than start a new thread about my kid not eating anything healthy, I'm just going to jump in on this thread! :)

DD is almost 18 months and still barely eats at all, still BF.  Lately ALL she will eat are crackers and bread.  She used to eat a bite here and there of yogurt, beef and chicken, broccoli, apples... but now nothing. I am offering other foods but she would just not eat anything that day at all if not for crackers. I am ok with her not eating anything and just nursing, but she does ask for crackers so throughout the day she may eat like 5 little wheat thin type crackers and maybe a half a piece of bread. At this point, is this even anything to worry about? Normally I would just not have them in the house, but my MIL is staying with us and she basically lives off them too so it's hard to keep them out of sight and out of mind for DD.  Thoughts?

post #14 of 59

I feel your pain. My three year old picks at his meals most of the time. Or I'll make him a meal of his choosing, then he doesn't want to eat it! Drives me CRAZY. I know it's a phase, but it's super discouraging. You can't MAKE them eat. Sigh. 

post #15 of 59

Something I'm noticing  too, at least with my three year old, is how much presentation of food matters. For example, he will eat anything from the sample person at Trader Joe's. Stuff he won't eat for me. I ended up buying some little cups and we'll play "Trader Joe's" (lol), and I can get him to eat a few things normally that I couldn't. Also, he wouldn't finish part of his wrap from lunch (even though he had requested it), so I ended up cutting it into three pieces and sticking toothpicks in them and calling them "samples." He ate them up in five minutes. (I carefully supervised him with the toothpicks, of course!). 

post #16 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by astromum View Post

Something I'm noticing  too, at least with my three year old, is how much presentation of food matters. For example, he will eat anything from the sample person at Trader Joe's. Stuff he won't eat for me. I ended up buying some little cups and we'll play "Trader Joe's" (lol), and I can get him to eat a few things normally that I couldn't. Also, he wouldn't finish part of his wrap from lunch (even though he had requested it), so I ended up cutting it into three pieces and sticking toothpicks in them and calling them "samples." He ate them up in five minutes. (I carefully supervised him with the toothpicks, of course!). 

This is pure GENIUS! Trying this today.

Edit: Didn't work. She's impossible right now.
Edited by tillymonster - 9/5/13 at 5:11am
post #17 of 59
Hi ladies! I'm new here and I am also having a tremendous amount of trouble getting my 26 month old to eat anything! I've gone by the "she'll eat when she's hungry" theory but in her case she just would rather not eat. I e tried everything and am starting to feel hopeless. Any recommendations on what trick may work? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
post #18 of 59

My friend had success getting her 3yo little boy to eat green veggies when she made smoothies and called them things like "monster slime" and "ninja turtle goo" lol.

post #19 of 59

Aww sorry to hear that Tilly! It's not 100% with mine, either.

 

Smoothies are a dang gift from (insert deity of choice). Last night I threw cucumber, spinach, a carrot, oats, apples, strawberries and blueberries, and an apple (most everything was frozen!) and he drank all of it. I felt like letting out a villain-esque laugh as I watched him drink it, muahaha!

(although I did put it in a reusable coffee to go cup with the cap on with a straw because 1.) just in case it got knocked over and 2.) he will totally point at the seeds etc. and say "that's gross" and push it away)

post #20 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by astromum View Post

Aww sorry to hear that Tilly! It's not 100% with mine, either.

Smoothies are a dang gift from (insert deity of choice). Last night I threw cucumber, spinach, a carrot, oats, apples, strawberries and blueberries, and an apple (most everything was frozen!) and he drank all of it. I felt like letting out a villain-esque laugh as I watched him drink it, muahaha!


(although I did put it in a reusable coffee to go cup with the cap on with a straw because 1.) just in case it got knocked over and 2.) he will totally point at the seeds etc. and say "that's gross" and push it away)

Yes on the "that's gross" thing. Mine doesn't do smoothies anymore ahhhh! She will have them as frozen Popsicles. Maybe I need to make a batch! I'm at 2wks postpartum with a newborn so things like that aren't happening right now!
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