How to handle picky eaters - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 2 Old 03-05-2012, 11:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi Dr. Sears, thanks for helping me out in the past. I'd like your input on how you deal with picky eaters. Let me give you some background:


I have the world's PICKIEST eater! All he wants is milk. He'll get by on mac and cheese, and chicken nuggets if he's in the mood for it. He does like most fruits and raw carrots (they have to be raw and big, not the bite size ones).  My worry is that he's only three (just barely turned three), and I'm afraid he's not going to grow right or be malnourished. We only do a bottle of milk at night before he goes to sleep, and the milk during the day on his favorite sippy cup. We have cut the milk during the day time which has helped a little bit, and we have a small schedule of the food that we try to get him to eat. The thing is getting him to eat is like a war in my house. He doesn't even want to look at it. Also it's like we eat junk, I made all of his baby food and he always ate everything until around 19-20 months. I'm not sure if he got jealous because it was around the time that I had my second child which I'm doing both nursing and expressed milk in a bottle, which I guess leads me to my second concern.


We recently started introducing more solids to my youngest than the normal pureed food he was eating. This little boy eats everything and the spoon lol. He is totally opposite than his brother. I'm afraid he'll pick up my picky eater's example and not want to eat any good food anymore. So any advice on how to deal with this, or any good books that you can direct me too, my husband and I would SO appreciate it. Thanks for taking the time to read my post. 

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#2 of 2 Old 03-15-2012, 10:27 AM
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The best thing to do is to stop trying to feed him.  And stop making the few favorites that he insists on (unless they are healthy). Trying to get a picky eater to eat rarely works, and usually makes them more resistant.  You have to act as if you don't care if he eats. Just make the meals, sit down and eat them, and don't even serve him any. Give him some if he asks.  When he whines for something else (like a favorite food) simply say you didn't make that, or you don't have any.  Then DON"T try to get him to eat what you make - just keep eating in front of him. Let HIM decide to eat (and he will).  A child won't be harmed by going days without eating. He'll be grumpy, but hunger will kick in and he'll eat, especially if he thinks you DON"T want him to eat, or that you don't care whether or not he eats. 

You can watch my hour-long teleconference on this at - look under blogs, then videos.

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