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Ugh! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked"><br>
DS, who is 32 months old, is just a picky and wasteful eater. I am not sure what to do about this. All he wants to do is snack on things like granola bars and crackers all day and throws a fit every day at dinner. We limit his snacking so that he does not fill up on it (only 1 a day now), but getting him to eat a meal is almost impossible! He only eats a bite or 2 off his plate and then sits at the table complaining while the rest of us eat.<br><br>
I try not to make a 'special' dinner for him - if his 9 month old sister eats whatever the adults are eating, then DS should too, right? I mean, I always include his preferences when planning meals and include things I KNOW he likes... I am wondering if this is just a phase - like he is being stubborn just to assert himself somehow. He just seems to have no desire to eat good food. How can I change this?<br><br>
Any thoughts, mamas? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/innocent.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shy">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>tracymom1</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15396861"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">He just seems to have no desire to eat good food. How can I change this?</div>
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Stop offering foods that aren't good. Crackers and granola bars are empty calories. Offer bits of meat, cheese, fruits, veggies, and legumes. If he's a typical child, he will eat when he's hungry.<br><br>
If you know the food on his plate is stuff he likes, and he's not eating it, wrap it up and serve it at the next snack time.
 

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I agree with PP. Snacks should be healthy foods. If my daughter doesnt eat a meal, then that will be her snack later, sometimes I have to put it in a different bowl or make it look new and exciting for a snack. If she really isn't eating that day, the dogs get a special treat in their dinner because I hate to waste food. Good luck, this is a such a trying age. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Give him teeny, tiny portions that you think he would starve on if that is all he ate.<br><br>
Sometimes we load so much food on a child's plate that it is overwhelming for them. If you only provide them a little bit at a time they feel like they accomplished something, and you can always give them seconds... or thirds.<br><br>
This has the added benefit of not wasting as much food. I don't like saving food that a kid may have spit out or spit on, but have no problem packing up food still in a pot or a serving bowl for a later snack or meal.
 

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My ds has his own cupboard in the kitchen (when he was smaller, it was just the tupperware cupboard where he got to play with everything while we cooked)<br>
Now it has his dishes (he uses regular dishes, but we keep some where he can reach), and a basket that is his snacks. It usually has stuff like fruit, kale chips, pistachios, ocassionally a granola bar or dried fruit, sesame bars, carrots, a little tupperware of peanut butter, etc. I will also sometimes draw a little pic of something that has to be in the fridge like coconut yogart or cut up melon.<br>
He can help himself to the cupboard or ask for one of the picture card items, but if it isnt in there, and it isnt a meal time, he doesnt get it!<br>
That way I can regulate what he gets, but he still has choices for his snacks<br><br>
At meal times, I make one meal that everyone can eat. Ocassionally we will 'add the cheese last' or things like that just b/c of his allergies, but aside from that he gets the same food as everyone else. I make him a plate with a small serving of everything, b/c too much on the plate is intimidating for him, and he can always have more of anything. If he doesnt want something he can take a small 'no thank you bite' of that item and he doesnt have to eat the rest.<br><br>
If he doesnt eat a reasonable amount, I put it in the fridge for him and put his snack basket away, so when he says he is hungry, he can have his plate back!
 

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I'm afraid I don't have any advice as we're in the same boat and my Dd is nearly the same age. I sincerely hope that its just a stage!
 

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My just turned 3 yr old is similar right now. If I let him, he'd eat stuff like granola bars over a real meal. This hasn't always been the case, and he's a really good eater if he stays put long enough and is hungry - he'll eat a ton. I think that is a big part of it, they are so busy exploring and playing that it's more convenient to take a few bites here and there - or even better, a portable snack. I actually think snacking or grazing is okay if it's healthy foods - and will cut up apples and cheese, or put out carrot sticks and broccoli, etc., and be okay with my DS eating a bit here and there in between his other activities. I still prefer him to sit down at dinnertime with the family and eat - and he usually does - but for lunch and even sometimes breakfast I let him do his thing if he's in a mood to not sit and eat a whole bowl of oatmeal at once.<br><br>
Definitely just do smaller amounts and save the leftovers for later on if it seems like he is always wasting the food. Most things keep well in a baggy in the fridge, or covered and left on the counter.
 

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I went through this with DD as well and finally my mom suggested I use words since at this age our kids understand A LOT.<br><br>
So I put 2 healthy foods that she likes (peas and a sandwich) on a plate and put it in front of her and said "Evie, this is your lunch. You like peas. You like peanut butter and jelly sandwich. You can as much of this as you want but if you don't eat it then you are all done and it is time for your nap. Do you understand me?" She nodded yes, ate her lunch and took her nap with no fuss.<br><br>
It hasn't always gone as smoothly as that first time, but if she tests me I just repeat myself "Evie, if you don't eat this yummy breakfast then you are all done and you won't have any more food until snack time. Do you understand?" And I wait for her to acknowledge me with a nod. She seems to get it, and while she is still a picky eater at least I can get her to eat something besides fruit and dairy using this technique. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I agree to stop giving him foods you don't want him to fill up on.<br><br>
Snacks around here are basically mini-meals, things that I feel are healthy enough that he could eat all he wants & I wouldn't be worried if he wasn't hungry at dinner time because I know he got some good food in already.<br><br>
We do give things like TJ's cheerios or crackers but more as a 'treat' (like if I need to keep him occupied while I shop)... snacks are fruit, PB sandwiches, leftovers from the previous night's dinner, hummus, etc.<br><br>
Also if he only eats a bite or two, only put a couple bites on his plate to begin with... he can always have more (and you can save the untouched portions for snack time!) and if he's not hungry then work on engaging him in conversation or play some kind of family game so he's not siting there bored.
 
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