Sunday, March 14, 2010

Toddler Food

Anyone have great advice on how to get a 2 1/2 year old to eat? Specifically, more than one meal a day and something nutritious? My daughter goes through these phases where she will barely eat. On these days, she'll still tell me something she wants to eat and I will make it (usually scrambled eggs, quesadilla, yogurt and granola), but then she gets too distracted or something, tells me she's full and won't take a bite. Sometimes, not even the first bite.

Here are some things I've already tried: Reading to her while she eats (works on a good days - not so convenient when we're all trying to have supper together), withholding her milk, juice, water, fruit, etc. until after she's eaten something else, bribing her with dessert (a cookie or a couple of m&ms), not cooking something new at the next meal until she's eaten what I made her at the last meal (sort of gross and not really an incentive for her to eat it).

Usually for breakfast she asks for cereal, takes a few sips of the milk out of bowl without eating any of the cereal and is all done. Yesterday, I came up with this idea and she ate 2 pancakes. I got the cutest cookie cutters for my birthday and I told her she could help me make butterfly pancakes. I just used a pancake mix and sprayed the cookie cutter with nonstick spray. They turned out cute and I got something (okay, not the most nutritious thing) in her belly.


  1. I feel your pain. We've tried all of the same strategies you've mentioned. I know "they" say that kids will eat what they need, but it's hard to watch meals go by with so little being consumed. Well, I guess that advice is true though because Ashlynn is almost 4 1/2 and has managed to eat enough to not just survive but grow too! Good luck!

  2. If there is a toddler blogger among your readers, I would ask him/her for insider advice.

  3. I've been there. As a pediatrician once told a friend who had this problem, milk is basicaly liquid chicken. If they are drinking lots of milk, you're probably in good shape.

  4. As you know, Daniel barely eats, and he's big and strong and very healthy. It's true, they will eat what they need, so long as you keep offering healthy food. Toddlers are grazers, so always keep healthy snacks in her reach. For awhile, I would put various snacks in a muffin tin on the table and encourage Daniel to take a bite of something every little while. He liked being able to choose whatever he wanted from the tin. Also, he would eat if I fed him--especially if he were distracted looking at a book or playing with something. Daniel always ate better when we were out and about--especially in the car. I could hand him a container of fruit or yogurt or something and since there was nothing better to do, he'd finish it.

    Hang in there, and don't stress about it too much. Whole milk is wonderful stuff--especially raw (which Whole Foods just stopped carrying). It is basically a food. So if you can get her to drink a few glasses of whole raw milk a day, you're doing good.

  5. solution- send Jenna to grammys house for breakfast. every thursday morning we eat our scrambled eggs together with Grammys special spice blend, avacado for grammy, apple for Jenna on the side . . . oh wait, grammy left town. lame grammy.

  6. Thanks for the encouragement and advice. She does eat better at other people's houses . . . maybe I should start a schedule of people who will have her over for meals :)