Posted in Food & Cooking, Toddlers

Hello everyone!! I am new to this board on the app. I am happily engaged to my loving fiance and are proud parents to our strong willed two year old daughter. Our daughter refuses to eat anything else other than mac n cheese and apple sauce, besides oatmeal and yogurt. She also doesn't want to drink out of a sippy cup, though she was fine with it and ate anything she was fed at 6 months. I don't know what changed all that, as my fiance and I are striving to get our daughter to explore more food choices. We have been patient, but it has indeed been difficult being asked by family and friends why she won't try new foods or go back on the sippy cup. Our daughter is super picky with foods. My question is, how do we get her to try new foods and help her get back on the sippy cup again? We try to make things fun for her as much as possible. Thank you everyone, and have a great weekend!! 🌸💜

  • Vicki
    Aug 20, 2017

    With the food, you just need to be patient and keep offering different choices. Maybe she is bored with sippy cups and it's time to move on to big girl cups! There are many good training cups available. Also, I would try avoiding offering her a bottle when she won't use a cup, it will just be her go to because she knows it's an option. Maybe have a bye bye bottle party, hide them around the house and make a big deal of finding them and putting them in a basket to send to the bottle fairy and in exchange she gets a reward?

  • Anonymous
    Aug 20, 2017

    It's your job to put a variety of healthy food in front of her, and it's her job to choose how much (if any) she will eat. I find that the "division of responsibility" takes almost all of the stress out of meal times for me. More on division of responsibility: Are YOU only eating mac n cheese, applesauce, oatmeal, and yogurt? The first thing is to make sure everyone in the family is getting the same dinner, not separate short-order-cooked dinners. (Obviously if you are dieting, you'll want to make sure your kids get the calories they need -- for example when I make a zero-carb dinner I serve my kids some crackers or a side of rice to go along with it.) I would suggest that you offer small quantities of the favorite foods at each meal, alongside small quantities of new foods. My line for my kids is "If you're still hungry after you've eaten the food I served, you can have more." When they say they don't like one of the foods on their plate I just say "That's okay, just eat the things you DO like." SOMETIMES I will offer ways to "improve" the disliked food -- "Do you want to add a little salt? Need me to reheat it? Want to try frozen peas instead of hot peas?" If they ask for more of their Favorite Things without having eaten the Other Things, I just keep saying, "If you're still hungry after you've eaten the food I served, you can have more." I am a cheerful robot, I don't engage in any food-related discussion beyond that. Meanwhile, I sit down with them, talk to them about things that interest them, and really engage them. I try to make dinner a fun time for us to connect, and I don't make observations about what they are or aren't eating. Don't worry about re-introducing the sippy cup -- just serve her water in whatever cup she likes. If she spills it, it's just water. :) Don't serve milk, juice, or other drinks that could fill her up -- your goal is for her to be hungry for "real food" so her hunger will inspire her to explore new foods. If she knows she can always just fill up on a beverage, she'll be less motivated to try things. (Plus you'll be setting a healthy habit for her to continue into adulthood, to eat her calories rather than drink them.) My kids are 5 and 3 (with a 3rd baby on the way) and are all delightful dinner companions, excitedly trying new foods and eating a HUGE variety of food. They do sometimes dislike foods, or make negative comments, but they've learned that usually a disliked food is a "problem we can solve" with a little seasoning, temperature change, mixing it with something else, etc.

  • Nikola
    Aug 20, 2017

    I would like to add that if you change the rules and start to go the shared responsibility route, she will get pretty upset with you in the beginning. It will be unfair in her eyes that you changed the rules all of a sudden and don't let her get her will anymore. And she is too young to understand that it is for own health/good (her diet has worked out very nicely for her so far). But in the long run you can avoid countless arguments once she understands that the new rule stays and there are no exceptions.