Posted in Behavior, Nutrition, Toddlers

I could use some help! My son just turned 2 and has become extremely picky about food

Over the last 6 months my son has stubbornly refused anything new. He used to be a great eater and now he cries and screams if I even offer him something he doesn’t recognize. At breakfast and lunch i make things I known he likes but at dinner he gets what the rest of us are eating. At least 6 nights a week he doesn’t eat dinner at all and he’s under weight. The doctor said he needs a multi vitamin but he refuses to try it, even though they’re gummies and taste like candy. We were told to switch him to a fluoride toothpaste and now he fights brushing his teeth. He wouldn’t even try a cupcake on his birthday! I make smoothies to pack in nutrients and it has helped him gain some weight but I just don’t feel like I’m handling the situation well. It’s not just food, he is not open to new experiences and he gets very upset about any changes in routine. I find it frustrating. How can I help broaden his horizons and encourage him to be more open minded?

  • Christa
    Apr 09

    Read the book “French kids eat everything” it gives you a list of ways to get around this silly picky eating business. My now 14 month old went through this- clear down to the teeth brushing, and it went as far as baths- getting hair washed used to be NO big deal, then out of no where, water would get on his hair and it was game over. What I discovered, is talking to him, helped immensely. what I mean by this is when he won’t brush his teeth I offer him to try on his own, but if he decides not to try, I tell him momma is going to brush his teeth like a baby, and this isn’t how big boys brush their teeth. I also use it as a time to brush mine, sometimes doing exactly what they are doing makes it seem less terrifying. I also found with like doing something new- though I haven’t had much trouble yet, is saying “how do you know you won’t like it if you aren’t willing to try? I’m not going to let you get hurt. Here momma is going to do it with you.” I have also read, that if it’s something maybe they need a buddy for, since children are very much imitators, that I use his favorite stuffed animal- which just so happens to be Mickey Mouse, and Mickey is a brave soul, Mickey walks, Mickey goes into new situations and is brave like a big kid. Right now, my son is an only child until October, but we had him over at his cousins house, and he hasnt really played with other kids much. And he got scared. Well, since Mickey goes EVERYWHERE- literally- Mickey and momma got down on the floor and played with cousin, while little man sat next to dad’s feet and watched us, and we didn’t say “come here and try” we just kept on playing and not paying attention to the antics of being scared, and showed him if we aren’t scared he shouldn’t be either. And in about 5-10 minutes of just watching, pretty soon, he was right in the middle of it, playing, giggling, and sharing toys with his cousin. I think it’s all about patients, and just taking it a situation at a time. Maybe don’t acknowledge any of the behavior of him being stinky in his attitude, and just keep moving on about your business. Also. Mickey takes vitamins and always says “mmmmm yummy, I’m so glad momma gives me good vitamins to make me big and strong.” Sometimes you have to go back to his level and look at things through his eyes! They learn through how we handle the newness of something!! I hope this helps! Good luck momma!

  • Amanda
    Apr 09

    My 2yr old went super picky after we had to cut a lot of food from his diet when we were trying yo determine his food allergies. The only thing that helped him is we started a new routine. All meals are family style at the table. I don't put anything on his plate. He tells me what he wants. The only rule is it has to be on the table. We always have white rice available as a safe food but it only took him a few days to start asking for foods. He started wanting it specically off my plate and has started to branch out. It's a slow process but zero fighting and we are all happier for it. I also want to add I never ask him what he wants and never make the same food 2 days in a row so he can't just hold out to get what he wants because if they know they can wait for a fave they will.

  • Laura
    Apr 09

    Child of Mine is a good book about the division of responsibilities when it comes to food - you decide what and when, they decide if and how much. Guidelines from our doc were straight out of this book

  • Jess
    Apr 12

    Thank you! I’m going to try some of these strategies. Wish me luck!