Dealing with My Picky Eater

Ah, terrible twos. I personally wanted to rename it terrific twos but with Bunny’s tantrums and eating habits, I can’t. Every day is a struggle. It’s not because she’s eating air but because she’s very particular about what she wants to consume! Red flags started to rise last year. She would choose oatmeal over rice, puffs over veggies, and biscuits over fruits.

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We tried every trick we can think of. Some would work well but most don’t. I even found myself crying in a corner thinking where I went wrong.

Why Are Toddlers Picky Eaters?

Partly Bunny’s eating habits are my fault. I was a picky eater too when I was young. I recall that my food choices were limited to hot dogs, lugaw (rice porridge), bread (I preferred eating the crust vs. the actual pizza), and rice. I’ve read some articles which pointed out that genes have something to do with it.

Aside from hereditary issues of my little fickle eater, I shielded her from poultry and seafood. Bunny has mastocytosis and would have allergic reactions to poultry and seafood. I hated the itchy red bump she had on her arm. So with her dermatologist’s help, we were able to control it from spreading.

As per her derma, the only way to help lessen the itch was if I slowly introduce poultry and seafood to her diet through my breastmilk first then to her diet. I hovered too much and decided to introduce poultry and seafood a bit too late.

Lastly, toddlers are naturally picky eaters. They know now that they can say no or throw a tantrum fit when you force food to them. Knowing this helped me tone down a bit on the where did I go wrong rant to E.

How I Dealt with My Picky Eater

  1. Don’t force feed your toddler. Your toddler will be traumatised whenever you force feed her! Believe me, Bunny would look terrified and would avoid our dining table whenever she can. She dreaded meals for 2 days because I force fed her. There was even a time when she tried to force feed me too!
  2. Identify her favourite food. For Bunny its oatmeal, pizza, and biscuits. Now we have a steady supply of her go-to snacks. In our minds, it’s better than an empty stomach.
  3. Don’t deprive your toddler food. No, please don’t. If your toddler drinks milk (whether it is formula or breast milk) she is getting nutrients that she needs. Add supplements to the mix and your toddler would be fine. Just please don’t deprive them just because they don’t like what you offered.
  4. Eat with them. This is my current tactic. I would make sure that I eat breakfast and dinner with her. Seeing mommy eating the food served in front of her made her more comfortable. This is my best move so far. Now she’s eating rice again! Just be prepared to share your plate with your toddler.19243541_10213076301844899_544503411_o
  5. Supplement with Milk and Vitamins. This is how we tackle Bunny’s low food intake in her bad days. We ensure that she takes her vitamins daily and that she latches at night when I come home.
  6. Be patient. Toddlers would like one food today and hate it the next day. Bunny loved noodles before! Now she hates it and wouldn’t even touch it! Just make sure you have enough reserve of her go to food.19263907_10213076295084730_658694920_o

Hope my tips above helped. Do drop your personal tips in the comments section below!

23 comments

  1. Amber Myers says:

    Yup, I remember these days. I would just try to keep offering things and hope for the best. I could never supplement with milk though because naturally my kids didn’t like it, ha.

  2. Cristina Leau says:

    I don’t have a kid but I do have a cat that is a picky eater. I have to think so hard what food she likes or what she ate before and know would not….it’s hard…

  3. Shannon says:

    These are all amazing tips! My mom used to sneak healthy food that I didn’t like into my favorite foods. I got the nutrition without ever knowing that there were vegetables in my food!

  4. Corinne & Kirsty says:

    I was such a picky eater when I was a kid. My parents had such a hard time dealing with me. But look at me now, I eat everything! so all not hope is lost! In the meantime, great tips! xx corinne

  5. Sofia says:

    I am so lucky because my daughter eats absolutely everything! I am the picky eater and she actually now calls me out saying I have to eat this and that Lol My Mum was in a similar position to yours with me. I’m sure your post will help other Mums 🙂

  6. Deanna says:

    This is all such great advice. I agree with don’t force feed or withhold food. My kids were both great eaters, luckily. My nephews were a little tougher.

  7. Helene Cohen Bludman says:

    I had such a picky eater! She was impossible until she became an adult. I hope yours doesn’t take that long to recover!

  8. Denay DeGuzman says:

    These are such helpful tips for parents dealing with a picky eater! When my girls were that age I asked their pediatrician about this exact issue because I was afraid they were not eating enough. He said that the amount of food a toddler needs to eat a day is the size of an egg! After learning that my anxiety decreased. 🙂

  9. Violeta León says:

    My son used to hate the food if it has a tiny black point, I could not give him strawberry juice lol or banana, nothing because everything somehow has a small point. That was a nightmare, but as he grew up, he started to see that he was missing great food and its part of the past the fear to small black points on food. I teach him to cook, this way he understand where and how the food is made, and now he enjoys more the eating part.

  10. Elizabeth Brico says:

    I needed this tonight. I was actually getting pretty depressed because my daughter would not eat her dinner-I was ready to throw out all her snacks, I don’t know. I was pissed and depressed and feeling worthless as a mom. Seeing that someone else is dealing with this too has helped me. You’re right about the force feeding thing..it sucks and I do NOT do it anymore. Although when she was younger, she actually wouldn’t eat unless we force fed her the first bite, and then she’d ask for more because it was something she actually liked..so weird.

  11. Heather says:

    My kids were all really picky, but something happened around the time each of them turned 4, and it all clicked, and then they liked everything. I’m hoping the same thing will happen with my youngest who is just 2 right now, and also very picky 🙂

  12. Kristin says:

    Good tips. I always cut up small pieces of fresh fruit too. Kids like it and it has good nutrients. Strawberries, bananas and pears

  13. Ana De- Jesus says:

    I was a picky eater as well when I was younger and I still am to an extent now as I am a vegetarian. It must be tough for you but it is good that you eat with your kid to help them and encourage them to eat more x

  14. Elizabeth O says:

    Yes, it does take patience and modeling the behaviour we want them to adopt. The point is they need our help to direct them so we can’t give over to their tantrums completely…

  15. Christine says:

    Such great tips!!! It can be really frustrating to deal with picky eaters, so advice like this can make a big difference.

  16. Madz | Mommy N' More says:

    We’re in the same boat.I am also breastfeeding my almost two and a half year old and I don’t know what happened.She’s not underweight but lean.Your tips are great.In my case, I discovered that having my daughter near when I cook does wonders.She likes tasting the dishes and I think it builds her appetite.I also mix familiar with unfamiliar foods. Hope these help!

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