I have 2 children, a 2 year old and 3 year old boy. My 2 year old son eats like there's no tomorrow, never have to fight with him over what's served. it's great.
my 3 year old on the other hand ...
I swear that boy doesn't consume more than a few hundred calories a day. He'll eat a couple bowls of adult sized portions of cereal (usually wic cereal like cheerios or rice crispies) and then nothing but drink the rest of the day. I don't give him alot of juice, and I only give him 2 sippy cups full of milk. he always tells me he's thirsty and his belly hurts, but when I ask him why his belly hurts he either doesn't answer me or tells me "i'm thirsty". he's always asking for "snack" too, which is weird because i don't serve snacks here. I have a limited food budget and we eat 3 meals a day but that's it. he never wants any solid food that I give ... or he might eat one or two small bites of one item on his plate and that's it. I'm really starting to worry because I know he isn't getting enough and this has been going on for quite a while. I don't want to give in and let him have junk or eat cereal three times a day. help!
I have a picky eater too---- our pediatrician said to offer snacks . . . she said kids need to eat throughout the day. What you could do---- is offer some cut up banana to both of your kids late morning. Goldfish, cut up little cubes of cheese, granola bars, etc.---- etc. every 3 or 4 hours. Just make sure it is something nutricious. Little ones don't eat much----- so adding a few snacks into the day shouldn't blow out the budget. You could probably do it for under 10 a week, I would think. But I would keep offering the food. Give no drinks at meal time---- so he doesn't fill up on liquid. Have him sit with everyone else to and praise him like crazy if he takes a bite of something. Maybe he can help with prep of food---- pouring the vegi in the pan to heat or stiring something for you. Get him involved and interested. Good luck.
I would restrict the amount of cereal he is eating - a 3 year old shouldn't be eating 2 adult sized portions of cereal a day. Presumably he has milk with the cereal? In which case, even though you are restricting him to 2 sippy cups of milk per day, he is still having a LOT of milk, which he doesn't need.
He should only be allowed to eat cereal at breakfast time - apart from the excess milk, breakfast cereals can be very high in sugar which isn't good for him.
I would agree that offering him small snacks throughout the day rather than 3 set meals a day may be a good idea, just make sure the snacks are healthy. Don't give him bags of crisps or chocolate bars, offer him a rice cake, a piece of fruit, a cracker with cheese, something like that. If you restrict his cereal, he will be hungrier, and more likely to accept what other food you offer him. Persevere with it, and don't give in to him. He won't starve himself. He'll only go a couple of days hungry before he starts eating something.
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