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Anyone have creative ideas?!
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Anyone have creative ideas?!

Okay, so I love all of you guys, you're like my little Internet family, so I'm asking for some OT help!!! My toddler's diet consists of PB&J and goldfish crackers. I made a beautiful meal tonight and she snubbed it. But I have a rule---you have to eat what is set before you. I am not a short order cook who makes everyone what they want.

So................ I took a culinary class a long time ago, but found that cooking is not my forte. I am just stumped. ANY HELP?! I know toddlers get to this stage where they're picky and she'll outgrow it. But I don't want her going to bed hungry for refusing to eat dinner and then stock up on crackers and PB all day.

Any food ideas that appeal to kids that won't break the bank or my patience?!?!?!?!?! Or Internet sources I could bookmark?
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16 Comments Post a Comment
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355049_tn?1272259988
My kids are the pickiest! My son at one point would eat great. But now he is not eating great! the only things that I can get my kids to eat are Ramen Noodles and waffles/french toast, They like fruit though! Man as far as food that seems like thats the only thing they will eat at home. Oh and mac and cheese! When we go out they want chicken nuggets but will eat a chicken sandwich.... They are hard to please!!!! My daughter will be 4 in april and my son 2 in june! If your worried she is still hungry maybe you could tell her just this once you will let her have her sandwich but from now on if she dont eat what you fix then she will go to bed hungry! Idle threats work on occasion....  My kids meals have to be spaced out and no snacks after lunch until dinner. After dinner if they eat good then they can have a snack before bed... Good Luck
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354373_tn?1299188126
Apples with cinnamon and sugar......celery w/ peanutbutter in the middle....I don't have kids but that was always our after school snack!  At least then she's getting fruit and veggies in her......I've seen cookbooks for kids too that make everyday stuff look cute...which might work....As far as meals go....Can't help much there!  Sorry.
Mom always did what you are doing....this is dinner, this is what you get......And if we didn't eat it, we got no other alternative.....And no snacking before bed if we were hungry....Didn't take long for the 3 of us to learn to eat what she made!  LOL!  Although nowadays that may be considered child abuse......The 3 of us kids turned out healthy!  
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294817_tn?1263840438
My son does the same thing. Sometimes I'll let him help me open things (so he thinks he's helping) and it makes him want to eat what he's helped "cook"...lol Sometimes he'll eat a lot and some days he'll nibble on foods here and there. I just try to get him healthy snacks like Quaker Granola Bites, yogo bites (lil fruit round things), fruit roll ups and all that so if that's what he's filling up on, atleast it's kinda healhty and he's not going hungry. Like tonight we had pizza night. He ate like two bites around 6 and at 8 he was hungry so I gave him a pop tart. I know veggies and fruits are really imp but I say whatever you buy they'll most likely eat and if he'll eat those snacks than I'm happy. Goodluck and I'm anxious to see some more replies..... :)
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376739_tn?1317669990
Ha ha ha!!! Thanks, Kelly! And actually, my pediatrician looked me straight in the eyes and said, "She doesn't eat if she won't eat what you put in front of her. She won't go hungry! She'll learn after a few days!" So surprisingly, it isn't child abuse and my child eats like a horse. I liked the ideas you gave me, too. Thanks so much!

lidalbit, I let her help cook too. She tells me, "I go grab my school" and I always think, "What the heck does that mean?" She's trying to say stool, so she can stand on it and help at the counter. But it didn't work tonight! She didn't want to have anything to do with "her meal". *SIGH* My baby used to eat ANYTHING and now she is reduced to PB&J. I'm desperate because I'm almost out of bread! LOL!
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Avatar_f_tn
there are no snacks after 4 allowed in my house . i have picky eaters as well. my daughter is 10 at 65 lbs. and my son is 6 at 43lbs. they eat lots of snacks . also my son is allergic to milk,eggs, peanuts, soy and theres others too.i keep telling him how can you be picky. its extremely hard to cook for him. he cant have so many things .the way i get them to eat fruit is slice an apple in half. spread peanut butter on my daughters and chocolate syrup on my sons half. sprinkle powdered sugar and sprinkles on it. not a good idea for overweight kids though. but they love it also i make reindeer sandwiches for them. peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (jelly for my son) cut in triangles. put 2 pretzels thru the top for antlers 1 cherry for nose. 2 raisins for eyes . cute huh i have a lot of ideas if your interested.
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294817_tn?1263840438
HAHA...yea Nathan is always going to get his stool and he is always gettin in trouble with it too. (most of the time it's for things he doesn't need to be in to...lol) Our biggest problem right now is him going in his bathroom and washing his hands by himself. I don't know why but he automatically turns only the hot water on. So as soon as I hear it I run in there. My husband freaks out about it because when he was Nathan's age he was at a daycare washing his hands and burnt his hand BAD. Still has a big burnt scar covering the whole top part of his hand. People weren't paying attention. So he's been showing it to Nathan and saying see what happened to Daddy. So sweet but don't think Nathan quite understands because HE KEEPS DOING IT...the only thing I can think to do on that is to turn his hot water off to his sink. (if that can be done.) And ok I'm done now with my story that has nothing to do with your topic...HAHA...sorry bout that and for babbling on......
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376739_tn?1317669990
You could put a scrunchie or a ribbon the the one he's supposed to use!
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Avatar_f_tn
I have the pickiest eater in the world... but he will eat plane noodles with butter and parmasean cheese... like the different shape noodles like bowties, or the twistie ones..., hamburger helper cheeseburger macaroni (add a little ketchup and mix it up)   and I buy him a ton of V8 fruit smoothie juice.. so I can sneak in healthy stuff cuz the boy eats nothing green.. at all... oh we did fry some yellow squash.. cut it in real real thin pieces... (like a chip) dipped it in milk/egg, and some seasoned flour and then fried it up... he loves that.. he calls 'em squash chips...  I don't know how healthy they are after we fry 'em to death.. but they are good!  and I go through a lot of the frozen Tyson chicken nuggets.. but they can get expensive.. hope this helped a little!  
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342647_tn?1291111533
hi, my toddler is pretty fussy also. I have gone back to pureeing single vegies and some mixed lots and when it comes to meal times i add some into what ever i am cooking.  If we are haivng mashed potato i will add 1 ice cube sized bit of cauliflower into hers and she doesn't even notice.  If we have spag bol or tarco's i will add 2 ice cube bits of mixed veg into her mince and she doesn't know its there once the tom paste is in.  She likes pan cakes so i make sweet corn ones which are the same as normal except i add a small tin of sweet corn.    With mac and cheese i add sweet potato and carrot. I try to match the colours of food and veg so they don't notice. I also don't add too much to start so the taste doesn't change. With fruit she is pretty good but if we go through a stage where she wont eat much i will make a fruit smoothie with a bit of ice cream (let then see that it is going in there).  I will also make fruit puree ice blocks in the freezer and the kids love them.  She also likes sandwhiches cut into the shapes of fish or stars with cookie cutters.  Hope this helps - i'm sure it is all pretty standard stuff but remember just because you haved tried it once doesn't mean it wont work again.  Kids need to be offered foods heaps of times before they will like it or eat it.  My nurse also said not to look at what they eat over a day but look over a week and if you are really concerned start a food diary and right down everything they eat, even the bits off your plate etc and you will be surprised at what they are eating.
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Avatar_f_tn
I have 2 boys ages 2 and 4. My 2 year old will eat anything and everything in sight. My 4 year old is stubborn when it comes to dinner, and like your child he loves his PB&J with crackers :) So here are a few things that I have found helped.

1. If they wont eat, send them to bed. She may be hungry at bedtime, but they need to learn that there is a specific time that the family eats dinner, and the time doesnt revolve around them, it revolves around a unit.

2. Time out, My son is 4 so he recieves 4 min in the corner until he decides that he will eat his meal. (works the best for me)

3. As much as this is gonna kill both of you NO PB&J! You decide what is for breakfast, lunch and dinner. If she gets special treatment at breakfast and lunch, she will expect it at dinner too.

4. No whole milk, Whole milk will fill them up like a huge hamburger and french fries before dinner. My son had that issue on whole milk, so he was allowed only 1 cup of milk before dinner, he was allowed juice and water in between. And don't give them milk at dinner, my son would purposefully drink his milk and get full off it to avoid eating the meal.

First off, make sure she isnt sick, some children especially mine, wont eat when they are sick with the slightest cold or runny nose.

I know some of this seems a bit harsh, but dicipline is something a child does crave to learn. It helps them understand that they need to respect you as their parent and teacher. Im sure you know as I dont doubt your parenting or knowledge, but it took me a VERY long time to realize that when I allowed my child everything (not that you do) he was a royal pain in the arse lol.

Im still paying for it lol.

Hope this helps, and I hope your lil angel realizes that other things besides PB&J is yummy.

Oh and one last thing- I found that trying the food with your toddler helps aswell. I get a fork and he has his fork, we both take a small bite of his plate, and on the count of 3 we shove it in lol.


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316015_tn?1216737031
I have always had a rule for my daughter that I do not make special meals. If she doesn't eat what we eat, too bad. I do have a couple of exceptions though. first, if she does not eat when we eat, and says she is hungry later, I will feed her, but only what we had for dinner earlier (I don't like her to go hungry). Second, if I am making a food I know that she will NOT eat (such as tacos) I do make her something seperate.

I found that choosing 2 or 3 things to have for dinner and letting her choose which of them she wants also helps. Thats what her head start director suggested. I also let her pick what vegetable and what fruit we have with each meal.

Also, have you tried using PB and J or goldfish crackers as a "dessert".  My daughter loves yogurt  and applesauce and I will let her have some only if she eats what she is told to eat.

Hope any of this helps!!  Good luck!!
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374457_tn?1229633256
Hey Joy,

I agree with many of the posts....if she asks for pb&j  just tell her no...trust me she will be uspet but after a few times she will get the picture that she can't have it.

Also if you are trying to introduce new foods try giving her a choice at lunch between two things you want her to eat.  This still gives her some control of what she eats because she feels she is still choosing, even though both choices are what you want her to eat.

Obviously that won't work for dinner because you can't give everyone a choice.  I am not sure how old she is but you could try having her help you make the meal.  Even if it is pouring water or stirring something.  This might get her excited to try something she help make.

good luck

keri
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202436_tn?1326477933
My oldest will usually eat what's put in front of her whether she likes it or not with little fuss...my younger two that's a different story.  I put food in front of them, I try very hard to convince them to atleast try it and if they don't like it they know they don't have to eat it BUT they get no dessert or snacks or anything else.  

Some of the things I think they refuse to eat out of sheer defiance becuase it's something they'll eat at the babysitters.  So, I leave it up to them...eat or be hungry.  Sounds mean but it's not like I'm witholding food, when they are REALLY hungry they eat.  
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202436_tn?1326477933
I also saw this "game" somewhere for getting kids to try new things.  It's prolly something  you can make at home..

You have one of those sectioned off plates and each section has a different color or picture.  Then you make a spinwheel with the different colors of pictures.

put a different food in each section and let her spin the wheel.  Whatever section it lands on she has to try some of the food from the same section on her plate.

I bet if she gets to help Make the "game" she'll be more willing to try the foods ....but make sure one or two of the foods are something you KNOW she likes...so it isn't all just yucky stuff to her.

BTW I haven't tried this with my kids...I just remember reading it somewhere in a parenting magazine
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294817_tn?1263840438
Thanks girl!! That's a great idea....Haven't even thought about that!!!!
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376739_tn?1317669990
LACh I love the pureed food idea. I have put broccoli in mac-n-cheese but it was noticeable and she ate around it.

BTS, definitely! Discipline is very important to us. I have tried giving her the option between 2 different foods. "Elaina, you can eat a cheese burrito or a chicken sandwich. Which do you want?" Oh. My. Gosh. You would think it was the end of the world the way she carries on. But forunately for my daughter, I don't cave in. And she KNOWS about milk. She'll ask me for milk if I give her food she doesn't like. We have 1% milk, but it still fills her up, so I don't give it to her.

GA, I will have to try that game! I'm so bad at creating stuff like that, so I need to kick it in gear. It's not that I can't but that I get distracted, forget, or just plain don't feel like it. BUT I want to do stuff like that. Thanks for the tip!

We're really trying to get our kids to eat healthy foods. My baby will eat avocado, bananas, any dinner I make that she can gum (even pizza) which is how my firstborn started out, too! There is a ton of fat in PB which is probably why my toddler hasn't withered away (if you check out my pics, you'll see she's not overweight, but a skinny little thing!).

Anyway, my toddler could eat all day long if I let her, on whatever it was SHE wanted. But get this, when she poops in the potty, instead of giving candy or chocolate, I give her granola and she thinks it's a candy bar. Bwuahahahaha! If only she knew!
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