Toddlers: 12 - 24 Months

Picky eating

How do you handle picky eating? My boy is a little over a year old and has started to reject his once favored variety of healthy foods. I am offering more than a few options of healthy foods for him at each meal, but he is rejecting anything except fruit or cheese. Can I not offer anything except healthy options even if he refuses to eat at all? Is he too young for that? I am growing concerned over lack of protein (won't even touch PB & J anymore) and vegetables, won't even eat them covered with cheese! Thanks.


Re: Picky eating

  • What about cottage cheese? You could try " hiding" foods in smoothies or spaghetti sauce. Pb on pancakes, Greek yogurt to dip his fruit in or in a smoothie. My DS is picky one day then not at all the next. Foods he used to love he strays from and then if I wait a while and reintroduce them he loves them again.
  • If it makes you feel better - they all go through this stage to some extent at some point or another.

    We've been through a bunch of different "phases" (because really, that's what you're dealing with - which should also make you feel better.)  The no meat phase, the no leafy vegetable phase, the no berries phase, the no avocado phase, etc. 

    What we've done is continue to offer the things we want him to eat, but also take his preferences into account (to an extent).  So during the no meat phase, we didn't have steak or chicken every night.  We did some nights, and if he didn't want to eat those nights, well then he didn't eat.  Missing a meal here or there isn't the end of the world.  Other nights we went meat free - using other proteins like beans, lentils, cheese, eggs, tofu, quinoa.  So I knew he wouldn't starve to death.  

    By continuing to offer, you're giving them the chance to decide when/what they want to eat without the pressure.  And it lets you know when the phase is over.

  • He gets what we're eating or he can have a peanut butter sandwich. If he refuses both, he doesn't eat.

    They won't starve themselves.  I refuse to make 6 different things at every meal to try to get him to eat something.  The more options I give him, the more difficult he gets.  So he gets the food I want him to eat in front of him and he either eats it or he doesn't.  Some days he eats next to nothing, some days he eats more than me.  But he's growing and healthy so I'm not going to worry about it.

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