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How do I get my toddler to eat something other than grilled cheese?

Or spaghetti? She won't eat vegetables. She'll have the occasional banana. I want to instill good habits from the start. help!

Mon. Apr 9, 3:32pm

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You can control what she eats. Don't give her grilled cheese or spaghetti as an option, if you don't want her to eat those (or save them for special occasions). Don't ask her what she wants for dinner; she's a toddler. Put a plate in front of her, and she'll eat it. If she doesn't eat it today, then by tomorrow she'll be really hungry and she'll eat it then. Don't give in just b/c she's not eating one meal. When she is hungry, she will eat.

Monday, April 09, 2007, 3:49 PM

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above poster, are you a mom? would be nice to know if you've dealt with this first hand.

Monday, April 09, 2007, 3:51 PM

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Make sure you eat vegetables too. She'll catch on eventually. Especially, only make enough for you. She'll start asking for whatever is on your plate.

Monday, April 09, 2007, 3:53 PM

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here is a link to the google search page. i typed in "my toddler won't eat vegetables." this seems to be a pretty common problem.


Monday, April 09, 2007, 3:56 PM

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a lot of the sites i visited suggest you give the vegetables to your toddler as the very first part of their meal, if not the very first thing in the morning.

Monday, April 09, 2007, 4:00 PM

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3:49pm poster here. No, I'm not a mom. I am a frequent babysitter though, over many years, and a mom to a picky puppy. I do recognize that these are not at all the same as being a mom though!

I have babysat for kids whose parents gave them food choices when they were toddlers; it's hard to wean them off of it. At ages 8 and 12, these kids were still only eating grilled cheese and pizza and french fries. When I grew up, my mom made one meal for the family; that's what you ate. And we definitely didn't have much say in what she made (of course, she knew what we liked and didn't like, and for special occasions we might get to choose). I'm sure that's how most people on this website were raised. That is how I'll raise my children when I have them. I know it's not practical for some families to all sit down to dinner together, and all have the same thing; I just don't understand why the trend towards grilled cheese (or whatever the one favorite food is in particular) even gets started. Toddlers don't inherently know that they get to choose what they eat; it's parents who give them a choice. I'm pretty sure that when I was a toddler, I did not know what grilled cheese was.

I don't mean this as a criticism of the OP at all, just as a means of suggesting ways around the grilled cheese. When I was little, I *had* to eat my vegetables, whether I liked them or not, whether I was already full or not. Because of the second part of that sentence, I learned to eat when I was full, so I don't approve of that method. But, kids are more instinctual than grown ups, and, when they're hungry, they'll eat what's in front of them. A toddler will not go on a fast in order to protest eating his/her vegetables, at least not one that lasts long enough to physically hurt them. In that sense, they are like my puppy, who wouldn't eat her dry dog food for a few days; she got over it pretty quickly when she realized that she was not getting another option!

I guess another way to get the veggies in would be to put veggies in the grilled cheese, and then as time goes on, ease up on the cheese and any butter, so it's veggies with a little cheese, on bread. That's a pretty healthy meal for a toddler, actually. Of course, it still isn't healthy if it's the only thing they eat.

Monday, April 09, 2007, 4:08 PM

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I'm not 3:49, but I'm sure that poster is a mom. And most likely, she's a mother of more than a couple kids! And I agree with her.
A couple other tips:
- try, try, try again! don't offer something just once - make her take one bite - the next time, 2 bites, etc. etc.
- don't "make" her eat them, but let her know there will be nothing else unless she does eat them
- this is one I happened on by accident - - DON'T offer them! lol! Seriously! tell her it's something special for just mommy and daddy...! "okayyyy... you can have ONE bite of my veggies...!" My kids are much more interested in food when it's something I'm trying to sneak! : )

Monday, April 09, 2007, 4:08 PM

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try melted cheese on a baked apple

Monday, April 09, 2007, 4:20 PM

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I wouldn't worry about it. As long as your house isn't constantly full of junk food and as long as your providing healthy meals at similar times each day it won't become an issue. Its not like grilled cheese and pasta are bad for kids. If they love it just be glad they are eating and that they are happy. I have freinds that force their kids to eat meals and I see the struggle and the heart ache the little ones go through and its not worth it. If my little ones want pickles or hot dogs or a grilled cheese I let them have it- They smile and carry on. As they get older they will do what you do and as long as you're living a healthy life style so will they. I read that over 95% of children obtain their parents eating habbits. Just make sure you're doing the right thing- and if you're on this site I assume you are.

Monday, April 09, 2007, 4:24 PM

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how about making a stir fry and asking your child to help by handing you certain vegetables. she can learn to use their nose, eyes and even mouth to help identify the vegetables and you might be surprised to find out what she will eat. hang in there, it could be worse! my brother ONLY wanted to eat spinach and threw tantrums when offered anything else. but, i enjoyed mushrooms and even oysters from a very early age! (now they say that you shouldn't give shell fish to children very young.) i think it depends on a lot, not just what you're folks eat. my dad won't go near vegetables, unless you count pizza sauce as a vegetable!

Monday, April 09, 2007, 4:32 PM

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