Help! My Toddler Has Become a Picky Eater!Lauren Hartmann
Much of the time when I write here at Babble, I try to share tips and tricks to help all of you out as you’re navigating this crazy journey called parenthood, but let’s be real…I’m in the thick of it too, so most of the time the things I’m sharing are only being shared because I just happened to go through them myself about two seconds before. Today, it is me who is in need of some advice.
I used to have a good eater. I prided myself on it. My girl LOVES food. When she was eating anything, she would get so excited about it, she would hum while chewing. Lately it takes something truly superb to get her to hum…or even just eat really.
Of course, Fern has always sort of preferred fruits to veggies, but she would still eat them when they were offered, but suddenly she wants nothing to do with anything veggie, or really anything aside from certain favored fruits. It’s so strange.
We don’t feed her junk food. The only time she’s really ever had any type of sweet was her birthday cake (and even then it was a healthy version of cake) and French toast (sans syrup) on occasion, so I’m not really sure why this sudden change has been brought on.
Basically any time I offer up vegetables, she spits them out immediately. I try offering different kinds, but it doesn’t seem to make much difference. Occasionally I can get her to eat broccoli or spinach if it’s cut up into super small pieces and mixed in with a scrambled egg and a little cheese to hide the flavor, but even eggs are hit or miss. Some days she’s into them and other days she’s not. I’ve taken to making her daily smoothies just to make sure she’s getting some veggies and I toss in a ton of spinach, kale and carrots. She won’t even really eat baby food pouches anymore.
I’ve never really understood why parents cater to their child’s pickiness with foods and promised myself I would never be “that parent”, but now I’m starting to see how hard it can be. I’ve tried to stick to only offering Fern what we’re eating (or some variation thereof) and if she doesn’t eat it then I don’t offer her anything else, but it doesn’t really seem to be helping. She goes to bed hungry, which she doesn’t really seem too upset about…until the early hours of the morning when she wakes up presumably hungry and grumpy and it’s totally disrupting all of our sleep. I’m really tempted just to fill her up with something she actually wants to eat before bed for the sake of my sleep and sanity.
To you parents who have been through this before…is this just a phase, or something I can look forward to dealing with for the unforeseen future? Any good ideas for sneaking in extra veggies? I’m also having trouble coming up with healthy on-the-go snacks. Most things are super carb and sugar-filled (i.e. granola bars and the like). Fern only has four teeth still so I’m also limited in the things she can eat. Any ideas would be so appreciated though. I’m feeling pretty stumped and overwhelmed by this new development.