The Emergence of a Picky Eater

At 21 months old, it’s fair to say we have a picky eater on our hands. Our tiny diner has begun to boycott foods that where once among her favorites as well as some of the newer foods we try to introduce. With the exception of her tried and true favorites, the things she will willfully eat seem to change from one day to the next. One day she’s devouring spinach and the next day she’s using it as garland for her highchair. One day she’s eating her snack and the next minute she’s looking around for the dog so that she can eat it instead.


With my oldest daughter there were no meal time struggles. She happily ate whatever was served (Of course, now that she’s older she expresses her occasional dislike for what we’re having). But with my youngest, it isn’t uncommon for a meal, or parts of it, to end up on the floor and not because she has yet to master using her spoon and/or fork to self feed. It’s simply because she doesn’t want it even when she’s expressed to us that she’s hungry. Although our dog loves our little one’s eating habits we don’t. And it doesn’t just happen at home either, these habits travel with us wherever we go.

There are times when I worry that she’s not eating enough or that she’s eating too much of her favorites. While things like yogurt, broccoli, black beans, berries and cheese aren’t considered unhealthy foods, I wonder if she’s grazing more than eating and, if that’s ok given her toddler status. At every checkup I am assured that she is just fine but there are days when I find myself eating the remains of her meal (the food that she didn’t throw or drop) so as not to waste it, feeling a tad bit defeated.

Mamas (and papas too) I’d love to know how you navigate meal times with your toddler.

Did your little one become picky when they ventured into the toddler stage? How do you handle it? Do you give them other options or do they eat whatever everyone else is eating even if eat means more throwing and less eating? Do you offer it to them repeatedly like we’re told to do in the baby stage?

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