Feeding Toddlers, Part Two: The Picky Crowd

Photo by Martin Cathrae

After a lovely holiday hiatus, I am back, as promised, with part two in the series on feeding toddlers.  Today I’ll focus on kids who are choosy.  For this post I lean on professional experience.  We have no shortage of patients in our practice whom one could describe as “picky eaters” or who are sometimes diagnosed with “feeding problems”.  I have trouble with the diagnosis “feeding problems or mismanagement”, as it comes up in our electronic medical record.  Why?  Well, and this hopefully serves as a bit of comfort, toddlers who are picky eaters are pretty much the norm.  It is, in fact, an expected developmental stage.  If you have a toddler who refuses dinner, but then begs for chicken nuggets, this post is for you.  If you have a toddler who only takes two bites at each meal, and then runs off to play, this is for you.  If your child seems to refuse all vegies, this is for you.  If, on the other hand, you have a child with true “failure to thrive” or difficulty gaining weight and growing well, please consult with your pediatrician, as I won’t be addressing those problems here. Continue reading

Feeding Toddlers, Part One: The Cheese Stands Alone

Photo by Christian Bauer

Our son has always loved to eat.  In the hospital after he was born, the lactation consultant called him the “barracuda” breastfeeder.  He ate vigorously and often.  While this made for some sleepless nights, it also meant we didn’t have to worry too much about early weight gain, which I was initially concerned about as a first time mom.

As a 21 month old he still loves to eat.  We haven’t found much that he doesn’t like, but he’s definitely starting to have favorites.  Early on my prescient husband nicknamed him “ratón” (spanish for little mouse), a name all too fitting as cheese now seems to stand alone at the top of the list of favorites for our little guy.  He recently has taken to standing in front of the refrigerator saying “cheese, cheese, cheese” and, if that doesn’t work he’ll switch to “queso, queso, queso”.    Perhaps this has something to do with being half-Wisconsinite.  We do love our cheese. Continue reading