Feeding a picky eater

One of the MOST frustrating things I find as a mom is cooking a meal spending an hour or so cooking it only to have it become a battle. My first born Ace was never a picky eater, not as a baby, toddler or even now as a child. He is just like his dad, if its edible he will eat it. So I was in complete foreign territory when my middle child Terror came along and was impossible to fed. Early on one day he would like something the next day it was like I was trying to give him poison.

Things really hit the fan when he turned 14 months old and started having digestive problems. I had tried everything, forcing him to try something, waiting until he was hungry - to which he didn't eat only drank liquids for 3 days. None of it worked, none of it made each meal less of a battle or easy. I was tired, 8 months pregnant and just done. I had given up and just fed him what he asked for to get something into him . . . . pancakes . . . . over and over again. For 3 months his diet was pancakes, blueberries, hemp hearts in yogurt and milk. Then one night I came across a post about fussy eaters. It was geared towards 2 year olds and up but I thought I would give it a try. This is not my original idea, but for us it worked. If you have a picky eater, have tried everything to get your picky toddler to eat and this is worth a try!

All you need is healthy food and some ice cube trays or muffin trays (ice cube trays work better for one child in a high chair) Cut up food into bite size pieces and make a rainbow ice cube tray. 

I use to change up what went into the ice cube tray, scrabbled eggs, celery, chicken, apples, bananas, oranges, cheese, rice, raisins, tomatoes, red pepper, potatoes, etc. You can also pre make 3 of these for the day, put cling wrap over them and store then in the fridge. Then pull them out each meal and feed the fussy eater. 

The first night I gave him one of the ice cube trays. I put him in his high chair walk over gave him the ice cube tray then walked away and started making dinner ignoring what he was doing. Since a lot of his fussy eating is a control factor because of his digestive issues I wanted to remove the control factor about food. The ice cube trays give him choices and control of which of the foods he eats. The first night he ate everything but the meat. I did not praise him, I just didn't make a fuss about it at all. I asked if he was done and wanted out. Then just took him out of the high chair, internally I was doing a happy dance, but if I showed him that it would turn the ice cube tray into a power struggle again with him. This went one for about a year, so days we gave in and he got pancakes if he asked for them but only once a week the rest of the time it was ice cube tray meals and hemp hearts in yogurt (but more on that later)

When my youngest little miss started eating she was a picky eater but was not as easy as my first born. When she start to rebel against certain foods he went right back to his old ways of refusing everything except pancakes. So out came the ice cube trays, but they just wanted to eat out of each others and compared to see if one got more then the other which started fighting and whining. So to get rid of that problem I moved on to muffin trays that they shared from.

This is still how they like to eat. Its like a toddler buffet. This little trick saved my sanity, stopped food battles in my house and helped my little ones eat healthy. I wish I could give credit to the original blogger who posted it but sadly there are many posts now with ice cube toddler meals.

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