How to get a picky eater to eat?

Fan question

Seeking advice about four-year old that barely eats.

can you please post. My 4 year old hardly eats. She asks for food and eats two or three bites and says she’s full. Some days she will go all day without eating much. Some days it seems like she eats all day. Any suggestions on what I can do to get her to get her to eat?


Fruit and veggies pouches

Strict meals and no snacking or drinking lots of juice in between meals


Kids go through food regression. Just like they go through sleep regression. It’s a phase.


I thought i was the only mommy suffering with this issue…people even told me to deworm my son …i cannot get him to eat even a little and it stresses me out when he doesn’t want food

My two daughters are like this. They both drink a lot of milk but will eat yogurt, fruit and veggies. They are both healthy and I try not to force them to eat. They will eat when they are hungry.


Pediasure grow and gain will add some calories.

1 Like

Carnation instant breakfast. The chocolate flavor taste like chocolate milk.

1 Like

Tbh, that sounds normal. My 2 older kids got fussy, fruit salads are nice, maybe get her to help make the meals or go shopping together and ask her what she’d like to make!! Stuff like that, kids stomachs aren’t as big as we assume. So as long as she is eating I wouldn’t worry. Both mine had this phase :blush:

I was having a similar problem and cutting out juices really helped, I would try smaller meals more often, offering healthy snacks.

1 Like

Cut back on snacks and drinks but other then that, she’ll eat if she’s hungry. We all go through those periods where we don’t eat much.

Make her smoothies with fresh fruit/veggies and throw some type of protein in there

My son was doing the same exact thing for a while and he will be 4 on the first. I found that giving him no snacks during the day between meals helped us. He was actually hungry and ready to eat when it was meal time. He helps me with preparing meals (the easy stuff of course) and it seems like getting him involed with meal planning and actually helping cook helped too

1 Like

OMG!!! same issue lol… but overall offer her lots of food all day. She loves fruits, veggies, yogurt… i get worried but she isn’t losing weight at all so my guess it’s a phase

I use carnation instant breakfast 1/2 pack with 4 oz of milk Same nutrition as ensure / pedisure tastes WAY better and I use organic whole milk OK for real my picky guy I use organic half & half. Hes a little older now and does a full glass but its the equivalent to a meal.

First of all, what does her pediatrician say about her growth and weight? Start there. You can ask him/her about putting her on Pediasure and/or a multivitamin. Honestly though they go through phases and are notoriously picky​:confounded::woman_facepalming::woman_shrugging: Try Pinterest for kid friendly meals :ok_hand::blush:


My 4yr old granddaughter is sometimes like this. Once she has been for a poop, she eats like a baby horse. But she is a bit of a picky eater as well.

My son is the same and will be 4. My son is pretty skinny but he isn’t underweight. Therefore his doctor isn’t concerned. He eats what he likes though it’s super limited. My son has a sensory disorder so it triggers eating habits. My son however LOVES smoothies! It has to be in my cup though :joy: maybe make a nice cold smoothie? I add protein powder to mines ( doctor said it’s ok ) and he loves it

Sounds normal, leave snacks out on the table so if she feels like eating it’s right there in her sight. If you’re to worried about it you can always ask her pediatrician for some tips.

My doctor told me that eating was the same as sleeping basically with kids…he had never seen a kid go to college still sleeping with their parents and he had never seen a child starve themselves to death…he told me to feed them healthy meals and snacks and they would be just fine…he never told me to cut out snacks, just to feed them healthy choices.

Give her some pedia sure…my older daughter went through a phase like this and we just ended up giving a bottle of it throughout the day so we knew she was getting what she needed. She may not be growing but once she has a growth spurt she will eat everything in site

This is my 3 soon to be 4 yr old son. He can eat great one day and the next, hardly eat at all. He’s growing and his pediatrician doesn’t seem concerned, we noticed that cutting back on his milk intake helped a lot.

1 Like

My middle son was like that when he was 4. I made him smoothies. He would eat almost nothing when going through growth spurts.

1 Like

My son’s doctor has always said a child that is offered food will not starve. He’ll be fine!


That’s pretty normal. If you’re worried for nutritional reasons then I would recommend some type of nutritional drink for toddlers and/or a multivitamin. Plus avoiding any drinks besides water and the recommended amount of dairy for her age.


Get her one of those healthy drinks, my grand kids did that.

1 Like

She’s 4. Their bellies are tiny. Sounds to me like she’s eating perfectly normally for a 4 year old.

1 Like

Mines 3 and he’s on a cheeseburger and butter noodle diet if I’m lucky… It’s a daily struggle he’ll say he wants something I make it and then he refuses to eat it…


My soon to be 3 year old is the same way some days he’s great some days he take a bite and that’s it. I gave up stressing it and on the days he eats well I keep
Feeding him lol. He’s healthy and happy

1 Like

My 5 year old has been this way for 2 years. The doctor says there is no concern because his weight is still going up and he is healthy. We just try to give him peanut butter and yogurt as often as he will take it. My son is mostly a night eater, I can get him to eat more late at night. Maybe worth a try for you.

1 Like

Completely normal. As long as she’s growing, no need to be too concerned.


My girl is going through the same thing! She despises pediasure so idk what else to give her. I’m in the same boat of concern.

1 Like

Well it’s been a long time since I’ve had little ones but I was always told that your stomach is only the size of your two fists put together or your one fist so take a look at that little hand it won’t hold much I wish mine didn’t but mine holds more than I’d like it to but anyway they’ll eat when they’re hungry keep healthy snacks around if they’re hungry they’ll eat it maybe a banana some nuts if they don’t have a nut allergy apples you know any kind of fruit or canned fruit

1 Like

Just offer smaller healthy snacks often. My oldest wouldn’t eat. Brought him to his pediatrician who politely told me a child will not starve themselves and that I need to lose that mentality before I create eating problems. Yikes. So I didn’t worry and offered the healthy snacks. Turns out, this medical professional was correct!!

Get pediasure. Or make smoothies! Tell them theyre a treat so he thinks its a sugary snack ( i make my son healthy smoothies and he thinks hes getting ice cream!)

Its normal. Y 2 yr old is going through it

Veggie/fruit smoothies. With my youngest son i got him into helping, id give two options i was ok with him eating, let him pick, then also let him make it. He started eating alot better when he got more of a say and got to help.

It’s most likely a phase. Just keep offering her food. I was worried my son wasn’t getting enough…and here we are a year later…and I’m like slow down bub…he eats as much as me!:joy:

My 4yr. old grand daughter is the same way. It worries me cuz she was a preemie, and just a little tiny thing. Makes me feel better knowing that it’s normal.

Just feed her healthy things like sultanas cheese and fruit. She’ll be fine as long as she’s drinking enough and not under weight…

sounds like my nephew he barely eats at all and when he does it isn’t much and he is a very picky eater my son eats all day long but it’s just little bites here and there there’s never really a full meal it may equal out to being about two-and-a-half

When I was taking classes to be a teacher we also did some early childhood stuff and one thing that has always stuck with me is “don’t worry how much they eat, worry what they eat.” It’s hard when your kid decides to eat barely any dinner and you don’t want them to starve but unless they start losing weight and/or looking unhealthy there’s no reason to worry. Some nights my almost two year old basically skips dinner but she’s only gotten out of bed because of hunger maybe twice.

Had this issue with my youngest and i started her one a day cod liver capsules and her appetite is like wow now she eats any and everything

I had one of those. They will always be slender. Mine grew up had three babies and at age 40 can still rock a bikini.

When you give her a drink put a multivitamin in it if she doesn’t like the Flintstone vitamins

Yes it’s better to eat couple times a day little bites then all day a lot she will grow out of it and eat normal

Get her on a multivitamin to supplement and just keep offering her lots of options. She wont go hungry. Mine is the same way :sweat:

Sounds like a growing spurt to me. Completely normal. And trust me kids will absolutely NOT starve themselves. They will eat when they are hungry.


I think that’s pretty common. I was always told kids will eat when are hungry and different growth rates give them different levels of hunger. My daughter won’t eat much sometimes either she is 17 mo old

My son would get like that when he was in a growth spurt. So long as she isn’t losing weight, she should be fine. I also did start giving him smoothies. Mostly fruit to start and then added in veggies. Tip: adding a little bit of beet will turn a smoothie (even a green one) bright pink and blackberries and blueberries turn it purple. If the color of a smoothie is brownish and unappetizing, add some cocoa powder and peanut butter. An easy nutritious sorbet is to add 6 oz. thawed apple juice concentrate, one banana, a few big handfuls of spinach, and 4 cups ice to a blender. The apple completely cancels the spinach flavor.

Just make sure she has plenty of fluids so she don’t get dehydrated and plus give her one of those gummy multivitamins but make sure you put them away so she don’t think they’re candy and like everyone has said let her pick out her own food she’s going to be picky it’s just a phase she’s going through eventually she will start eating better then she might just eat you out of house and home…lol

This is frustrating but normal, someday they won’t hardly easy and other days they never stop. My youngest is in the stage right now. My first 4 did this and they are all grown and healthy.

My son doesn’t have a problem with that anymore ( kinda wish he did cuz he eats ALL the time) but I used to tell him that I wouldn’t be making him anything else for a while, so if he doesn’t eat, that’s too bad for him. I would have made him more but I had to try to make him eat, and it worked

My youngest did this as well. What worked for us was having healthy snacks available through out the day for whenever she felt hungry. I would take an ice cube tray and fill it with different snacks (grapes, blueberries, strawberries, cheese, crackers, cucumbers, nuts, anything really) and then leave it out for her to eat. This helped us make sure she was getting what she needed, and we knew she wasnt going hungry. Kids are funny. This phase only last us a few months! Good luck!

1 Like

As long as she is a healthy weight don’t worry about it.

I would mention this to your doctor, but she is probably okay for now. Make sure she takes her daily vitamins. My little brother used to be the same way, he was underweight for a little bit while growing up but he grew out of it eventually

Yea mine is 5 and still doesn’t eat unless it’s something she really wants (cheese, noodles etc)
My oldest is 9 and has just started eating a wider range of food.

It sounds like she listens to her body and eats when and as much as she needs to

Limit her milk intake, my son would fill up on milk not want to eat food.

Also, I had to monitor or limit his snacks.

Its basically a thing they all go through. Keep offering the same foods. Try dips. Ranch or peanut butter. My sons pediatrician told me to look at the entire day not each meal.

try to make what she eats nutritious

They instinctively know when they’re full and don’t need more food. We have been trained into going against what our body says, kids haven’t yet.

My son went through that…we also have days as adults where we just don’t want to eat…I would just make my a snack plate with healthy snacks and leave it on the table…he would come by and munch on it without feeling pressure. When they are hungry, they will eat :slight_smile: no worries mama!

My granddaughter is 2 and she well not eat anything. She dose not even like ff,chicken nugget, mc and cheese. Ham sandwiches. Eggs grits. Pizza. Maybe a bit of a banana. Im really worried she is so tiny. Everyone says she well eat when she gets hungry. Not!!!

What are you feeding her? Is she drinking alot of drinks during the day? Milk can be filling and so can stuff like watermelon. My little girl won’t eat much if she’s had alot of milk. My little boy will say he’s full if he doesn’t like the food sometimes.