My 2-year-old daughter has always been a good eater for the most part. Just as of the past week or so, she is refusing to eat foods she’s always loved. We’ve tried various things, but are wondering what you recommend to help this problem. It seems that it’s just a control issue with her.

Many children begin to flex their independence through their food choices at 2 years old or even younger.  Here are some ways you can help see her through this phase:

  • Make strawberries enticing with a few chocolate chips! (Photo credit: Ted Axelrod)

    This is a great opportunity to empower her to try out a variety of foods and assist with the cooking process.  Your daughter can help mix, pour and stir with oversight, and in some cases she can use a plastic knife to help chop soft veggies, such as bell peppers, which will help develop her gross motor skills, too!

  • One of my favorite recipes in Appetite for Life is the Chocolate Lady Bugs: strawberries flecked with chocolate chips!  She may go for the chocolate chips first, but once she puts the chips in the strawberry halves and takes a bite, she won’t be able to resist this delicious snack!
  • Lastly, make sure to eat with your daughter at the table, so she can model your eating behavior as well.  Show her your willingness to try new things and eat a variety of foods.

– Stacey Antine, MS, RD, author, Appetite for Life, founder, HealthBarn USA, co-host, Family Food Expert Internet Radio Show, and recognized as top 10 dietitians nationally by Today’s Dietitian magazine for her work with HealthBarn USA

What puzzles you about keeping your family healthy?  Tell us what’s on your mind by emailing [email protected].  Stacey will answer those questions here weekly.

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