It is developmentally appropriate for children to go through a ‘picky’ eating stage when they are between 2-3 years old. This is when kids are learning to assert control, learning to express their opinions more, and can go through stubborn phases. They don’t call it the Terrible Two’s (or three’s) for nothing! Some kids will continue to be more selective in their food choices for another 1-3 years. Parents will tell me that their child used to be ‘such a good eater’ and all of a sudden, the child is very picky. The best thing you can do when this starts is to be consistent with your rules and expectations, continue to expose your child to different foods daily, and focus on keeping them involved in the food cycle (buying, cooking, eating, and cleaning up). There are specific tips and suggestions for dealing with picky eaters under the link, “Tips for Picky Eaters”. Just remember that you are not alone, and many kids go through this stage as part of their normal development. Hopefully, this phase will be temporary and it will pass sooner than later.
Does your child take medication for any conditions? We all know that medications have side effects. Some medications can inadvertently suppress appetite, increase risk of nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, or cause cramping in the belly. If you’re noticing changes in your child’s eating habits and they are taking a new medication, discuss these concerns with your pediatrician or your prescribing physician as soon as possible.