How do you..?


little_muffin

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...deal with the constant refusal of a 3yo to eat her food? I have tried cajoling, telling her that it'll make her stronger/faster etc but she just plays with it until I tae it away after about 20mins. I can guarantee that about 10-15mins after that, she will announce that she's hungry and want some fruit. Only fruit will suffice.

I am really proud of how she has taken to this and I keep thinking baby steps, at least she's asking for natural stuff rather than cakes, biscuits. How can I make inroads at reducing the fruit & increasing the protein/veg

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I gave my kids a couple weeks free for all with compliant foods- they ate a huge quantity of fruit and nuts. Then I let them have a week or so of high quality cured meats- ham and summer sausage. This got them eating more protein and less fruit. Then one day we started following the template- meaning they were served their choice of proteins, their choice of fats, their choice of vegetable (usually one cooked and one raw) and one small serving of fruit on their plate. Like 1/4 an apple, 5 grapes or 1 or 2 strawberries. By the time we started this they were able to clean their plates and often ask for seconds or thirds of the meat or vegetable. We don't give seconds on fruit and if they don't like their meal selections we just say "oh, this is so sad, looks like dinnertime is over for you. The next meal will be breakfast". And then we move on. We have never bargained or bribed over food. But I can honestly say that letting them eat whatever compliant food they wanted for those early weeks made our transition easier. Our family is w30 style for life and they are eating this way second nature now.

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We've really lucked out, but what we've done is just taken a matter of fact approach that this is what we're doing and we've told the kids why. I talked about the sugar roller coaster and energy levels and proteins and all that and our desire to have healthier bodies. We've also tried to be excited about it and to really recognize all the new foods we're trying out. The kids have looked through the recipe books and if they see something they like, we make it unless it's not compliant and then we explain why. We've also removed all the temptations from our house so they can't have the excess fruit even when they want it - except bananas. I keep telling myself they won't starve if they don't eat and that they will self regulate and eat what they need over the course of a couple days. I'm stunningly surprised to see them eating foods that they'd previously refused (except for the broccoli which they claim to like but refuse to eat). It does get rough listening to my two and a half year old fall apart out of cranky hunger and low energy about an hour before meals, but I think she's getting into the swing of things because tonight she ate a whole lot more. I like the approach Moluv took too. Ultimately, just give it time and avoid power struggles as much as you can. I've always heard that kids will generally eat what's available once they are hungry enough. Good Luck!

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