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Dr. Keane
Dr. Keane, Family Counselor
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1760
Experience:  Parenting Workshops, Teacher, PHD Clinical Psychology, 30 yrs. Exp. 4 Children
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If a two year old refuses to eat healthy food should you give

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If a two year old refuses to eat healthy food should you give him junk food just to get him to eat?
Hi, If a two year old refuses healthy food and has only one to two "likes" that's okay. However to give the child just junk food is not a good idea. There are ways to disguise healthy foods so that they taste good and be full of nutrients. For example, if the child likes ice cream you can make a healthy shake of fruits and add a small scoop of ice cream. At breakfast let them eat cereal (I know a lot of sugary types out there) but at least the nutrition is there, they can mix it with yogurt. I would offer the food, if the child refuses, remove it and let it go. He'll get hungry after awhile, maybe a couple of tantrums but will eat what is offered.He isn't going to starve missing a few meals and he'll learn to eat. Not working on improving his diet now is a huge mistake. Lots of children only eat one or two things, that's okay, some kids only eat peanut butter and jelly but that is a bit healthier than junk food. If he develops a taste for junk it will stay with him.
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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
He is a child who usually eats everything and also when he has finished his meal he will pick off his parents plates. So is this just a two year old thing and he will out grow it if you don't resort to the junk?
Hi, absolutely, he will outgrow it, he is only two . Think of it this way, if you were two and someone gave you a cupcake when you refused to eat what was given to you, which way would you go? I know I'd take the sweet. He is being conditioned to wait for the better tasting junk basically, and he wins.
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