Dining Dramas: Toddler Feeding Problems, Solved

"My child always wants the same thing for dinner."

For finicky foodie Sophie Coito, that thing was noodles and butter, and her desperate mom, Jenna, often gave in to the 2-year-old's request.

Why she does it: Blame toddlers' love of repetition and routine: They want to hear the same stories, play with the same toy, and, yes, eat the same foods every day, says Jan Faull, author of Unplugging Power Struggles: Resolving Emotional Battles with Your Kids Ages 2 to 10. "Parents worry that they're raising a picky eater, but food jags are a normal part of development."

How to deal: It's okay to give your child what she wants, but offer her something else as well. So if she's on a french-fries kick, for example, encourage her to branch out by serving some fries alongside other healthier finger foods such as steamed carrots or green beans. She'll usually eat her favorite food and will at least try the others. However, if your toddler really is eating just one thing day after day, talk to your pediatrician, who may recommend a multivitamin.

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