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Ask Grandma Maggie

Parenting & Childcare Advice
Peggy Moss (1933-2014), also known as Grandma Maggie, penned a parenting column on this site for many years. Back by popular demand, we are republishing the column, sharing with you the best of Grandma Maggie’s parenting and childcare advice.
Unfortunately Grandma Maggie is no longer able to take questions.

My son is a picky eater!
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Hello, 

My son is a very picky eater and it is very hard to get him to eat fruit. Any suggestions?

Also, he is almost two and I have decided to potty train him. His pediatrician also believes he is ready. He understands what the potty chair is for and will even sit on it but wont use it. Do you have any suggestions?

Thanks.

Hello,

I must tell you, I think your son is too young to be potty trained at his age.

The eating problems parents have usually are due to paying too much attention to the eating process and being willing to feed a child anytime they want food. Eating and potty training are all a matter of control issues, which doesn’t happen if you take control but do it in a way that seems to turn the control over to the child.

Put food on his plate and let him decide what he wants to eat. No begging and no caving. If he doesn’t eat within about 20 minutes let him down from his chair, but do NOT feed him until the next meal. Again do the same procedure. Allow him to eat only in his chair. No grazing.  Of course, check this plan out with your doctor.

If he asks for food between meals tell him, “I know you are getting hungry and I bet you will eat at dinner” (or the next meal, whatever it may be).

Good luck.
Grandma Maggie