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Background

Our girl, 19 months old, goes to day care 3 days a week. She has started becoming fussy about eating most things (as toddlers do). My wife and I have been feeding her some more simple items that she will eat, but are still relative healthy for her. We have been very careful to avoid foods heavy in refined sugar or heavily processed. We're trying to keep with a more whole food style of eating.

She had a rough time with day care for the first two weeks, but now will give us a big smile, waves and tells us "Good bye/I love you" when we drop her off.

About two weeks ago, I was picking her up from daycare, and saw her eating a packet of applesauce squeeze. Nothing wrong with it, but not anything we buy. I brought it up with the teachers. They (dealing with 8 other kids) thought it was hers.

Issue

Recency, last few days, her teacher has told us that at snack and lunch time she will sit down with her class members and she will start bursting out crying. She refuses to eat any of her food. After a few minutes of ineffective consoling, her teacher asks her if she would like to lay down. She goes, and if it's around noon, she will fall asleep for nap time.

Question

What do you think could be the issue? My first thought is that my daughter was grabbing other kids snacks in the past and now she is upset that she is not getting anything but what mom and dad pack for her. Her teacher states that she is not reaching or grabbing for any other kids snacks.

  • How do you present the snacks you give her? If it just an apple, or one that is cut with a fun face, for example? And are the foods you give somethign she will usually eat happily when at home? To me, it sounds like her sncacks may just seem really boring compared to what she sees around her... – Layna Oct 17 '17 at 17:36
  • @Layna - That sounds like a really good answer! – anongoodnurse Oct 17 '17 at 19:09
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If she doesn't lose weight and she doesn't snack as substitute for meals (like eat candy when she gets home) I don't see any issue at all.

You could try putting her to bed a bit earlier so she is less reliant on taking naps (she could be just too tired)

What works best for our fuzzy is always offer the right food but never force the issue. Encourage them to try things. But if they do you want it don't turn it into a big thing. It's something I learned and it even got my daughter who would refuse anything but dry bread into a good (ok slightly better) eater. But if your daughter isn't hungry and she isn't underweight then I would recommend just giving it time

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As I was encouraged my comment actually may be an answer:
It may be possible she considers her food boring. Imagine sitting there with a slice of whole wheat bread while the kids next to you have applesauce and colourful joghurt-packs and all the tasty, sweet things!
Between her being picky, and you wanting her to eat well, I suspect the result is a severely limited number of options.
What could help here is presentation! Carve apple-slices into interesting shapes. Use a cookie-cutter to make her bread have a fun shape. I strongly suspect she will still eat noodles (wild guess, but usually you catch even the most picky kid with noodles...), so cook a few noodles, and add pieces of whatever veggies she still eats. Or put them next to the noodles so she can mix it herself... or eat them separately. Kids sometimes have strange idea of the "right" way to eat things, so try to please her in that.
Usually, you can also use left-overs for some snack for the next day.

I don't know how much time you actually have for food-preparation, but cookie-cutting a sandwich and cooking a few noodles the evening before should usually be possible.

For inspiration, google "bento box for kids" for some pictures. No, you don't have to do the whole elaborate stuff, but you will get the idea there: make it cute! At her age, eating a star-shaped sandwich may be all the difference it needs over not eating the boring plain one!

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