My Toddler Only Wants Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches

Friday, April 26, 2013

When I had Luke I was so excited about breastfeeding. While in the hospital after having him I really cherished that special mom and baby time and thought I was going to be a champion breastfeeder! But then all of a sudden Luke started losing weight rapidly and became jaundiced. It was terrible when I learned that I just wasn’t making enough milk and we needed to start supplementing. I felt so incredibly guilty and even ashamed. What kind of mother was I going to be if I couldn’t breastfeed!? Was my child going to be healthy and smart? I decided to stop beating up myself over it and to just do as much as I could. So I breastfed, pumped and supplemented and just kept praying that I’d make more milk. But God had other plans. I never made more milk and then 7 weeks after having Luke I had to have my pacemaker replaced which put the final end to breastfeeding.

So then you know what I decided…I’m going to be the best baby food cook EVER! When Luke started eating solids I made everything from scratch, used locally-grown and organic and really turned my kitchen into a baby food making facility. Luke was a great eater. He ate everything! I was so proud that I was raising a child with healthy eating habits. And now guess what…all of a sudden HE WILL ONLY EAT PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY SANDWICHES! I’ll cook all these yummy meals and he turns his nose up at them (or more likely throws them on the floor for the dog to eat).


As you can tell by the pictures he also eats sugar-free chocolate pudding and waffles. I could have taken pictures of him eating PBJs but these were too cute.

So for the last couple of weeks this whole PBJ obsession has really been bothering me! Well last night I went to dinner with some of Luke’s Mothers Day Out moms. One of them happened to ask, “Is it bad that all my daughter will eat is peanut butter and jelly sandwiches?” My ears perked up and I elatedly said, “Oh my gosh! I have that same problem! That’s all Luke will eat right now!” And then guess what happened all of the moms sat up saying the same thing! We all had these big looks of relief on our faces that clearly said, ‘Thank goodness I’m not a bad mom!” We are all kind of wondering if they’ve learned it from each other because pretty much now the entire class eats PBJs every day!


While Luke’s main meals pretty much consist of PBJs right now he will still eat fruit, yogurt, sugar-free pudding (as pictured), cucumbers, pickles, waffles, cottage cheese, crackers and that’s pretty much it. On occasion he’ll decide to eat something on mom or dad’s plate.


I sure hope this picky eating is more of an independence thing vs. a picky eater thing! It’s so frustrating! Anyone have any suggestions on kicking the PBJ habit?




This is my sTORI being written as you read. – Love, Mommy Tori

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  • jennifer

    ha! all Trent will eat is pasta with spray butter, bagle bites, mac and cheese, jelly sandwiches (he does not like peanut butter) and he loves stupid lunchables! I can’t get him to eat any kind of protein. I’m wondering if its a texture thing? I hope its a phase, bc when he was younger he ate everything! sorry no suggestions from me… LOL


    Been there!! Emily has always been a bit of a picky eater. Elizabeth had times when she would only eat canned soup and canned peaches lol. She is a super healthy eater now, though. The best suggestion I have is to continue to offer the healthy foods you want him to try at every meal. Just a little. I think I read one time that if a child tries a certain food 7 times, he will learn to enjoy it. Also, you can get them involved either by planting a small garden and letting them help and watch the growing process, or just having them help cook. I know Luke is still little for that but you can keep it in mind as he gets older! Good luck and don’t worry. most moms struggle with this at some point :)


      I definitely keep offering the healthy options. How interesting on the 7x rule. And excellent ideas on the gardens!!

  • Natalie

    Aiden went through the same thing, many different times. Once it was ravioli, another time it was hot dogs, etc…. I seriously thought the hot dog phase would last until his teens! It took forever for him to get over it. We continued to offer healthy options, but also gave him what he wanted. Eventually he grew tired of the same thing and started eating other things. Don’t worry, he will move on to something else soon enough. :)


      Ha! I think I remember you mentioning the hot dog phase! Thanks for the encouragement!!

  • Jen Hatton

    Kids usually go through all kinds of eating phases, Bub did. When he was in Kinder – 3rd grade he refused to eat bread, pizza or chicken nuggets. I was fine with that, but it made outings and other kids birthday parties awkward! At 14 he still goes through phases and will eat a limited number of things over and over, but then goes back to being a good and diversified eater :-) Maybe you could switch up the sandwich using almond butter, sunflower butter and different types of jelly?


      What a great idea, Jen!! I’ve never thought of the different butter types. I have changed up the jelly flavors and he likes all of those at least.

  • Claire (The Half-Hearted Housewife)

    Just feed him what you’re eating. I hear other parents say this sometimes about the “but he/she will only eat…” I don’t get it. Don’t make him peanut butter and jelly sandwiches! Problem solved. He’s two, he can’t go in the kitchen and make one for himself. Tell him that if he’s hungry he can eat the meal you made or he can wait until the next one. He might skip a meal once but he won’t continue to do it. Kids won’t be hurt by one skipped meal. They won’t even be hurt by two. And he’ll stop throwing food on the floor once he realizes that he will be hungry if he does that.
    Obviously this doesn’t work with kids that have true sensory issues for whom food is part of a larger issue. Or if there are other extenuating circumstances. But for perfectly healthy kids without other issues- Just stop.making.the.sandwiches.


      Ha!! I totally had the same outlook when this started. I would hear other moms say it and not understand it (of course at that time Luke was eating everything). Has one of your kids ever wanted to eat only one thing? I bet with four you’ve experienced everything! If so, how long did you go with them not eating anything since you didn’t give them the thing they wanted? I went 3 days (well technically, 2 days and then on dinner of the 3rd day I gave in). It just made me really concerned that he hadn’t eaten in 3 days (he did have his morning and night milk each day and water whenever he wanted). I really appreciate the advice!

      • Claire (The Half-Hearted Housewife)

        When one of them has been deeply entrenched in something and I’m worried about not eating anything, I’ll offer vanilla yogurt after the meal when everyone else is done eating. But I’m insane about the food. My thing is that I’m fine if they choose not to eat part of a meal- for example, my oldest doesn’t like tomatoes. You want to pick the tomatoes out of your dinner and put them on the side of your plate? Fine with me! But I won’t change a meal or make an extra. I’ve found that they will all occasionally skip a meal but they can find something they like and will eat in 99.999999% of them.
        I will also say that as strict as I am (and I would repeat, none of my kids have sensory issues or other things like that, so it’s easy for me to be strict), I also don’t make a big deal out of refusing foods. If they eat, they eat. I compliment them for trying new things. If they eat something after refusing, I’ll tell them I’m proud of them. But if they refuse, I just shrug and say, “Okay, well you can eat again at breakfast [or dinner or whatever the next meal will be]” It can become a power struggle so quickly.
        I also find that if I just don’t say anything and put food in front of them, after realizing that no one will engage them in the crying/hysterics about what it was that they “really” wanted, it will eventually get eaten.
        I’m very long winded today!
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      • Claire (The Half-Hearted Housewife)

        Aaaaand, I will say that this is one of those “pick your battles” things. being picky for no reason is a big deal to me because I was super picky as a kid and I feel like it was really limiting. But I know that not everyone feels that way. There are things I let my kids do that other people would be horrified by, but they just aren’t the battles I’ve chosen to fight. Each person’s priorities will be different.
        And now I’m really done, I swear. Haha
        Claire (The Half-Hearted Housewife) recently posted…Shot@Life Birthday Bash! (An Interview with Melody from Nurse Who Vaccinate)My Profile


          You are too funny! All great advice and I appreciate reading your experiences. Motherhood is definitely a learning process!! Food has been the one thing that I’ve been really strict with since he was born so it’s been really frustrating the last week and a half. The only reason he originally had a PBJ for the first time was because I was running late getting him to MDO. I didn’t think anything about it when he a couple days later he literally walked in to the pantry and brought me the peanut butter saying, “Pease.”

  • Jackie Kirkindoll

    Ok….so PawPaw and Mamaw know what to feed Luke this weekend. I’ll make sure we have a good supply of PBJ! LOL!!

  • tina


  • Amanda G.

    I went through a phase, at about that age, and all I ate was macaroni and cheese & hot dogs. My pedi told my mom to makes sure I had one glass of milk, one glass of oj and a Flintsone’s kid vitamin everyday and just wait for me to get sick of it. ;)
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      Ha! Good advice! At one time he wanted bananas all the time and he did eventually get sick of them so hoping that will happen soon!

  • gmaj

    Yep,just another stage that he will get out of. With the other things you mentioned, it sounds like he is still getting a good variety! (better than a lot of kids :)


      I think it will pass too. He used to eat everything and then all of a sudden… nada.

  • Sara Phillips

    I am sure it’s a phase! Let him go through it. He is still eating other good foods, so I wouldn’t worry. Hopefully it passes soon!
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