A toddler that won't eat vegetables, fruit, or meat

Joan - posted on 01/14/2010 ( 20 moms have responded )

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My 3 year old son, Liam, refuses to eat any kind of vegetable! I can sometimes get him to eat carrots if I hide them in his food. I take mashed potatoes, which he does like, and mash carrots, or cauliflower into it...but he will sometimes figure it out and refuse to eat the rest. :( Same goes for meat and fruit...he refuses to eat any kind of meat or fruit at all! I am thinking he isn't getting all the vitamins he needs.. his diet consists of oatmeal or toast for breakfast, peanut butter sandwich for lunch, yougert or potato chips for snack, and mashed potatoes or pizza for supper...Other parents will look at me and think it is strange because most kids love hotdogs, ice cream, or cake...Liam freaks if he sees anything but those on his plate! My question is " How do other parents introduce new foods into your childs diet?"

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[deleted account]

I have almost the exact same menu for my son (4)! I fell into the trap of making him a separate meal because we're all pretty tired of pizza and peanut butter sandwiches. In my search for ways to get him to expand his diet, I came across two comforting tidbits of information. 1) A child who is physically and emotionally fit will not starve and 2) The parent makes the decision of what, where and when to eat; the child decides what and if to eat.
Assuming your son is emotionally and physically healthy, let hunger be his motivation. Serve him the same meal everyone else at the table is eating. Introduce new foods along with familiar favourites and if he balks at new food you've introduced, let him know he doesn't have to eat it, he just has to look at it. Children need to see a food at least a dozen or more times before they'll even consider giving it a try. It took my son almost a year to try an apple. Now he loves them.
If you look at it from your son's perspective, food is one of the few areas he can have some control over and if you show signs of displeasure or frustration, mealtimes will become a battle you can't win. As frustrating as feeding a picky eater can be, remember to be patient, give him lots of opportunity to try new tastes and textures and let him explore the world of food on his terms and at his pace.
If you can arrange a play date, I found serving something new at snack time was a sure fire way to get something new near my son's mouth. I spread out a blanket on the floor and served up bite size pieces buffet style on little plastic saucer size plates (like a toy tea set, for example). The change in venue was less intimidating for him and watching a friend munch down on something gave him the courage to try something new.

Chantelle - posted on 01/28/2010

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Dont' stress too much about this as you may make him more anxious about eating. My son is 7 and he still is on a very limited diet, he has sensory issues though related to his autism (he has aspergers). You could give your son a multivitamin if he will take it, or try him on some juice that is full of vitamins. If you are hiding vegetables in his food and he notices this, I would think he could possibly have sensory issues - especially if he isn't eating meat and fruit either, and doesn't like ice cream etc... By what you have described he likes food that is bland looking and plain coloured. Have you thought about possibly having him seen by a specialist? Who could possibly point you in the right direction of finding out why he eats like this. You could look into Sensory Intergration Dysfunction OR Sensory Processing Disorder. It could be a possibility. Does he display any other unusual habits.

[deleted account]

Kids are amazing creatures. First, I would give my daughter a multivitamin if she had such a picky appetite. Did you try "chips" that are actually fruits and vegetables? They are called Flat Earth chips. They are so delicious and have full servings of fruits and veggies in them. Sneak in applesauce instead of sugar in homemade cookies and cakes, and make sweet potato french fries and chips in your oven. Sometimes including him on the baking makes him more interested in eating the finished product. Oatmeal is great, how about making instant with Apples and cinnamon? On his toast, maybe a little applebutter or pumpkin butter? Edys makes an all natural fruit popsicle that is pretty tasty, too. I hope this helps. My husband won't eat fruits or veggies, so I have tried and used many of these ideas on him and they worked. I have many more, too! Good luck, I hope this helps.

Karah - posted on 01/17/2010

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Have you ever tried egg rolls (NOT cabbage ones from the restaurant)? You can buy wonton wrappers at the grocery store and make your own. I started my son with eggs and cheese inside them and then we added veggies later. He liked them because it was portable and fun to eat. Maybe you can start with pizza toppings and call them pizza rollups.



You can also hide veggies in the sauce of the pizza. Shredded carrots are easy to hide. Have you tried V8 splash type juice too?

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MARGARET ANGELA - posted on 03/13/2013

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My 6 year old son, James is the same i am so worried about him. He seems to eat everything that is white in colour. Any ideas

SlamDunkYourHealth - posted on 09/20/2012

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Try the Advocare CorePlex chewable vitamins for the entire family. These are great for children that do not have good eating habits. You may also like the Champs daily vitamin and Citrizinc. They are tasty and support a healthy immune system and brain development. My son loves them! Here is a link to place your order.



http://www.advocare.com/120820534

Lisa - posted on 02/08/2010

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spagetti bog if he like taht grate vegietables into it like a whole ton of them he gets to eat meat and noodles 99 percent of kids love it .... also u can make chicken vegie potato n egga patties grate all ingredients nto a bowl with milk n egg like scrambled eggs cook them into little patties another thing is scrambled eggs itself grate vegies into it ... really u can grate a ton of vegies into anything and they wont catch on ..also pakc his lunch at home in the morning and that i wht he can eat during the day put one diffrent bit of fruit ect in his little lunchbox he will eat it if there is nothin else offered all kids are fussy but they are all hungry to hehehe

Rita - posted on 02/02/2010

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My son sounds like you son's eating twin.....He wont eat veggies, fruit or meat either...none of it. He will still eat baby food (fruit ones only) so I do still give him baby food cups and call them "Fruit food" I tried to make my own and sneak a little veggies in there, but he knows and wont eat them.
My son will eat:
oatmeal
toast
cheese
pizza
chips
yogurt

almost nothing else...This has been going on since he was very little. My son is never sick...always the healthiest of his peers, so I guess he is getting what he needs out of the MVI?

Shaolin - posted on 02/02/2010

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Your child only eat those things because thats what you feed him. Its going to come a time for baby body is going to request food. He will eat eventually.

Joni - posted on 01/30/2010

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I don't make special meals for the kids if they don't like something they wait until the next meal to eat. Our rule is they must try 1 bite of everything and make 1 thing all gone to be excused from the table. My advice would to feed him what he likes at breakfast, give him 1 thing he likes plus small quanties of the fuss foods at meal time. also try the fruit juice with vegetables. he might like it.

[deleted account]

Sounds like my little guy except he will eat some fruits. His diet literally consists of yogurt, cheerios, peanuts and peanut butter, bananas, apples some of the time, grapes, crackers, french fries, ice cream, pudding, some chips and some cookies. When I try to introduce something new (cake even), he freaks out. I do still give him a jar of sweet potato turkey baby food just to get some veggie and meat in him. Refuses to drink milk.



I give him flinstone gummies (took him seeing another child eating gummies for that to happen) and gummie fish oil supplements. I worry about his diet and if he is getting enough nutrition, but compared to a lot of kids our there....atleast what he is eating is healthy.



I wonder sometimes if I should go Supernanny on him and make him eat what we are having, but I worry he will go on a hunger strike :(

Kara - posted on 01/19/2010

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With Micaela I usually puree the veggies and hide them in something else, like a sauce for something that she does like to eat. She doesn't even know they are there. Keep trying different vegetables at every meal. Also give him an incentive to try new things, like offering him something he likes if he will try just one bite of something. It's hard to get kids to try new things when they are fussy though.

KRYSTAL - posted on 01/18/2010

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i have a problem with this also my 4 yr old will not eat veggies, ever since he started preschool in sept, he started eating oranges and apples, but thats about it for fruit. we gave him a lot of juice during the day and he would not eat. we went to our 4yr check up and the dr said only 4-6oz of juice a day and see what happens. he is now getting excited about meal times, he still throws a fit about the veggies but we are getting somewhere. see if your son will help out in making the meals with you. good luck

Joan - posted on 01/17/2010

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Great ideas from all! I love the Wonton pizza idea Karah :) I am going to try that. I also bought the book deceptively delicious.. it teaches recipes with hiding spinach in chocolate cake! and many more! I love the idea of hiding them in the foods he will eat but still adding the regular veggies to his plate so he knows they aren't bad and don't need to be hidden and will eventually like them..like the book teaches. :) I am now in love with V8 fusion! It is a must have for any parent with this problem! He thinks it tastes like regular juice but it has a serving of veggies in it! A little more pricey for the parent on a budget but I find it worth it in the end :) Thanks to all the parents advice!

Amy Jo - posted on 01/17/2010

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I got the book "The Sneaky Chef", I then mix things into things my son will eat. Right now it is Mac & Cheese, I put in carrots and sweet potato. Then save the rest and warm it up later. At first he didn't like it but now I don't think he knows its in there. The book has lots of ideas from adding to box mixes or making from scratch, however you want to cook. I do both and love it. His doctor also said to keep him on a multi-viamin.

Gail - posted on 01/16/2010

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my 3yo eats nothing but cheese, cucumber, ham & peanut butter - she will occasionally try a minuscule bite of meat or pasta. it is incredibly frustrating - if you find a strategy that works I would love to hear it :-)

Noreen - posted on 01/15/2010

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Offer nothing but those a well balanced diet of those foods and make a 2 bite rule. Noah HATED anything green. But will now eat broccoli, greenbeans, peas, and aspargus because I did this 2 bite rule. We never gave our kids junk either, so they only know healthy foods.

Monica - posted on 01/14/2010

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My 3 year old is the same way I have to let it be his idea to try something new. He won't eatnothing but hot dogs, chicken nuggets, and pizza. even then it is still a fight to get him to eat sometimes. my doctor told me to give him pediasure for the vitamins he needsit is more important that he gets the vitamins than the actual food. If you give up and don't make it such a big deal then you might find he will eat it but on his own time that is what my son does. Good luck and hope that helped

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