Picky eaters

Jessie - posted on 06/28/2011 ( 17 moms have responded )

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I have a 4 yr old and a 6 year old and their food intake is as follows...pasta, peanut butter and jelly, grill cheese, yogurt, chicken nuggets, and crean cheese. My 6 yr old will eat some veggies and a few fruit but not the 4 yr old. How do I get them to try new stuff. I already tell them to try "this" if you don't like it I will not make you eat it... in attempts to get them to try new things. Any other suggestions?

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Michelle - posted on 07/04/2011

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I personally dont believe in forcing kids that age to eat what we eat. When they are older this will happen, but for now as long as they are getting their Five a day, and are healthy it really doesnt matter. They are only kids and it is just a phase with one copying the other. My health worker and doctor have both said how well my kids are and they are picky eaters too. Neither of mine eat vegetables, my son eats fruit but my daughter doesnt. they both drink juices, and milk, and water. I remember being made to eat food i didnt like and i still dont like it and still feel like crying when I think of that time. They will grow out of it if you dont make a big deal of it now

Amy - posted on 06/30/2011

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I have 5 children and I understand about picky eaters. But one suggestion is not to give them an "out" by saying, "if you don't like it...." One suggestion is to eat the new food on your plate during meal time but don't give them any....maybe curiousity will kick in. It usually works for me. Always serve a new food with something they like already. And don't make a big battle about it. Serve it a few times (maybe once a week) and see what happens. Always praise them when they try new things even if they don't like it. And if YOU are trying something new..say so. The dialogue will let them know that even grown ups can try new things.

Klara - posted on 06/28/2011

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hot dishes, soups, stir fry, veggies with cheese, jello with fruit, and even a veggie or fruit dip may be of some help. Does involving them in cooking make it better or worse? sometimes if they help, they think it tastes better. However, if you are trying to sneak healthy ingredients in, that wouldn't work so well..lol Sometimes making cute shapes, etc.. helps too (ants on a log, pumpkin pizza, sandwiches in star shapes, etc..). Good luck. Hopefully its a phase and will pass.

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I have 1 super picky one like yours and I have one who will eat literally anything. What i do is I tell them I am not a restaurant but I do make 1 thing I know she will eat. I make her take 1 bite and if she really doesn't like it I let her spit it out. She usually likes it and ends up eating it sometimes I try different seasonings and she eats it.

Teresa - posted on 07/13/2011

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I look at forcing a kid to eat something he doesn't like to having to sit through adult sermon when they aren't getting anythign out of it and are bored silly, UNLESS, you let them concentrate on something else during the sermon. Just as adult church is not geared toward young children and they aren't getting anything out of it, making them eat what you cook or go hungry is just as fruitless. CHildren's church is made for children and teaches them about the WOrd rather than have them sit and hate it or worse, go hungry. The same with food. They will eventually expand their diet and a cut up raw carrot, or broccoli, or whatever your kid will eat will sustain him or her, AND they will know that you acknowledge and are working with them to introduce them to new food. We introduce our son to new food and if he likes it, great, if not, then we'll try later. In the mean time he gets food that he will eat and is nutrtious. He has surprisedme. He likes all beans and asparagus. He LOVES sweet potatoes ( we're southern). He eats healthy, but I don't force it on him. Like I said before, your cjild will expand his/her diet. i am 41 and started off and "kid's" food but I don't live off chx nuggets and french fries now.

Shawnn - posted on 07/12/2011

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Ours never had the option to refuse! Like a few others have said, I'm NOT BK! You DON'T get it your way! Nor am I "Mom's Cafe, cooking to order"!

That being said, each time we introduced the kids to something new, the were required to eat it. They never had more than a bite or two to start, but they had to eat it. The way I figured it was like this: I never got a choice of whether I LIKED to eat Broccoli and Cauliflower. It was on my plate, and I had to eat it. No one said I had to LIKE it! Well, that's the way we raised the boys. I didn't say you have to LIKE it, but you do have to eat it.

I have, however, found that it's a lot easier to introduce new foods if their friends will eat the same things. When my kids were little, they complained about eating baked beans and potato salad. They didn't get to ignore it. They ate it. Now, as teens, they want Dad to make baked beans as often as possible. The potato salad they can still take or leave, but at least they will eat a little.

Oh, and one other thing...If they are at a friend's house (or grandma's, etc) use THAT as a time to introduce new foods! Under the "be polite" rule. You have heard it, I'm sure...It's only polite to at least try a bite of everything on your plate. If you don't like something that a friend's mom has served, try some anyway, then (if asked) politely reply, "no thank you". My kids came home eating more of a variety that way. Things that I'd have never even thought of trying with them, actually (mainly because they are difficult to prepare).

But don't give them a choice. If you purchased it, they need to try it.

Jessie - posted on 07/12/2011

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Thanks for the comments they are helpful. I too was made to eat things I did not like and the memory of that alone stops me from doing that. Now my son has tried I don't like this, when I know he does, he is just trying to get to treat time. In that case I have sent him to bed hungry ... that has happen two times and now I have no issues...he eats dinner. He will not try anything new at this point but I remember I was VERY picky so I will continue to try to get him to try things. I will also use some of the helpful hints you all have sent to me. The chart of new things with the awards for trying just may work! I already offer things on my plate daily so we will see. He eats salad now so that worked a little. I agree that I think 4 and 6 is a little young to force them to eat anything, and since they do not eat only unhealthy food I will just give them time. It took me till about 10-11 to open up. I will just chip away at it by continuing to offer new things. Thanks again!

Wendy - posted on 07/12/2011

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I have to say my kids are being brought up how i was - like it or lump it! They get to choose what they eat one night a week the rest of the week they eat what is on their plate or they go hungry! If they've tried something a few times and still don't like it then fair enough I won't force them to eat it but they have to have tried it at least 3 times before they can get out of it. My daughters school do a try something new day once a week, all the children have to try a new food and if they do it with a smile they get a certificate, this can also be adapted to do at home and is fun for all the family!

Gemma - posted on 07/10/2011

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I have had the same problem with my son, who is now 6. I used to panic about the fact that he didn't eat pasta or rice until a social worker told me to chill out and not panic so much! So I did and I have to say there has been a difference in him. I also made a chart of things he doesn't eat which I would like him to try and he has to chose one item a week and how he wants it cooked and how he would like presented and this also works. We found that he will eat sweetcorn but only out of a plastic cup but then so be it! Just relax and make sure they see u eating good food, they might like to try it. Don't force them as I found this doesn't work, Aidan is asking to try more things now I have stop pestering him.

Sian - posted on 07/02/2011

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Sorry but my children eat what I cook, if they dont "like" it they go without! Has happened once for each child. I will not pander to their fads, I havent the time as a working mother ...... plus if they can get away with "I'll pnly eat what I want" this attitude is likely to cross over into their behaviour over a period of time in that they will only do what they want to do!

Teresa - posted on 07/02/2011

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My son gets cheese pizza, chicken nuggets, fish sticks, yogurt, carrot sticks, whatever he wants for dinner. His lunch usually includes a banana, some carrot sticks, yougurt, juice, and a sandwich . he gets healthy food. We DO NOT make him eat something he doesn't like. That just puts up walls. He will try new things and when he likes them we eat them again. If not, then my husband and I will eat them again and sometimes he will after he sees us eating the new food a few times. Children have such a simplistic view of food, they like things simple. Beleive me, they will grow up and expand their diet, Im 41 and I don't live off cheese pizza and chicken nuggets.

Adrienne - posted on 07/01/2011

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I TOTALLY understand this one. My almost 9 y/o is the pickiest eater I have ever seen while his younger brother will eat just about anything. Until he sees his big brother not eating it. I've found that explaining food combinations has helped some. For example: chef salad. I know you may not like "fill in the bank" but sometimes when you take a food that you don't like and combine it with something else, the flavor changes into something you DO like". This has helped him get a little more experimental. A little -haha. If you have room in your yard/patio you could try letting him pick some seeds and growing a new veggie. Kids are more interested in trying things if they grow them themselves. Also for fruits - do smoothies at home. Banana, your choice of frozen fruit (about a cup), non fat plain yogurt, and about a cup of milk. I swear this is a miracle lol. He is now asking to try fruit that he would NEVER try otherwise. And there is nothing unhealthy in it. No added sugars, etc. He thinks he's getting a treat/dessert.

Lisa - posted on 07/01/2011

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You could try the 5 bite rule... 5 different times... At first, my 6 year old threw a complete tantrum but we did find things to add to his menu FINALLY... I found be intorducing more than once he was more likely to actually taste the food. VS automatically hating it simply because he knew he was trying something new.... Good Luck

Casey - posted on 06/30/2011

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In our home, it is most definitely NOT like burger king...you don't get it your way. You may eat what is cooked, or you may be hungry. That puts the ball in their court. If they choose not to eat what you make your family, then they choose an empty tummy. Believe me, when they get hungry; they will eat. I had this battle with my now 11 yr old when he was about 3 or 4.. I had made the mistake earlier in his life of pandering so that he wouldn't whine....he only went to bed ONCE without supper, because he realized that mom was serious about it. We also took an extra step and visited the local homeless shelter, where he was able to meet some kiddos that had NO food for their bellies because they couldn't afford it or find it; including a few kiddos who had their last meal out of a dumpster. Talk about humbling! Since then, we hear no complaints at mealtimes, and he has learned to be grateful for the food he has.

Amy - posted on 06/30/2011

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Krystal, you can make your own baby food. It will probably taste better than jarred. Just mash up a banana or cut it in little chunks and see if she is ready for finger foods. Sweet potatoes are easy to bake and mash.

Krystal - posted on 06/29/2011

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mine is picky too but she's only 8 months and hates eating her jar foods and ne kind of baby foods wat do i do

Jessie - posted on 06/28/2011

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Klara ... it would not let me replie to you so I will do it up here.... I have tried a lot including my son helping me cook.... he still will not budge. I am hoping it is a faze with him. My girl will try things...like them in the moment and then tell me no I really don't like it... I think it is because my son doesn't like it. Thanks I will still give the fruit pizza a try... that sounds good either way.

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