Any tips to get my four year old to eat

Emmajayne - posted on 01/03/2010 ( 17 moms have responded )

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my little boy used to love all types of food and wasent afraid to eat or try anything. since was 3 i am struglling to get anything into him, we have had a bad couple of years but now i feel he is settled, i do let him get away with things as sometimes i feel guilty, but this is his health, please any help xxxx

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Alisa - posted on 01/07/2010

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i have a 5 year old that is very very picky but i have a couple tricks, when you make a sandwitch try using cookie cutters and cut them into fun shapes. i buy dino chicken nuggets. and i make our own lunch ables! i just try to make food fun! and i think finger foods are the best way! also i let my little guy munch on things also. like granola bars breakfast bars, the small bags of chips. and tons of fruit and veggies! oh sorry just thought of something else... try having him dip his food in something.. like my some loves ranch dressing, he even dips his stake in it!

Grace - posted on 01/06/2010

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i have two kids over the age 4 they both did the same thing. as long as they eat who cares what it is. Go ahead and give them mac&chesse, corndogs,fishsticks every night till their tired of them, they'll start to ask for other stuff.

Misty - posted on 01/06/2010

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Elanor has it exactly right! When my daughter who is now 6 went through that phase I made sure she knew that she does have a choice, I'd tell her, "ok, you can choose not to eat what I made but that also means you are choosing not to have desert or snack later." When they realize that they have a choice they feel more in control and they also realize that choices come with consequences both good and bad. If it's a matter of growth, if he is underweight you can also supplement once a day with 2 Tbs. of carnation instant breakfast in his milk or pediasure to make sure he gets his daily vitamins until he gets through this phase, don't worry it is just a phase as long as you take it all in stride.

Meagan - posted on 01/06/2010

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make food fun get cookie cutters in shapes and cut sandwiches with them also make face places with vegitablesif your child sees it as fun he might just eat it i have 3 kids and mine are a lot older then your child but my middle son has adhd and wont eat a lot he hardly eats meat or vegitables so plz dont give up just try and make mealtimes funplz there are some childerns vitamins out nowthey might help just read what age group there for hopefully its just a faze and he will grow out of it most of the time they do

Angela - posted on 01/05/2010

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I think you need to gradually reintroduce famaliar foods to him. I had the same problem with my 4-year old. I am trying to get him to eat cheese products again. Try him with fruits and veggies first.

Angelia - posted on 01/05/2010

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I have a 10 year old that was and still is a very picky eater. he would go to the extint that if you mad him eat he would throw it up.. well I would try color bright colors attract them and cut them into fun shapes. they are attracted and tend to try it.. sometimes just making them sit there until they eat is like the last option.. I know that it is hard but just let him be a part of the kitchen and the shopping sometimes this helps too. make some agreements. you may have some of this if you eat some of that.. like they may want cool pops, well you have to eat your green beans to get that.. sometimes that helps too. I wish you luck and hope that he picks up again..

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I had the same prob with my 4 year old and what we did is gave him the same thing for breakfast lunch and dinner he eventually got hungry and ate it. We did this with a few things we don't have a prob with him eating any more.

Shannon - posted on 01/05/2010

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Even when my daughter was younger (she's 6 now) I would have her help me with dinner. Even if it was stirring, or pouring ingredients in the pan, she loved it.And because she thinks she "made dinner" she was more apt to eat it.
I was also bad about getting her something else if she didn't want to eat what we were having, and once I broke that habit, she does better.
Also, there's a book by Jennifer Seinfeld called Deceptively Delicious (pretty sure that's the title) with some great recipes and tips on getting children to eat.
Good Luck!

Kristen - posted on 01/05/2010

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My 7 year old has always been a picky eater. We have a family of 6 so when i make dinner, i need everyone to eat what i cook. I'll usually tell him..."just take one bite" and he will then ill say "okay, just one more" and ill do this untill he eats at least half. He knows by now being 7 that this is a game, but he always plays along. My mom did this with me too. Its hard having one that wont eat what you need him to eat. Hope this helps!

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My son went through the "Im not hungry" refusing to eat his dinner and other meals, he took really long to eat anything from his plate if at all,

so one night, spare of the moment I started a race with him, just to see his reaction.

I simply said "hey, I'll race you, first to finish their dinner wins the prize" he was like, "What prize" *eyes wide open* I told him "the extra special prize, you will get a treat in your ice cream" he was like "hmm"

I then said "are you ready"

he said "yep"

I counted "1" "2" "3go"

he begun eating his dinner and I pretended to really want to beat him, although deliberately lost. When he finished I announced him the winner cheer him and clapped. I gave him sprinkles on his ice cream with a few lollies hidden inside HE LOVED IT, I got the plain ice cream and told him how great it was that he could beat his mum to finish his dinner first. Now at the age of 7 he still sometimes announces the "winner of dinner" giving second place and third with his brother and I hahaha. I also wrote Breakfast, morning tea,lunch, snack, and dinner on a peice of paper with a box next to each, and told him we must tick these boxes so that we can have a games night each week.

Liz - posted on 01/03/2010

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I went through the same thing .I got got my child heping me to prepare the meals with me and we ate them together. I hope this helps

Erin - posted on 01/03/2010

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i agraa with kids wanting to be in control, making it fun and having to stay with them until they are done. my oldest 2 girls, 6 and 3, are difficult eaters, i have found that they don't like cooked veggies but will eat them raw and if i take their portions out before adding sauce they are more likely to eat it. if all else fails i will remind them if they don't eat their food soon, the "bunny"will come and eat it for them, then i load their fork and look away. when i look back the fork is empty and the child is giggling. at one time the bunny came to dinner every night, but he hasn't been here in weeks now and the girls have been cleaning thier plates. good luck!

Heather - posted on 01/03/2010

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Try making the foods fun! Anything you can make into a stick shape try it! He can hold it in his easily. I use cookie cutters on anything I can for my daughter, now seven and likes to pack lunches for school. Whatever makes it fun or they can relate it to something they like has worked for me. Hope this helps! Good luck!

Stacy - posted on 01/03/2010

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Once my son started going to my brothers for daycare, with 6 other children, I noticed he sat and ate all his food. I was like what are you doing different?

They tell them if they make a hapy plate they get a treat. and stick to it.

Also you have to sit with them the whole time. They want to be done if you are done.

This doesnt always work, so we usually say, Can you fit this bite in your mouth, I bet not. trickery

Malena - posted on 01/03/2010

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We have went through something similiar when my son was 6. I was pregnant with my third child and he was having severe anxiety issues about it. Worrried about what would happen to me. He started refusing to eat anything and was actually hiding the food I was giving him. The dr. suggested a couple of things that worked for us. First take him to the grocery store and let HIM pick out everything he wants. She said junk food and all. At this point it's more important just to get SOMETHING in him,the healthy part can come later. Also, we had to eat at diiferent locations, not just the kitchen table. She thought a different location may distract him from the issue if for a little bit. We ate a lot of ice cream outside!! We had sandwiches in the basement, you name it! He eventually got over it when I had the baby but it was a scary few months! Hope that helps

Elanor - posted on 01/03/2010

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Food becomes about control sometimes (my 4 year old got a bit funny with food when my baby was born) I guess he felt like that was out of his control. THe big thing is to not make meal times an issue or battleground (which is hard when you are fed up). Mine loves helpiing in the kitchen, and he's more willing to try something if he's been involved. they can peel with supervision. Only offer healthy foods that way if he doesn't eat dinner then at least any alternative is healthy. Don't let him snack bwetween meals until you have sorted the meal time out (or have 6 small meals).

Start by giving him a really small portion 1 tablespoon of rice/ potato, 1 tablespoon veg and 1 tablespoon of meat/fish. (this way he won't be overwhelmed by whats infront of him, and the prospect of eating his dinnner may not be too much) If he wants more have extra aside. I tell mine if he can't finish his dinner he can't have pudding. (or anything else until the next mealtime, and I have held out before now, till my son ate his lunch 5 mins before tea time, then ate all his tea!).

Also fun things with food, make a den in the front room, and get him to help make a picnic, and eat in the den. Mine likes making fruit kebabs, you can make fruit hedgehogs too. Allow him to get messy, it's fine it will clean up. Good luck and have fun

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