5 year old boy very picky eater.

Lisa - posted on 10/05/2014 ( 4 moms have responded )

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My. 5 yr old son will not eat much. Unless it's chips or crackers or snack type food. The only veggie he would eat was broccoli and now he has decided he doesn't like it. He had a small amt of foods he used to eat like noodles or spagetti and eggs, bacon, sausage, biscuits. Now he is refusing almost any type of meal. Help!

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Sarah - posted on 10/05/2014

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First of all, if your child has any type of special needs, like aspergers or autism, he may be sensitive to texture or flavors and need the help a dietician.
That said, if he is healthy typical kid, this is very common so don't worry. He will eat before he starves. At snack time give him a choice; fruit or string cheese? if he wants neither than skip it and don't give in! If he insists he is STARVING, make if the same offer. He may go berserk and throw a fit but it won't last long. At mealtime, prepare a healthy meal, give him a choice chicken or fish? or Peas or carrots? If he refuses to choose, make a plate and put it in front of him. If he refuses, put it away, when he complains about being hungry, take it out. Once he realizes you mean it, he will try new foods and eventually develop a healthy balance. Kids at this age will respond best if you give them a choice between two foods. Also, if you can involve him in the shopping and preparing of a meal, he will probably be more likely to eat it.
In the mean time give him a multivitamin. The best favor you can do for him, is not give in to his desire to fill up on snack food. Good Luck!

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Sarah - posted on 10/05/2014

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I do think there is a place for treats in every kid's routine too. Whether it is daily or not is something you can work out.
If you run into lots of resistance you can try this system: We had tokens (poker chips) of different colors. When a child would consume a "reasonable meal" without too much fuss, he/she would get a white token. After saving up 10 white tokens they could trade them in for a "free choice meal" (usually meant cold cereal, frozen pizza or even just no veggies) If 10 seems too lofty a goal, shoot for five. Put them in a container right on the counter/top of fridge/microwave, somewhere visible so he can see his progress. That system helped a lot when mine were younger. I have four kids and so far none have perished from lack of food! You will get there, just be consistent. The other color tokens were used for a whole variety of behaviors unrelated to eating from potty training to TV time...cheap, easy to use and highly visual for the kids.

Lisa - posted on 10/05/2014

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Thank you so much for your input. I am trying very hard to get our family on a healthy diet. For the most part we eat healthy.
I have been playing the short order cook for months now and am exhausted.
My son has no health issues at all.
So tomorrow we put your suggestion into place for our Mr Picky.
I had been considering a similar action plan and having you spell it out for me just helped encourage me to do it!!! Wish me luck!

John Thomas - posted on 10/05/2014

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I know what you mean. I have a 7 year old niece and you can't get her to eat nothing. All she wants is nuggets from McDonald's or a bag of chips. She is so skinny you would think the wind will blow her away. When I was her age I loved to eat but kids now days are scared to eat.

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