Very Picky 5 year old...Help!!!

Jennifer - posted on 12/08/2008 ( 21 moms have responded )

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OK....I have an extremely picky eater,,,,I really mean picky!!! He only eats a limited amount of things. We tryed getting him to at least try things before saying he does not like them. That seemed to work except he swears most of the stuff he does not like. He loves most fruit so that is a good thing..however the only veggie he will eat is corn. I have tried telling him either he eats or he goes hungry...only after 2 weeks of that I started giving in making him something else because he is sooo thin...I got worried. Any advice is welcome...I am going crazy about it =)

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Naomi - posted on 12/09/2008

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As all the other moms have said, he will eat when he is ready and he won't starve. I was told the same thing by doctors. I have 3 picky eaters. My 8 year old has gotten better as she has gotten older. My 3 year old use to be the one to eat anything especially veggies and fruit but has in the past year decided to not almost all of the things he would eat. My 18 month old eats next to nothing. She refuses to let anybody feed her. The only veggie they will eat is green beans. I can get them to eat corn some. I make sure to give them plenty of juice and milk. Milk does have some potien in it. Besides V8, Juicy Juice makes a veggie and juice mix called Harvest Surprise that my kids love. It is suppose to have a full serving of veggies in each serving of juice. I hope it helps to know it is just not your son. =) Kids will use eating to show they have some control over their lives.

MaJoy - posted on 12/08/2008

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something popped into my head... have you heard of the Sneaky Chef book? That's an awesome way to get veggies in them without them knowing. You should also try asian or pacific islander dishes. My husband HATES veggies but when you add some yummy sauces, the veggies magically disappear from his plate. I sometimes let my 6 year old try new food by putting some of the sauce from the dish on brown rice and adding a tiny bit of water. That way, he tries the new food but it's very diluted so it isn't so much of a shock in terms of unfamiliar flavors. If he likes it, you can certainly add more sauce until it's 'full strength'. Another good tactic is my husband and I won't offer him any of the food we're eating and we just talk about how yummy it is and thank goodness we don't have to share with him because it means more for us. That usually elicites major interest and sometimes our son even begs to be allowed to taste some.

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Shari - posted on 07/03/2011

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Dinner used to be battle time and I saw on dr phil were they suggested offering ONE other option besides dinner (of course make sure your child likes the choice) but only after they try at least one bite. I also try to get my son to at least try some foods I or my husband may not like just to see if he might. I have done this now for 1 year and meal times are much more peaceful!!

Prudence - posted on 12/09/2008

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I have a 5yr old who eats bbq shapes, chiken crimpies, jatz, macdonalds chips, and redrooster chips. he gags and vomits if i put anythin else in front of him. he will only drink coke or extra juicy fruit cup cordial. My peadiatrician said to only offer him what i want him to eat because a child wont let themselves starve. well 10 days later he was so sick and dehydrated that some one was going to report me to child safety. He is now diagnosed as autistic (he has many other charactoristics too). I am not saying that anyone elses child has autism but just realise that children today are changing and what WE consider as NORMAL just doesnt apply anymoore.

My 8yr old is a picky eater. he won't eat anything we are eating. He has ODD.(oppositional Defiance Disorder) among many other things. So if We go to macDonald's he wants sushi! If we are eating Chicken and vegies for dinner, he will want nachos. But if i say 'yuk, this looks like cat food' and show him that it looks like cat food (chicken, gravy and vegies) he will eat it! Shreaded had and cream cheese make great 'pus and worm' sandwiches.

I have all 3 of my kids on vitamins and suppliments, we see a natropath. its not worth seeing the little buggers cry if they dont eat their brussel sprouts if you know what i mean. just use what you've got and make the 'bad' food boring and the 'good' food fun. and just ask yourself 'is this going to harm my child?' you will be supprised how often the answer is NO

Jennifer - posted on 12/09/2008

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Thank you very much for all your input!!! I am going to look into a couple of the cook books that a few of you suggested...ways to hide the veggies and make them taste better as well. Again, thank you all soooo much =)

Alison - posted on 12/08/2008

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my sons 11 now and has always been picky

he has always hated meat and only liked sertain veg ,love fruit though.

i found that putting tiny amounts on his plate like 4 peas and 1 baby carrot even making them into a face or picture of some sort helped.

also puddings,if he ate his 4 peas or 2 peas he could have his pud tell him hes not in the finnish ur plate club and that he just has to try it.after a year or so he was eating practicaly every thing .ok he didnt clean the plate but he will try anything .

good luck

Nikki - posted on 12/08/2008

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(Sorry, I haven’t read the whole thread!)



My son (now 4 ½) went thru a stage of being very fussy with his vegies, and would only eat green things. I still served up other vegies, and now he eats all of them. I figured that one day he will get curious enough to try them, and it worked. You just need to be patient. Also, have you tried making things look more exciting on the plate? We do ‘stick dinners’, where everything is on a toothpick (cherry tomatoes, baby beets, cheese and pineapple kebabs etc) or we do different shapes. Although, these things are done for fun now, rather than coaxing him to try new things. My 3yr old daughter was only fussy with meat, she would only eat fish, but again she does get other things served up to her. My stepson we are still having trouble with, but he’s slowly getting there, seeing the other kids eat it all helps. Have you tried getting him to help cooking dinner? My kids love making kebabs, nachos, pasta, burritos, pizza etc. It’s a great way to teach them different foods, and my kids will eat pizza they make, but won’t eat the ones I make for them even tho they are exactly the same!!

Dany - posted on 12/08/2008

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Hi Jen, my 3 year old son's diet consists of cereal/bananas/hot dogs/nuggets/mac&cheese. I've started sneaking in pureed veggies into lots of stuff. You can sneak cauliflower/sweet potatoe or squash puree into mac and cheese. "Deceptively delicious" by Mrs Seinfeld is all about purees. Good luck

Lisa - posted on 12/08/2008

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Be careful not to turn eating into a power struggle. That will only make him more determined not to try new things.

Amanda - posted on 12/08/2008

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My kids are 4 and 21/2, and usually they are good eaters, but sometimes.... we have a rule about snacks and desserts that the kids have to try everything served before they are allowed any treats. The rule we've been using is 2 bites for a 2 year old boy, 4 bites for a 4 year old girl. Somehow, knowing that there is an end in site seems to help. There are some foods that my 2 year old clearly really doesn't like. When we serve them, he has to try it, but when he starts gagging we let him spit it out. I'm not sure he hasn't figured that out and started using it against us, but whatever. The boy likes to eat, so I KNOW he won't let himself starve. Sometimes we put the dinner plate in the fridge and tell them that if they get hungry again before bed, they can finish their dinner first before a bedtime 'snack'. Good luck!

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My son is 4 1/2 and is also a very picky eater. No fruit, no veggies, no meat. We finally got fed up and if he doesn't eat that's it. Nothing else. If he wants a snack during the day I only offer fruit and veggies (so far no luck) and then he is hungry for dinner, which he doesn't always eat but then the choice is his. My Pediatrician said the same thing, "they won't starve themselves" so it's ok to be stern. He even suggested serving the same food at every meal until your kid tries it. I haven't gotten there yet but husband just might. He is at wits end. We have seen some improvement in the meat department but still nothing in regards to fruit. My daughter is exactly the opposite. She eats EVERYTHING! Let's hope this lasts.

Danielle - posted on 12/08/2008

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If your son will drink juice, V8 makes these great juice blends that are half fruit/ half veggies but you taste none of the veggies. My kids love it and they have a few different varieties. Also, it has a full serving of fruits and vegetables in each serving. I give this to my 3 yr old when he goes thru his really picky phases where he won't eat a bite of anything, I mean nothing! Good luck and just know that as long as they are drinking enough and using the bathroom frequently they can go without eating anything substantial for a day or more. My pediatrician told me not to worry during those times.

Johnda - posted on 12/08/2008

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I honestly think kids will eat when they are hungry. don't let him have any treats until he starts eating whatever is prepared. My three kids know that they have to eat whatever is prepared for meals. If they do not care for a particular food they have to take one bite because they have been told that tastes changes over time. They know there is no snacks if they don't try. We don't give in either. That is hard but it is necessary. Don't make a big deal out of it, just don't give in.

Gisele - posted on 12/08/2008

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My 3 year old is very picky as well. One way I've gotten him to eat more veggies is with Shepperd's pie(Ground beef layered with corn and mashed potatoes) I just add more veggies cut very small and I add gravy to make it less dry. Shredded cheese over any dish sometimes gets kids to eat just about anything. I also discovered that if I shred carrots and add them to my meatballs he doesn't realize they are there and they add moisture to the meat, when he finds pieces (very small) I call it confetti. Meatloaf can hide all kinds of veggies too. I've even cooked veggies, blended them like baby food and added them to dishes and at that point you can't see them at all. If he likes hot dogs try the veggie dogs, they taste very close to the actual thing and they look like a regular hot dog... Corn is a veggie but also acts as a carb, it has nutritional value unfortunately not as much as dark green veggies. Like I said sometimes if they can't see it they'll eat it, cover it with cheese and let them help in the kitchen. A child is more likely to eat what he helped make. Start very small but he might be proud and want to eat what he makes. Hope that helps... Good luck.

MaJoy - posted on 12/08/2008

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Very stressful beinga mommy of a picky eater!! My son is 6 and he's the same way. I have finally accepted that a healthy child will never purposely starve themselves. They seem to know what their bodies need and take only that. Maybe you could give him some pediasure drinks? They're sorta like liquid meals disguised as milkshakes. But make sure you clear it with you md first. That's what I ended up doing for a bit. He LOVED his "milkshakes" and put on some weight. Good luck!

Shannon - posted on 12/08/2008

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My son is also 5, and used to be an amazing eater. He ate everything. Now he won't eat anything. But, I'm pretty sure it's just a phase, and I'm just waiting for it to pass. I'm with you though, I don't fix him anything different. He eats what we eat, and if he doesn't eat at mealtime, he can have a healthy snack later. My son is also getting thinner, but I'm not concerned because I'm sure he'll come around eventually and start eating again. Sometimes kids just go through phases. I don't think you should stop introducing new foods though. He;ll start eating again. Good Luck!

Heidi - posted on 12/08/2008

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hi there mom.

i have a brother who is 30 now and i specifically remember him eating nothing but cereal, hot dogs and peanut butter & jelly sandwiches. my mother stuggled with him for a long time before she took the pediatricians advice which was they eat what they need...

he is healthy, has never had a weight issue (unlike myself who was raised with a very precise diabetic diet). my gentle advice is don't struggle over food. there will be far more important wars later. gotta pick your fights wisely.

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My child is 5 also and very, very, very picky too. He will only eat noodles, butter and bread, hot dogs, bologna, pop tarts, fish sticks, chicken nuggets (maybe) and for fruit banana and apple and vegie he will eat fruit. He does eat corn out of a can or frozen, but you can't even count corn as a vegie because once it is off the cob it is considered a grain? I thought I had heard it was a starch? Either way, I do my best to pick wheat noodles, whole grain white bread, chicken or turkey hot dogs and bologna and he does soy milk and we give him a multi-vitamin. He is right on with his weight, so that is not a problem for us. It is just worrying about not getting enough fruits and vegies in him. He is getting to the age that we say, you either try it or you go hungry. I feel bad and still give him and make him something different if he doesn't eat because I want him to eat something. We just had his 5-year check-up and they said that they would like to see him eat more protein and vegies and they said "a child will not starve himself/herself", so basically they want me to be a little stricter on him. The joy of parenting! Good luck to you!

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My husband is 24 with a very similar diet and he's doing alright. I worry about what kind of an eater my 2 month old will be and how I will handle it. I saw a special on TV that said that some people are "super tasters" meaning that their taste buds work almost twice as well as normal people's and these people have a real problem with bitter foods like vegetables. Since them I've been convinced that my husband is a super taster because whenever he tries to eat vegetables he has a violent reaction to them. The show suggested having someone they look up to eat those foods. Good luck!

Jennifer - posted on 12/08/2008

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Thank you...He loves hot dogs and would live off them if I would let him!!! He eats grilled cheese, cereal(another fav!), bacon, mashed potatoes, 1 type of mac and cheese, corn, yogurt, cheetoes, and McDonalds nuggets. Some times he will eats steak and roast chicken. I give him vitamins everyday and he does drink milk and juice...but that is about all of the foods he eats!!!

Tammy - posted on 12/08/2008

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I have one of those "picky" eaters also. Mine is now 16 years old and has survived just fine. He has absolutely refused to eat beef since before he could speak! Corn is the only vegie he will eat also. He lived on peanut butter sandwiches all through grade school and has survived. He will eat nothing with a sauce on it... spagetti, hotdishes, soups, etc. He does however eat pasta with butter, mashed potatoes, mac and cheese. I sometimes make him his own meal but usually just let him adjust what ever we are having to his likes. For instance, when we have spagetti he just has the noodles with butter. If we have hamburgers, he has hot dogs. He loves breakfast type foods: pancakes, waggles, eggs, sausage, bacon, french toast.



when he was little my pediatritian said not to worry, he would eat what he needed and you can always supplement with vitamins.

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