healthy eating habbits...

Melissa - posted on 11/10/2008 ( 21 moms have responded )

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I have a 4 year old son who wont eat his fruits or veggies. I have introduced them to him when he was an infant. and he use to eat them when he was a toddler. Just the past few years he wont touch anything that he doesn't think looks good to him. I want to keep him on fairly good eating habbits. I just don't know how.

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Diana - posted on 11/13/2008

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I know how to help. I have my kids and my whole family drink Monavie. It is only 2 oz in the morning and 2 oz in the afternoon or evening. It is the equivalent of 13 servings of fruits and vegetables! It is amazing!

Lena - posted on 11/13/2008

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I would try modeling the desired behavior. Make sure you serve a generous amount of fruits and vegetables at meals & snacks for your whole family. My son always wants to eat what I am eating because he sees how much I enjoy it. I usually say "Yammy!" or "Delicious!"

Angela - posted on 11/13/2008

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I hated green beans as a kid so much that I would gag but eat them because I was required. I never force my kids to eat anything but I offer them a full serving of at least one vegetable or fruit every meal. Occasionally when it is a new food I require 1 tiny bite before leaving the table but don't push it if they don't like it and I will serve it again soon. My son is now 5 and daughter is 3 and loves broccoli and green beans but still have days or weeks when they don't eat them so I continue to place them on there plates until they do eat them. I also frequently let them choose what their snack or veggie will be giving them 2 options both fruits or veggies. Giving them the power to decide sometimes seems to help a lot though they usually ask for crackers and junk food as a 3rd option and I just let them know which options are available now. I would also say that eliminating junk food altogether back fired on me because as soon as they got to preschol and on the choices they would make would always be junk food if they weren't getting any at home. If they are eating really well at home then I give them other options( occasionally) than a fruit or veggie. 4 is kind of the control age at least it was for my son he wanted to help more and make more choices, letting them choose which new veggie to try at the store is also another way to let them have a little control. I agree that it is important to choose your battles but isn't our job as mom to teach them how to choose well and considering the rate of childhood obesity this seems like an important area to start, so turning it from a fight to a choice seems to be a better option than just hiding it in the food all the time.

Ayanna - posted on 11/11/2008

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I struggle with my son eating veggies too. I make sure I have them at every lunch and dinner meal. He eventually eats them. Sometimes he sits at the dinner table for 45 minutes grazing on his food, but as long as he isn't fussing, he'll eat from everything on his plate.

Tiffany - posted on 11/11/2008

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It is difficult to predict what kids will eat and won't eat. For years my 9 yr. old would only eat chicken and the things we called chicken, now he says he doesn't like chicken. Usually with time they come back around. In the meantime, continue to set the example by what you eat. Keep putting small amounts on his plate. Don't fuss if he doesn't eat it. Mealtime should be family time, and there's no fun in family time if there is a lot of stress with food. To help encourage him to try new things, have him help you in the kitchen by making the veggies or fruit. It helped to open doors for my 9 yr. to try new things.

Megan - posted on 11/11/2008

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My daughter has just turned 3 and am experiancing the same problems.

Now i make veggie soup and blend all veggies until they are smooth.She loves it and she is getting all she needs,i also make stews and take the veggies,smash them nicely and mix it in with her gravy on her rice.Works like a charm.

Barb - posted on 11/10/2008

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My son, who is also 4yrs. old, is the same way. Some days are easier than others, but for the most part fruits and veggies are not something he asks for seconds on. I have found that he tends to eat more fruits such as apples and pears when they are fresh and have been peeled. Same is true with veggies, he likes more raw veggies than cooked, I think it is more of a texture issue than anything. My daughter was not this way, so he has me puzzled. I will say that it is not an issue that I am pushing, I know that will only cause stress over this and he will not even try anything I ask him to. I am taking a more silent sneak attack to this...I let him help me fix dinner and we snack on some of the veggies that we are cooking with. Same with the fruit, he likes to turn my apple peeler and to earn this privilege he has to eat at least half the apple. Works like a charm...most of the time. He definitely keeps me thinking what's next! Goodluck, I hope you find something to work for you.

Nicole - posted on 11/10/2008

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I wanted to add a quick post... it's really not so much a suggestions about how to get him to eat the food - but to ensure you that you need to set the guidelines and boundaries... While you want to pick your battles ~ please for his sake do not allow him to make it into a power struggle. My 5 year old step son has a severe eating problem. When his father and I started dating 1 1/2 years ago... his diet was only 4 items... While his biological mom forced the issue to not require him to eat anything that he didnt want to - we changed up the game at our home. Now... he eats everything we put in front of him ~ not always without a grumble... but he knows the expectations. Now... his bio-mom is shocked at the diet he will eat for us... while he continues to eat NOTHING for her... Word of the wise... you are the parent & you set the guidelines...

Melissa - posted on 11/10/2008

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thank you all so much!! I am going to take the advice and put it to work right away!!! you all are great...good luck to me ;)

User - posted on 11/10/2008

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My daughter tests me from time to time with this. She is five years old. She tries snacking instead of actually eating a balanced healthy meal. She prefers goldfish crackers to broccoli...what kid doesn't? Anyways, I called my mom on this subject and so far her advice hasn't failed me yet! They don't want to eat dinner...fine, 1 skipped meal won't hurt them. Just be ready to make a big breakfast the next morning. If my daughter won't eat what's for dinner...then she won't eat period. I always felt a little guilt about this so I either offer her what I cooked...ex. "Your plate is still in the kitchen, I'd be happy to heat it up for you." If this doesn't work I'll give her a glass of milk, so at least I know she's going to bed with something in her stomach! Unfortunately, that's all it is...they're testing you. Hang in there! Good luck!

Ann - posted on 11/10/2008

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My daughter is like that she has good weeks and bad the bad weeks I give her Veggie plus fruit juice she thinks its just juice but you can sneak in some veggies

Amanda - posted on 11/10/2008

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there is a book by Jessica Seinfeld, (yes Jerry's wife) called Deceptively Delicious. its about hiding pureed veges in everyday food. There is even a brownie that has cauliflower in it. but if you choose to go down this road always put the actual vegie on his plate aswell. eventually he will realise that it isn't yuck, especially if he see you eating the right stuff aswell

Robin - posted on 11/10/2008

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Do you eat the fruit/veggies you want your son to eat? I find my son (who is also 4) is getting to the point he doesn't want to try things he doesn't like the look or smell of, but if I eat it (whether I like it or not) and say it's really good then he's all for eatting the fruit/veggies and enjoys them. Good luck, I know how frustrating it can be!

Andrea - posted on 11/10/2008

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Also...the reality is that it wont kill them. They get what they need when they need it. If all they wanted was PBJ then it's ok, as eventually they will burn out and ask for something else. The reality is that they are learning to listen to their hunger and food choices! It will all work out!

Teresa - posted on 11/10/2008

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For fruit, does your son like popsicles? If so, blend fruit up with water so it's not too thick add a bit of honey to sweeten it if need be. My son loves fruit pops. For veggies, if your son will drink smoothies, make any type of fruit smoothie he likes and add spinach to it. Spinach doesn't have a lot of flavor so he doesn't know it's in there. The key is to give it to him in a cup he can't see through, with a lid and straw. Chances are if he sees the green color he won't drink it. My son likes these too and he doesn't even know he's getting his veggies. Just a couple of tricks to try. Hope it helps.

Margaret - posted on 11/10/2008

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To ensure he is getting the vitemans he needs till you can get the veggies and fruits in him try Juice Plus vitamens. My doc recommended it for me and they are gummy (taste good) so kids will eat them. I tried different techniques like peanut butter with apples, cheese on green beans and for boys...well...if "Daddy" loves it, so will they.

Fran - posted on 11/10/2008

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Hi Melissa, My kids are grown now, however, my daughter Alexa ate really good...veggies etc when she was very young. As she got older she wouldn't touch anything green no matter what I did. Well, have no fear, she is now 20yrs old and has been a vegetarian for the past few years and is studying to be a nutritionist. I would just keep offering them and seasoning them. Try roasted vegies with your favorite seasoning. Maybe put some hummus on them or something he likes...cheese etc.

Alicia - posted on 11/10/2008

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hi my son is autistic and wont eat fruit or vegies either how ever i have discovered something that you can get either at the health food store or organic stores they are called vege buddies they look like gummie bears and are made from all natural fruit and vegetable juices. they are really good my son loves them and the best thing is he can eat as much as he wants.

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I pureed my veggies (especially) and still do at time, in sauces etc. I also, give them ONE yuck food.... ( my kids are 12, 10 and 7) and make sure that there are at least 2 choices on the plate that are fruit or veggie. I don't puree to "hide" it from them ,just for extra nutrition. 4 is a hard age to work with food. They want independence so badly but also still need A LOT of guidance. I'd us both Lexi's and Suzanne's ideas. If you're worried about nutrition, puree and also give an option with one "yuck" food on the plate that he doesn't have to eat! Good luck!

Suzanne - posted on 11/10/2008

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It is good to puree things and add them into the food, but you do want your son to know that fruits and veggies are things he should choose to eat. The habits he makes now will most likely carry into adulthood and I'm sure you want them to be good habits. I would offer him a fruit and vegetable with each meal. It might sound extreme but I wouldn't even give an option of chips, fries, or other unhealthy sides. After a while he will start to eat them, and if he doesn't he will atleast see that you think they are good for him. If he gets hungry enough, he will eat them and learn to like them!! (I have a 2 yr. old who eats all kinds of veggies including brussel sprouts!) I have always given them to him with his meals and not allowed other unhealty choices and it has worked! Good Luck to you.

Lexi - posted on 11/10/2008

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Try pureeing veggies and putting them into spaghetti sauce. My son went through a spell like that too and he'd pick anything out of sauces. If he can't see lumps or chunks, he may eat it better. Or try pureeing fruits and baking them into muffins - a fruit puree can often be substituted as part of the butter/fat in a recipe, and often extra frui pureed with /juice can be added to a baked recipe without the child being any the wiser.
Good luck! And rest assured, he will eventually eat a more balanced diet. My picky eater does now. :)

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