How do I get my son to eat something other then chicken nuggets?

Megan - posted on 02/20/2009 ( 15 moms have responded )

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My son is 18 months old, and lately the only thing he will eat is chicken nuggets. I have tired similar foodlike hot dogs to try to get him to eat something else, but he won't. We've done the whole sitting at the table, with what everyone is having, with his fork and sippy cup, but he just plays with the food and doesn't eat a thing. I worry he isn't getting all the nutrients that he needs. Anyone have any ideas?

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Maria - posted on 02/20/2009

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Why not try to make the same stuffing with fish and meat like the way a chicken nugget looks like or try changing his eating scenery or let him use his hands. That way he could explore more on the food and eventually would want to taste it. Make his feeding fun so next he will associate happy time with eating.

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My oldest daughter went throught the same thing. First it was pancakes, then chicken nuggets. At that age I just gave her what she wanted and was happy that she ate. He will grow out of it. Besides, your son isn't old enough to sit at the table and eat the same thing you eat so I am under the assumption that you have to make him something different anyway, right? Mine are 5 and 3 now and they are told to eat what is fixed or they go hungry now. Once they got 2 1/2 - 3 my husband and I made them sit with us and eat what we fix. If they don't want it that's fine but they don't get anythign different and they don't get dessert. Especially if they don't even try it!

User - posted on 02/20/2009

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we went thru this with our son and daughter...a start was that we bought some popcorn shrimp and fish sticks and told them that it was chicken shrimp and chicken strips...they never even noticed and now they love them both as much as the nuggets, or more, and know what they really are. once we got them to venture into that new experience we tried other routes like corn dogs (chicken dogs), etc. i think alot of it is the word "chicken" at the beginning, i could get my daughter to eat anything if i said it was chicken :) eventually they learn the truth, but by then they are already enjoying these other things so they dont care.

Kristy - posted on 02/20/2009

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I know it sounds cruel, but you only have to do it once or twice they'll eat whatever you want them too. 



My 5 girls have gone at least once (a couple of them twice) to bed WITHOUT dinner.  This means no snack either.  It only takes once to have an empty tummy for them to at least try to eat what you worked so hard on for dinner.  If my kids TRY it and don't like it, I give them props for having the courage to try something new and then let them finish only the things they like on their plate and let them have 2nds of the things they like. 



It's important to remember that everyone's stomach (even adults) is only the size of their fist.  Kids have really small fists.  They can survive on what we see as teeny tiny amounts of food.  Only put on your child's plate the serving that fits their size.  Sometimes that's only one spoonful of peas (or the like) and 2 small chunks of meat, etc.  Give them really tiny plates so that it looks full. 

Angie - posted on 02/20/2009

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Try making homemade chicken nuggets - just cut up boneless skinless chicken breasts and roll them in beaten egg whites and bread crumbs and bake at 350 for about half an hour. They are far much healthy than the store bought kind and it may be just enough the same that he'll eat them. Just keep trying to get him to eat what everyone else is eating and one day he'll snap out of it! Good luck!

Emily - posted on 02/20/2009

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Have you tried other foods that he can dip in to ketchup or dressing. My son loves to dip food that is how he eats veggie like broccile and carrots and salad. He loves ranch and it makes him feel big. If you are worried about nutrients and stuff try some pedisure it comes in 3 flavors it is kinda expensive but it is full of vitiams and nutrients and they think it is milk.

Kristy - posted on 02/20/2009

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I so went through this. My 6 year old is PICKY so I just stopped worrying and was happy she was eating!!!  I wouldnt worry about it, I know alot of children that do this!! :o)

Donna - posted on 02/20/2009

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My 5 year old went through this he would only dunk them in ranch dressing. Then we figured out it was the ranch dressing he loved. I now serve a cup of ranch with EVERYTHING!! He'll eat any meat and veggie as well as long as he can dunk it!! Kids love dunking their food in something!! Hope this was helpful and good luck!!

Jennifer - posted on 02/20/2009

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Well while I have not gone through this with my own child yet. I have been a nanny and worked in daycare with all different ages. The little boy I was nanny  for was about 18 months when he started this also, and he to only wanted McDonald’s chicken nuggets and fries. But my advantage was that he also like fruit. Anyway what worked for us was being persistent. I would start with 1 thing on his plate a very small quantity of it. If he refused to eat it, with out forcing I tried to get him to take a bite. If he still refused I would leave him in his chair and take everything away and let him sit for a few minutes. Not very long though cause there attention span is very short and they will lose interest and have to start all over again. Anyway leave the room just for a few moments. Then come back and try it all over again. Keep doing it until you get one bite. One bite is the beginning of you winning. Be persistent it may take several times. They are very stubborn if they want to be. Get him to take one bite then reward him with a bite something he likes like for me it was a piece of fruit. Then keep repeating the process until he is done with his meal. It is time consuming but eventually he will take more bites before his reward. and soon enough eat all of his food without struggle. But it is important that you keep making a variety of food for him to try, this problem is harder to break as they get older, so try you hardest now. Defiantly supplement his vitamins until he begins eating well again. By the way the boy I was a nanny for has Autism so he is really hard to reason with, but we made it work and you will to. Good Luck!

Karen - posted on 02/20/2009

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when my 13 yr old daughter was that age she wouldn't eat anythingby the time she was 3 she didin't want meat in it so every time we set down to eat a meal should would ask no matter what is this meat, i would say no and she was fine with that answer. keep doing the table thing and eventually he will eat. i have 3 kids and i never asked them what they wanted for dinner but once in awhile. what i cooked it was they got and now all 3's fav veg is creamed spinich they love it. it will work out trust me they do grow out of these kicks.

karen

Danielle - posted on 02/20/2009

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you cant buy pediasure in canada just so everyone knows!! I looked only the states and they dont have that kid friendly of a taste.

Danielle - posted on 02/20/2009

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My son is the picky eater of the century, my everyday frustratin is makin food for him. All he eats is chicken!! chicken nuggets, fried chicken, chicken fried rice, ...and thats all I can make with chicken lol. I found though that he hates being confined to his high chair. My hubby hates it when I let him just sit in the living room or his bedroom with his food on his lap and eat. Sometimes that helps if he is not strapped in there! The only reason I do this is cause he dont eat ANYTHING!!! so I am worried about his nutrients and growth. People say he will get use to this but I really dont care at the moment until he starts eating more then Ill worry about getting him out of this habit. They also say the kids will eat when they are hungry, um ya, my son can go 3 to 4 days without anything!!! Also if you are worried about the nutrients try putting him on some vitamins, I have my son on poly-vi-sol vitamins, its a liquid, thats taste horrid but mixing it with juice or puddin or just puttin it in there mouth real quick works with me I hope this helps a bit. But dont worry things will get better in the future, they are boyz they gotta munch down sometime right!!! haha good luck!

Desiree - posted on 02/20/2009

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It's a faze that most all kids go through. He'll grow out of it eventually and try different things. (I have 5 kids and am going through this now with my 2 and 3 year old). You might want to ask the doctor if you can give him a vitamin a day to make up for the lack of nutrients (they make gummy vitamins thatfrom what my kids say taste pretty good) Don't try to force him to eat other things, lose/lose battle....lol! My 2 little ones will only eat PB&J, chicken nuggets and hot dogs. I do fix them a plate of what everyone else is eating but in the end they usually end up with a PB&J in front of them!

Danielle - posted on 02/20/2009

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My son is the picky eater of the century, my everyday frustratin is makin food for him. All he eats is chicken!! chicken nuggets, fried chicken, chicken fried rice, ...and thats all I can make with chicken lol. I found though that he hates being confined to his high chair. My hubby hates it when I let him just sit in the living room or his bedroom with his food on his lap and eat. Sometimes that helps if he is not strapped in there! The only reason I do this is cause he dont eat ANYTHING!!! so I am worried about his nutrients and growth. People say he will get use to this but I really dont care at the moment until he starts eating more then Ill worry about getting him out of this habit. They also say the kids will eat when they are hungry, um ya, my son can go 3 to 4 days without anything!!! Also if you are worried about the nutrients try putting him on some vitamins, I have my son on poly-vi-sol vitamins, its a liquid, thats taste horrid but mixing it with juice or puddin or just puttin it in there mouth real quick works with me I hope this helps a bit. But dont worry things will get better in the future, they are boyz they gotta munch down sometime right!!! haha good luck!

Heather - posted on 02/20/2009

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I think it is pretty normal for kids to go through a stage of only eating one food.  Check with your pediatrician and see if you need to supplement with something like pediasure to make sure he's getting everything he needs.  And just keep trying other foods...he'll eventually find something that he likes.  (My daughter basically eats grilled cheese sandwiches, chicken nuggets, and apples but will sometimes eat something I don't think she will.)

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