Picky Eater!!

Julie - posted on 02/21/2009 ( 18 moms have responded )

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I have a 2 1/2 year old son who lets say gives a new meaning to picky eater. He has been this way since he was an infant about 9 months old. I asked my doctor he said don't worry he will out grow it. And to be honest he hasn't. Being a devoted mom I hate receiving those goofy looks when you are out at a restaurant and your child is the only two year old eating baby food. He does eat all cereals with milk, crackers, basic kids snacks but will not eat meat or any regular table food. Which makes feeding very difficult. My doctor thinks it is a lifestyle issue which it isn't I am a mom trying so hard but he gags himself. Many moms said it seems like a texture issue which is super hard to overcome is there any moms out there who have a child that is this picky or do you have any pointers. I have tried everything from not giving him the foods he desires to positive reinforcement he just isn't having it. Plus my babysitter and Mom are very devoted to helping him eat. Even his big cousin who he idolizes can seem to help the little guy out. My husband and I feel like we are all alone and no one else's child is like this though I know in my mind there probably certainly are. Help Please!!!

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Emma - posted on 02/23/2009

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You are SO not alone.  My son (from starting on solids at about 5 months old, until he turned 3) was an absolutey terrible eater.  The doc told me exactly what he told you; he CANT starve himself and eventually he will eat.  That's a lie.  We went on a two week holiday and, as God is my witness, that child never ate a thing for a week and a half!  The boy NEVER ate!  I used to cry and cry and cry.  I tried both forcing him & being gentle and encouraging.  It led to arguments with my husband.  It was a horrible time.  I know exactly what your going through.  My boys problem with food then caused agg with his digestion as well.  He was severely constipated and everything "down there" got impacted.  He would scream and cry and you could "see" it stuck fast!  (sorry, gross I know!).  I eventually had to put him on laxatives & vitamin drinks.  Equally though, I know mums who's kids wont eat a thing either; yet they dont have problem with constipation, so dont panic that that will happen to your boy.  People say that you shouldn't make a big plateful of food because it's daunting, but I've tried doing a smaller plate and it makes no bloody difference! The only way I tackled it is by preparing a "normal" sized plate of food and then splitting it up; saying he had to eat half and could leave half.  That made him beleive that he was in charge of what he ate and we reached a good compromise.  I had to stick to it though; he was NOT getting down from that table until he ate it; whether I had to feed him or not. As your boy is 2 1/2 he should be starting to understand reasoning, so it should only get easier for him him to appreciate what you are saying. Sure, at first, he only ate small portion but - as we went along - I increased the portion size and before long he was eating an adequate amount.  Believe me, if my child overcome both the food issue and the constipation, ANY child can.  Honestly, he was terrible! People tend to disregard childrens bad eating as though it isn't a big deal, but it SO is when your the one living through it.  It will get easier though; take it from a mother that knows!  Good luck!!! x

Jaime - posted on 02/21/2009

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I hide new food or food he is refusing in food that I know he likes. My son loves grilled cheese, so I used to hide soft, smashed veggies in it. Recently I hid turkey in it, adn he decided he liked the turkey on its on too! There is also a book called Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfield that I would take a look at. It is all about hiding healthy foods in other food (carrots and succhini in brownies, or pureed cauliflour in scrambled eggs).

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Emma - posted on 02/28/2009

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You're very welcome; although not much help I know!  Being a 'working' mum and trying to sort food issues out with a child that wont eat is exhuasting.  I vowed to straighten Jack out when I went off on maternity leave with my second child because it was really the only time to focus & dedicate all my time solely to Jack (not that I'm saying your answer lies with having another child of course!!  haha!  Quite the opposite!)  So many mums I know have toddlers/babies that eat and eat and eat and eat!  They are so far removed from understanding anything related to a child that won't put a thing in their mouth; its so annoying &  frustrating!  So it's so difficult to talk to anyone that is in, or has been, in the same boat xXx

Julie - posted on 02/27/2009

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Emma,



Thank you for your post it gives me much hope. I haven't really been on here much since last weekend since i am a working mom. I am so sorry to hear anyone go through what we have had to endure with the feeding issues. It is one of the most frustrating things of my life. I have tried not feeding mine the things he likes too and as god is my witness he won't eat either. I do have hope that with the ability to talk him through it, that things may get better sooner than later. Its a daily struggle right now though. But reading your post made me not feel as alone.

Cristina - posted on 02/24/2009

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I had the same problem. He would eat only fruit and some veggies and ur basic crackers or fruit snacks and the only meat he would eat was hot dogs with ketchup. I found that any kind of meat (even chicken, nasty!) if I gave him ketchup he would eat it. So maybe try a dipping sauce maybe. I had asked my doctor and she said as long as he gets his protien like eggs or peanut butter he should be fine. Sorry I can't be more helpful. Hope it gets better soon, if is hard to deal with.

Julie - posted on 02/24/2009

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i just like knowing i'm not the only one hope things get better with your daughter and my son for out sanity anyways

Melissa - posted on 02/23/2009

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p.s. sorry lol,my health vistor said something about giving so much juice etc she said cut the juice out a bit because it fills them up well i tried that,it kinda works,but still refuses different things she just has a big apetite for the old usual stuff lol!

Melissa - posted on 02/23/2009

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yes i think they are very much alike by the sounds of things,i kinda have to force her a little bit like you say to try and get her to actually taste the stuff,sometimes i do that and find she will actually like it lol it's a case of knowing if it's being fussy or just being naughty if you no what i mean,i find that mad them saying to you that giving him to much milk is bad i would of thought that would of been a good thing,because it's good for there teeth and bones,and will make them strong how strange? yeah i don't have to hide the fruits my daughter loves fruit good job to because it's about the only good thing she does eat oh and cheese! so at least she is getting her calcium through the cheese being as she isnt a milk lover only on her cerals now and a gain,i want her to have lots of veg so i'm going to have another attempt at trying to hide them in something she does actually like,if your doesnt eat much fruit perhaps you could try banana cake,and carrott cake?at least with both of those 1 has a fruit in and the other had carrots in?i'm so glad iv'e found somebody on here so simliar to my daughter i thought i was the only 1 with a fussy child haha,thank you for alway replying back to write back soon p.s. that book does sound really good i might look it up to!

Julie - posted on 02/22/2009

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My Son eats all kinds of cold cereals with milk, cheez its, yogos, yogurt, pudding, chips, almost all the 100 calorie snacks(don't want him to have too much fat and sugar), chocolate, small rice cakes with the flavoring, corn chips, cheez it twisters, sweet potatoes(baby food junior jars), squash(babyfood), all his veggies(baby food), small candy bars, milk, juice, water, he even hates pop(thank god), cheese puffs, doritos, lorna doone cookies, oreos, quaker oats mini strawberry squares, sometimes if he is in the mood brown sugar pop tarts, french fries(but theyhave to look like McDonalds or her refuses), he basically sounds a 100% like your daughter you ask him hey sweetie would you like to try this and he takes one look and say so cute uh ah. He will smell things but tells me they smell bad and he won't like it. My mom even has him licking food to see if he might try it. She thought if he could get the general idea of the flavor and smell being good he might try but that doesn' work either. My doctor kind of ticked me off he told me take away all the things he likes kids aren't stupid they will eat cardboard if they get hungry enough. I gave him a few choice words and have tried that but he won't budge. I recently got yelled at because the PA we saw screamed at me when I told her how much milk Blake consumes. I thought it would help him keep his weight steady at least and he loves it. She says it can cause children to be anemic if you give them too much milk because they won't eat and said that is my problem try to get rid of most of the milk and fluid consumption and that would fix my problem. Well he isn't anemic. The foods he does eat thank got are packed with iron. And I did try the milk thing and juice taking away and offering after meals and it doesn't help a bit. He is just super duper picky. I find relief in knowing other people go through this. I would like to just take him to a restaurant and order him something off the menu that is my dream and to cook a meal for the whole family and have us all eat the same thing together. I also give him carnation instant breakfast packets he calls them his milkshake milk. He loves pediasure drinks he calls those his teddy bear drinks since there is a teddy bear on the front. Those have a lot of good vitamins and minerals that your daughter may be missing like my son. Try that too!!

If you find anything that works for yours let me know and will do the same. One of the moms told me to try vegimite on veggies. Another told me about a book called deceptively delicious byJessica Seinfeld. It helps you hide fruits and veggies in things like brownies or cakes and things our little sweethearts will eat. I'm going to look for the book doesn't hurt to try it out!!

Melissa - posted on 02/22/2009

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yes my daughter is the same refuses anything healthy other than the rubbish stuff i.e. chocolate biscuits, i.ve tried hiding vegetables her food but she soon noticed what i was doing just typical when you think you have cracked it,don't worry bout what other people think or say it's nothing to do with them it's your child not there's all's you can do is try the hiding the veggies in his food and hope that he doesn't notice it yes it can be frustrating as you end up having to bin what they havent eaten normally for me ends up being the whole thing as she just refuses! mine just has the same old stuff every day,wish she would have different stuff what kind of things does your little boy have then?the health vistor also told me that they sometimes refuse just because they dont like the look of something or the colour of something ! write back soon

Julie - posted on 02/21/2009

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Thank you I will pick up the book. I never thought of hiding veggies and stuff in sweet things he likes. As long as he can't see it I will be safe. I have tried putting fruits in his pudding or jello and he freaks out cause he can see it. Great tip thank you so much

Julie - posted on 02/21/2009

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I try never to compare kids. They are all so diverse. I have learned that since becoming a mom. I will try the vegimite thanks for the help I will try anything. I'm so glad to know I am not alone it makes me feel better with every person that responds. I'm glad you are all positive because sometimes the world can be so negative. Thanks everybody

Sam - posted on 02/21/2009

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hi, try mixing vegimite thru hes vegies, mashed... that helped me with my 13month old son.. now hes fine with eating.. every child is different, should never compare them...hope u find sumthing that works..x

Courtney - posted on 02/21/2009

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I am glad to know that I am not alone. I have twin boys that are 14 months old. One will try anything the other will not. He won't even put new foods in his mouth to try them or let me put them in and he has recently started refusing his baby food. I think it is a texture issue and hope he will outgrow it. Right now I am just trying to make sure he gets something in his stomach. He has yet to refuse yogurt and will eat rice and all kinds of "snack" food (I buy all the gerber snack stuff so I know that at least he is getting some nutrition) and he loves poptarts. He also drinks a lot of milk/juice/water so at least he is getting something and is growing well. I am just trying to be patient, if you find anything that works let me know -- best of luck to you!

Julie - posted on 02/21/2009

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yes it is really frustrating. Thanks for letting me know I'm not alone. People think I should starve him and not be a short order cook. Others say I spoil him to make it easier on myself and that just isn't true. I wish I could be like Kate on Jon and Kate plus 8 and get my child to eat all natural foods and organic. But the sad thing is not all kids are like that. I idolize her for being able to get all of her kids to eat well though.

Mine won't eat toast or bread so sandwiches are out for me too. I have even tried cute cookie cutter sandwiches, plates of all mixes of food and even having him watch his idol at night Daddy eat. I tried telling the doctor he won't even try things. Its seems like all the things he is willing to try are unhealthy options like chocolate, cookies etc.

I do keep trying but its the most frustrating thing I have ever gone through. He does get his fruits and veggies through baby food and is growing just fine. Maybe I need not worry and let nature take it's course and not worry about what other people say but its hard. Everyone wants the perfect child!! He's perfect to me!! Just a stubborn little stinker sometimes. Hope all works good for you too!!

Melissa - posted on 02/21/2009

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hi first thing you are not alone,my daughter who is nearly 2 is really fussy 2 she doesnt eat hardlyything ,she refuses to try new things,i.e. potatoes,vegetables,fish,eggs,meat sources etc i could list you loads of things that she doesnt want ,but might bore you to death lol,the only thing's that she really likes is pasta,and sandwwiches,she likes fruit but that's about the only healthy thing she does like,she even refuses milk ,the only time she gets her milk is on her ceral,my health vistor said i have to put a variaty of different things on her plate for her to have but it still doesn't help she basically said you have to just let them eat what they want!hopefully they will grow out of it 1 day nd yes it can be frustarting can't it write back soon

Julie - posted on 02/21/2009

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yes he has a 5 year old cousin Austin who he idolizes like no other. and is at the babysitter with kids all day too. we have tried saying if Austin eats this will you and Austin even tries to encourage him and still does everyday but it hasn't worked yet. But thank you so much for your comment!! I appreciate any advice anyone will give and will try the children thing at the table more!!

Salwa - posted on 02/21/2009

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Did you try sitting him with other kids that are eating? From my experience kids like to copy other kids. If they are eating a certain food, he may want to try it with them!

My daughter fusses occasionally, but eats well when we are at the table with other kids (usually her cousins)!

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