I have read many of the postings on picky eaters, but none seemed to address older children. My son is ten and has a very limited menu of foods he will eat. I was forced to eat liver and onions, eggplant, brussel sprouts etc. I swore I wouldn't force my kids to eat foods. Now, I am paying the price for that. My son's diet consists of pizza, peanut butter, poptarts. Sometimes he will eat chicken, but no other meat, no veggies, and only bananas and green apples. Of course he loves sweets, but I limit that based on what he will eat for dinner. Not sure where to go. He only weighs 59 pounds. I am considering a dietician, but no sure. Any good ideas?

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Amy - posted on 01/12/2009

14

8

0

You may want ot also consult a psychologist...some children have food aversions that they may not be aware of.  Some children with sinus problems also have difficulty with sense of smell, which is directly associated with taste.  Perhaps there is something not right with his senses that causes him to dislike the tastes of certain foods.  Also, what does his pediatrician say about it?  Is he falling off the growth chart?  As long as he is in proportion for himself, then just give it time.  My 13 year old is only 71 lbs and 4'8'' in 7th grade, but he has followed his own trend (albeit pathetic) and his doctors have assured me that this is okay.  He will eventually grow on his own terms.

46 Comments

View replies by

[deleted account]

Quoting Nicole:

I dont understand the i wont eat that idea i have raised 9 children on what they get for dinner which is home made and healthy..not junk food if there hungry theyll eat it if they dont want it well then they can have a pb and j sandwich....it has worked well for us.....


I have a super picky eater, and not because we cater to her. She would take a PB&J sandwich everyday for supper. But due to that being her standard lunch menu I won't allow it. She either eats what we are all having or she doesn't eat. Most days she doesn't eat. All she eats is rice (basmati), chicken hot dogs, chicken nuggets, PB&J, some cereals, milk, cheese, vanilla yogurt, granola bars, fruit snacks, rice cakes. DUe to not having rice for every supper and not having hot dogs and chicken nuggets often at all, you can see why she doesn't eat many suppers. She doesn't eat meat (excepting the 2 above), veggies or fruit and hasn't since she was about 1 1/2. The dr says not to worry she'll grow out of it, but I am not so sure it will be in the next 10 years. She doesn't get snacks after 3 pm (lunch at 11, then 1 snack). She has gone 3 days (at 3 years old) without eating as she didn't like anything we were having. However, the drs again say not to worry, so I try not to. She also doesn't like sweets that much, though she would eat chips if I let her. (but only potato chips) I figure if she can survive anyone can. 

Nichol - posted on 01/12/2009

23

30

0

In my house there is no option. Though it may sound inhuman, but you can eat what is cooked/made, or you can drink a glass of milk & hit the sheets (my kids usually have this problem when its dinner). & though most call it forcing them, actually it forces them to try something they "think" they don't like. Do this a couple of times & I bet, he will be asking can we have liver & onions for dinner tonite?!!?!!!

[deleted account]

My son was the pickiest eater on the planet,  when he was about 11, he went a solid MONTH eating NOTHING but chicken nuggets!!! OMG!!! I feel your frustration and have a few ideas that helped me out a lot in the long run, as now my kiddo is 16 and eats EVERYTHING, with NO EXCEPTIONS.



 #1: GET RID OF IT!: I went to the doctor with this issue and together we created a list of "Comfort foods" that he would readily eat. Everything was proccessed or from a can... so- I GOT RID OF IT! By simply not having it in the house forced him to eat other things.... "Out of sight, out of mind!" it was really quite simple.



#2 PLANT A GARDEN!: The process of growing his own veggies may entice him into not only giving them a try, but incorporating them into his diet by choice. Cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, sugar-snap pease, potatoes, onions, peppers, carrots and radishes can all be grown quickly and easily in pots, if need be. Make it HIS project, once they are ready for picking offer to give him some money and take him  to the produce department to get things to "ADD IN" a salad for the rest of the family... he'll take great pride in his efforts,  I was sure my son was going to turn permanently red from all the radishes he ate! LOL! In the long run, the kid will not consume a meal without a salad (even though he smothers it with croutons and dressing.... whatever!) 



#3 TEACH HIM TO READ LABELS AND UNDERSTAND NUTRITION:  When you are shopping, or unpacking groceries, hand him something and have him read the ingredients. He will soon learn the difference between natural and scientific terms.  Reinforce this behavior by making healthy snacks availible... like fruit roll-ups. They are fun, they are FRUIT and if you read the label, it says "Apples". Give him ONE identifiable scientific term that he should stay away from. "High Fructouse Corn Syrup" is a great one because it's present in just about every junk food known to man and is typically listed first or second, therefore, he doesn't have to work too hard to find it. Do a little research and teach him WHY it's BAD and what the natural/healthy alternitives are. My son was on medication for ADD when he was that age, he couldn't handle the taste that red-dye left in his mouth, it affected his tastebuds severly and we had a terrible time getting him to eat at all, so we started looking for that on labels since it hides in more foods than you could ever imagine....in no time, anything in a can was GONE as he found red dye on all of the labels... slowly he eliminated his own vices and chose healthier alternitives.



 #4: TEACH HIM HOW TO COOK!: This one is super easy, he wasts pizza... go buy the stuff and make it! Or make english muffin pizza's, they're fun, they can be made in a micro-wave or a toaster oven-Oh! And they are QUICK! If he wants ravioli's, MAKE 'UM! I did the reserach and I KNOW it is actually more cost-effective to make a family sized portion of Ravioli's than it is to buy 4 cans of Chef-boy-ar-dee.... all it is, is boiling and heating so if you do it right.... it's FUN STUFF! 



#5 MAKE IT FUN!!



Here's some creative ideas to keep it fun!



 The way we tackled meat was this: I'd sneak him into the kitchen and we'd come up with a wild story about how the chicken was actually snake or the roast was really roasted dragon.... then, as he helped me deliver dinner to the table, he would announce "It's Roasted Dragon Night with Boiled Horse Eyes (onions)!!! EAT UP!!!"... thinking he was the sneakiest, funniest kid that ever lived. His Dad, or our friends (whomever would be around for dinner) knew our struggles and would play along acting as though the thought of eating roasted dragon was purely disgusting, forcing him to eat with flair and gusto to get them to do the same. He got to tell a whopper and pull a fast on on EVERYONE.... later in life he used this own trick on his cousin to get her to eat cooked carrots..... she was 5 and came out with a bowl of boiled carrots announcing "Here come the boiled Fairy Fingers!!! YUMMY!" with a big 'ol smile on her face, just as pleased as punch. Throughout the meal, she did her best to convince us that if we ate enough of them, we would be able to fly...... she had 2 servings and my son was quite proud of himself for thinking of such a brilliant plan in the first place.



FOOD ART: Veggie/mashed potatoe sculptures are AWESOME (I even enjoy them). Always keep your camera ready for the end product and make sure he knows the rule is that YOU EAT WHAT YOU BUILD!





NO SILVERWARE NIGHT: It's as simple as it sounds.... try serving "mooshed" potatoes on no silverware night and see how many laughs it promotes.





KIDS CHOICE NIGHT: make a list of things you're WILLING to make, sperate the entree's from the side dishes and let him "Order" his meal one night a week, mixing and matchingas he goes. Keep the menu steady and healthy and always make sure there's dessert! :)





KEEP IT COLORFUL!!!  have you ever put bright green broccoli next to plaming orange carrots- SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL! Try it.





#6 QUIT EMABLING HIM!: Through my struggles with nutrition and weight gain regarding my son I realized a some point that I was "Caving" to his need for weight and compromising nutrition. This is where it's important to only have foods you want him to eat in the house.... do not make him a special meal, do not but anything late lives in a box with fun cartoon characters on it and has to be micro-waved to consume.  Make the choices he has to make the choices you've already made. If he chooses to skip one meal, he won't die, I promise! In fact, he'll get hungry and that's GOOD! :)



 



 Here's the thing with MAKING/FORCING a kid to eat all the foods you "Feel" are "Right".......... they will defy you simply for the sake of defying you. It's like saying "Clean your room!!!" there's no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow for them, they don't understad the concept of "Healthy" at that age, everything is a self-gratifying venture for a 10 year old. To save youself, don't envoke or encourage a battle..... making food a big deal will work against you, on the surface I found not recognizing it was an issue worked best, if it wasn't an issue for me, it was an issue for my son- he didn't know to put up his gaurd when it was time to eat. We made it as fun as we could and never forced him to eat anything, he always had the option of staying hungry. His reward for eating a healthy meal was always a bag of Top Ramen....... I called it "Crap Food" (because it is pure CRAP! Calling it FOOD was kind) and he liked the idea of getting to eat CRAP (so I am assuming). Kids like to go against the grain in all things, why should food be any different?



Good luck to you, be patient and know that there are always creative ways to parent around the issue. You can make it as crazy-fun as you need to be to be successful. Your son will come to a place where he eats you out of house and home andput on the weight you're worried about..... I PROMISE. It's best to establish healthy eating habits before that time comes.... the most important thing I can advise you of is this: ALWAYS lead by expample!!!! ALWAYS!!! Don't let him see you choosing a bag of M&M's over a carrot stick dipped in Ranch or an apple dipped in peanut butter (they healthiest snack on the planet for an under-nourished kid!). It's simple parenting wisdom... "Monkey see, Monkey do!!!"



 



Good luck, again! and HAVE FUN!

Karen - posted on 01/12/2009

2

12

0

offer him other foods and tell him just to give it a try. If he doesn't like it tell him he does not have to eat the rest . before you know it he will have picked up some new foods that he likes. Just keep on trying, their tastes change every so offen.

Jeniffer - posted on 01/12/2009

6

22

0

as you are deciding what to do, wean out the sweet stuff in your house, and the quick grab foods, most good for you food requires effort, get him involved in cutting fruits and veggies and mixing a healty dip to go with it....... challenge him to see how many different colors he can come up with, make it a game..........



But first, if there easy grab n go options, kids will opt for those......get those out of the kitchen (house) and only buy and supply your home with the foods you want to be eaten..........if they are hungry and there is no medical reason, they will find some option you have in the house to eat........ when you take away all the sweets!

Smokey - posted on 01/11/2009

3

1

0

I am not a big fan of hiding vegetables in other foods or any other sort of deception, but I can understand how it could work for a time with a picky eater. My kids (grown and gone now) ate pretty much what I served. They were allowed not to like some foods, but I also made sure the house wasn't full of junk. There were no pop tarts. There were frozen waffles - multi-grain ones - and cereals, though none of the sweetened ones. The breakfast choices the kids had were healthy, not empty calories. At dinner I have been known to dust steamed carrots with cinnamon (NOT cinnamon sugar!) or saute apple slices with onions, green pepper and celery to go with a plainly cooked meat. If you can get a kid to help in the kitchen it's great - and as a bonus, you can rest easy that he or she is learning skills that will serve him or her for a lifetime. I didn't have soft drinks in the house for meals, and only once in a while for snacks. No nutrition in there! And if the kids didn't want to eat what was served- well, that was okay - but that was dinner and there were no options. No pb&j, no microwave foods (too expensive to keep on hand!) just whatever the family was eating. It helped when I was able to garden, and fresh brussels sprouts, eggplant, tomatoes, peppers and such were things the kids had actually watched grow. As they got older, they felt free to suggest how to prepare some of our foods. Corn on the cob is more fun than niblets, for instance. Creamed corn (I forget who thought of that!) is really good in pancakes.



As I said, my kids are grown and gone, and there is a lot I just don't understand about kids today, but this worked for me back then, and the three of them are robust and healthy now.

Adrienne - posted on 01/11/2009

15

58

0

I have not had to deal with this personally, but I have witnesses what this can turn into with my cousin. She is almost 19, in college and only eats mac and cheese, salami, subway sandwiches, pizza...and I can't think of anything else I have ever seen her eat.



Anyways, because of this, I have made sure that my picky toddlers do not head down the same road. It is hard, but we only offer what we are having, and they need to eat it, or they don't get anything. They will eat when they are hungry, and I am guessing it should be the same for a 10 year old. No dessert when they don't finish a meal, and we set time limits for how long they get to attempt eating the meal. I think they figure if they eat slow enough, we will give in and they can still get what they want without eating what we have put before them. 



I don't know what you have tried, but it doesn't hurt talking to the pediatrician, (that's who I have talked to about my picky kids) and if you don't buy the things you don't want him to eat, he can't eat them. Maybe taking him to the grocery store and letting him pick out a veggie to have with dinner might work? Tell him that he has to pick something out and he has to eat it at dinner time. But if he gets to pick it, then he can't blame you for picking something "yucky".



Hope I helped a little. Good luck. As long as he doesn't get sick often, he is probably doing alright, but obviously you want him to have a wider variety of foods, and some veggies!  



: )

Naomi - posted on 01/11/2009

19

27

1

Wow, well my parents were strict when it came to my sisters and I eating. They MADE us eat everything and nothing could go in the garbage. We were not allowed to leave the table until we were done and they always said "We would never give you anything that wasn't good for you..." Fast food was never an option either, we always ate healthy and rarely had junk food in the house. I thank my parents for that now because I love all kinds of food, eat very healthy, and my BMI is where it's supposed to be. I make sure my daughter eats healthy as well. Remember, you are the boss and they are the child. You have to be strict, and if that doesn't work then talk to a nutritionist. It's not good for him to have such a limited diet because he's not getting all the vitamins and nutrients his body needs.

Doreen - posted on 01/11/2009

1

0

0

Does he eat bread products like bagels/cereals? If you serve the cereal with milk he will get the calcium he is missing from some of the veggies. My children only like canned carrots and broccoli florets. So that's all we serve. Luckily they are the good vitamin packed veggies. How about giving him apples with peanut butter - that's a real healthy choice for anyone and the protein in peanut butter could replenish his protein. If he likes that...try carrots and peanut butter...again disguising the boring carrots with globs of peanut butter. It is worth a try.

Carolyn - posted on 01/11/2009

14

7

1

I feel you. I have 9 year old twins. One will only eat dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets, cookies, muffins and cereal. The other one will eat cereal or pasta. I tried the one bite rule but it ended up in crying/throwing up. I am frustrated with the same issue.

User - posted on 01/11/2009

1

5

0

I have a 17 yr old daughter who made it through the picky eating stage. Our solution was negotiation. I never made her eat anything per se but our agreement was to simply try 1-2 bites of anything if possible. This drove my husband crazy but at the same time it made my daughter feel like she had some control over the situation. Peas was a big step for us an I always began with 10 peas (2 spoons) and she would always get excited that she negotiated me down to a smaller amount. She's still not a big fan of peas however she crossed a lot of bridges with other foods and now eats fresh peas from the garden, sushi and a lot of other things I never dreamed she would like. I suppose the negotiation gave her a small amount of control to allow her to feel as if she had some input in the situation. I also have a friend at work who's son also had a "texture" issue and they actually had to go through a type of texture training so there are a lot of issues out there you just have to stay with it. Don't give up! I have a wonderfully athletic 17yr old daughter who proves you can get past it!

Kara - posted on 01/11/2009

9

16

0

My son is a picky eater as well. I have found that I can get him to eat his veggies by serving them raw and with his choice of dip, today is Ranch dip. As for meat, this has been my ultimate challenge, I have discovered a BBQ sauce that he loves, and so I put it on everything. HE has also dicovered that he is fond of terriyaki.



As moms I think we struggle so hard to do the RIGHT thing. Bottom line, kids will not starve themselves. I have found that my finicky eater goes through stages where he does not eat much at all, sometimes to the point where I wonder how he is surviving and maintaining his limitless energy to the times where I simply cannot feed him enough, and during these times if it is 15 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that day then so be it. I think they crave the things that they need, and all we can do is provide the opportunity for them to eat nutritious foods.



I believe that whatever works is fine...



and I try not to worry too much..

Jill - posted on 01/11/2009

21

73

0

My nephew was like that, and they stopped by the crap.  His was chicken fingers, mac n cheese and pop tarts.



 



What she did was got him involved in the preparation of the food.  Had him help cook it.  He seemed more eager to eat and enjoyed the one on one with whichever parent happened to be cooking.  They discussed the foods they were preparing and found that it was the texture of some of the foods they were cooking.  Like too mushy broccoli, etc.  And now they steam it rather than boil it, and stuff like that.



 



it is worth a try.  But not having the other food in the house as an alternative helps.  Try little things first like tomato soup and grilled cheese.  Then work your way up from there!




Good luck... but dont expect miracles with asparagus!  LOL  It is a stinky one when cooking!

Jill - posted on 01/11/2009

21

73

0

My nephew was like that, and they stopped by the crap.  His was chicken fingers, mac n cheese and pop tarts.



 



What she did was got him involved in the preparation of the food.  Had him help cook it.  He seemed more eager to eat and enjoyed the one on one with whichever parent happened to be cooking.  They discussed the foods they were preparing and found that it was the texture of some of the foods they were cooking.  Like too mushy broccoli, etc.  And now they steam it rather than boil it, and stuff like that.



 



it is worth a try.  But not having the other food in the house as an alternative helps.  Try little things first like tomato soup and grilled cheese.  Then work your way up from there!




Good luck... but dont expect miracles with asparagus!  LOL  It is a stinky one when cooking!

Paulette - posted on 01/10/2009

565

16

93

Quoting Kelli:



My nephew was like that when he was young and we were really concerned about nutrition.  However, before you start "hiding" things your son won't eat, I recommend having him tested for allergies.  I discovered, as an adult, that I was actually allergic to most of the foods that I refused to eat as a kid (soy, chicken, citrus fruits, nuts, peanut butter, etc).  Once you know what he can safely eat, then I'd bring in a nutritionist.  Good luck!






She does have a valid point, take him to an allergist first. So they can rule things out and when you go to the nutritionist you won't waste time and energy. Cause isn't it true....we use a lot of energy on raising our kids. lol  I believe Kelli is right because I found out as an adult that I am highly allergic to eggs and as a kid my parents could not get me to touch them. Take care.

Stacey - posted on 01/10/2009

0

0

15

Tell he could get scurvy. My husband eats meat, grains and dairy. He now has scurvy after 23years of never eating vegetables or fruit (not even potatoes). He will eat my homemade pasta sauce and pop tarts, but he wouldn’t eat an apple or banana. He now takes horse pills of vitamin C and a multivitamin. Keep introducing him to new foods and give him lots of vitamins. You never know he may surprise you. My husband recently discovered he likes sushi (without the vegetables).

Ps. I was a vegetarian for 8 years. We always have fresh veggies and fruit in the house. He still won’t touch them. My husband is skinny too.

Kelli - posted on 01/10/2009

2

0

0

My nephew was like that when he was young and we were really concerned about nutrition.  However, before you start "hiding" things your son won't eat, I recommend having him tested for allergies.  I discovered, as an adult, that I was actually allergic to most of the foods that I refused to eat as a kid (soy, chicken, citrus fruits, nuts, peanut butter, etc).  Once you know what he can safely eat, then I'd bring in a nutritionist.  Good luck!

Sharon - posted on 01/10/2009

1

0

0

Hi, I taught children's nutrition for 20 years. Making an issue of food creates a "war" between a parent and child. I would suggest first that you serve family style meals (pass the foods) and secondly, serve one new food item at a time. Put this new food in a different dish/plate and talk the food up a bit...how good it is etc. He won't try it for some time, this I can almost guarantee you. This whole process is going to take some time to solve as you have established of a lifetime of food issues with this child. Keep trying though and don't get discouraged. Keep mealtime a pleasant atmosphere and ask him to pass the new food to you several times just to keep it in the forefront of his mind. at some point in time, he just might pick some of the food off the plate and try it. Good luck!

Avigail - posted on 01/10/2009

2

14

0

Hi Mindy,



I have a picky eater 10 yr old son, autism spectrum and soy/dairy allergies.  He used to decide he didn't like a food just by looking at it.  I stopped cooking dinners for a very long time.  Though, in the past two yrs, we changed the rules.  He has to try what I prepare.  Even if he says he does not like it, we try it again several times (different days, of course).  He has grown to like so many foods that I never in a million yrs thought he would enjoy!  It has taken some time, but try and try again.  I struggled with his pickiness for a long time!  But now he is willing to try many new foods and many times finds out he actually likes them:)

Kristi - posted on 01/10/2009

1

28

0

Hi Mindy! I am currently going through that also with my sons, 8 and 7 years old. I see it was mentioned earlier in a post, but the book Deceptively Delicious has some good recipes in it. Also, a friend of mine gave me a recipe for some protein peanut butter balls...they are very good and have oatmeal in them which really helps!

Paula - posted on 01/10/2009

1

25

0

I have a picky 11 and 7 year olds.  At our house, they get a bit of the thing that they don't like on their plate.  The rule is that they just have to taste it.  We do this even if they have tried the food before.  My oldest daughter has warmed up to quite a few of the foods that she was picky about.  The younger one has opened her mind about different foods some, too.  I think that often it takes at least 12 different experiences with a food before you might learn to enjoy to it.

Mindy - posted on 01/10/2009

5

1

0

You seem to have a similar approach to mine. He will make a microwave pizza or bagel bites. I definitely tell him I am not cooking him something different. I started pushing peanut butter and bananas. These are two things he likes. He is very active and I am just concerned that he is not getting enough good foods. What protein choices did you give?

Marie - posted on 01/09/2009

5

9

0

Hi I have the same problem with my 12 year old - he's always been fussy as a baby he would just sip at his bottle - he's never eaten a bulk meal (or anything I could really class a traditional meal) - He is very sporty and I worry like you he doesn't eat enough to maintain his activity levels.  I think its got something to do with his large tonsils but no medical evidence supports my theory yet !! I don't stress now like I used to as long as they seem healthy - I give him vitamin jellys and sometimes sneek some tonic into his pop or ice lollies !! I know one night when he's older he will come back from the pub with a curry !!!

User - posted on 01/09/2009

2

19

0

mindy, i am a mother of 2 boys 14-8..my 14 year old i think is the pickiest eater in the world...but i stick to my guns..what i make for dinner is it..i'm not running a resturaunt..if he won't or don't eat it then he can make a pb&j...and well he is fine...my sister had the same problem with my nephew..and well he now is 21 and a marine in japan...and i guess my brother in law was the same way when he wes young and he is a fireman....i know it is hard not to get concerned.. but he will be fine..the other thing i do,  all take daily vitamins..that really helps me relax then at least i know he is gettin his daily allowace that way..well good luck..but my advice is relax and things will work out in the end.

Maryellen - posted on 01/09/2009

18

17

0

My 6 yr old has major food issues, he had really bad acid reflux that went undetected for yrs so now even though he is no longer in pain, he associates food with pain, so getting him to eat has been a major challenge...when he was younger, we would make him 10 different meals to find something for him to eat, but now that hes older, I make him what he likes, to an extent, I try to offer him new foods, but he usually melts down at the table...even with the food he does eat, its very very little...a lot of the problem is mental, if you give in and give him what he wants, then he'll just keep playing you...as mean as it sounds, if he doesnt eat what you put in front of him, then he doesnt eat, thats what I have to do with mine, if I make him anything other than chicken nuggets, he refuses to eat it, throws a fit, melts down for about 10 minutes, but I just ignore him and eventually he eats what I give him...I worry about my sons size too, hes 6 and weighs 39lbs, very skinny, but he drinks lots of milk, I give him vitamins and try to sneak veggies into his food and try to make meal time fun, like making faces out of his food, or letting him help me to prepare it...I also give all my kids the juicy juice harvest blend, that has veggies in it...basically I've been told by his dr that this is something that eventually he will outgrow...try not to give in with your son, if hes hungry, he'll eat...good luck!

Susan - posted on 01/08/2009

6

0

0

I have a 7 year old son who has many friends who are picky as well and whenever they come over their moms always tell me "oh he won't eat that" but low and behold they do end up eating it.  I think when there is a group eating they tend to try things they normally would not  Also I cook with my son so it is an experience and again he tends to try things (by the way I am an extremely picky eater and did not want to pass that on to my son).  Try to find an easy cookbook tailored to cooking with kids they have more receipes that have kid friendly tastes.



 

Susan - posted on 01/08/2009

6

0

0

I have a 7 year old son who has many friends who are picky as well and whenever they come over their moms always tell me "oh he won't eat that" but low and behold they do end up eating it.  I think when there is a group eating they tend to try things they normally would not  Also I cook with my son so it is an experience and again he tends to try things (by the way I am an extremely picky eater and did not want to pass that on to my son).  Try to find an easy cookbook tailored to cooking with kids they have more receipes that have kid friendly tastes.



 

Susan - posted on 01/08/2009

6

0

0

I have a 7 year old son who has many friends who are picky as well and whenever they come over their moms always tell me "oh he won't eat that" but low and behold they do end up eating it.  I think when there is a group eating they tend to try things they normally would not  Also I cook with my son so it is an experience and again he tends to try things (by the way I am an extremely picky eater and did not want to pass that on to my son).  Try to find an easy cookbook tailored to cooking with kids they have more receipes that have kid friendly tastes.



 

Bekki - posted on 01/08/2009

1

1

0

I have an 9 year old picky eatter. I have the, "you have to at least try it" rule like many others, however I also have done two other things that have worked. One is that I only make one dinner- I will leave things out or on the side for her serving though. If she wants something else to eat she has to make it herself. She can do PB&Js by herself and microwave. This makes it more of a hassle for her to be picky and more likely that she'll eat some part of what we're having for dinner. Second as she started wanting plain pasta every night I told her she had to have some sort of protein. I let her pick. I told her about all types of foods with protein. I gave her the choice and freedom of what it would be, even if it was a food I didn't normally buy or like. I didn't care if she had walnuts with her dinner. I also let her pick it out from the store. I also explained why her body needed certain things. I hope this helps.

Tracy - posted on 01/08/2009

76

10

8

I have a picky eater as well, and I was told by the pediatrician that he needs to eat what I make and if he doesn't want that then he can have a PB&J or a cheese quesadilla but that is it. Kids will not starve themselves and will eventually eat. We introduce our kids to all types of cuisines as well, and I am shocked that this child who won't eat spaghetti loves sushi! I also try to keep all junk out of the house so if he does want a snack his choices are healthy. One other suggestion for putting some weight on him was to buy powdered milk and add it to whole milk, I would ask your doctor first for your child but mine but he loved his "Super Milk".

Linda - posted on 01/08/2009

3

16

0

I am new to the forum, so I apologize if I repeat any suggestions. We chose a grocery store that had a large selection of produce, and I had my boys (now 12 and 15) chose a different fruit and/or veg each time we went. Of course, you'll eventually run out of new choices, but, hopefully, they've found a few that they like by then. Also, fruit smoothies are a great way to hide fruits and veggies that they wouldn't normally eat. I've even hidden wheat grass and spinach juice. Boathouse (found in the produce section of the grocery store) makes a green vegetable juice. You can even add a low to no sugar protein powder. Now, they are more willing to try new foods on their own.

User - posted on 01/08/2009

1

7

0

My advise is that kids do not know how to starve themselves (girls hitting puberty have to be watched). It sounds like your son is eating and providing is healthy, exercising, sleeping well and alert I think the problem will pass. Your anxieties may be playing a part (if he is aware of them). Sorry if I sound harsh, new to sending postings but I hope you understand my message.

Nicole - posted on 01/07/2009

103

7

10

I dont understand the i wont eat that idea i have raised 9 children on what they get for dinner which is home made and healthy..not junk food if there hungry theyll eat it if they dont want it well then they can have a pb and j sandwich....it has worked well for us.....

User - posted on 01/07/2009

1

0

0

I'm new to this group, but found that when most of my kids hit puberty, their tastes changed and they were more willing to try "new" or "good for you food". Now most of them (I have 4 teens and 3 elementary kids) eat what's in front of them. We tried a bit of reverse psychology with our youngest about green beans. For one entire week we did not allow him to eat the veggies. At the end of the week, he was asking for whatever everyone else had; I guess that's some positive peer pressure :o)

Eva - posted on 01/07/2009

1

0

0

Hi Mindy,



I have been in the exact place you are in.  I have a 12 and a 9 year old.  They both were pretty picky until my husband decided to turn it around by educating them.  He is a Chiropractor so he is well rounded with health and wellness.  He started explaining to them the benefits of vegetable and fruits verses chips and sweets throughout the day.  He had to explain to them how cells are made in our body by the food we eat.  If we eat bad food, bad cells form and if we eat good food, good cells are formed.  Surprisingly, they understood and we would use examples of what types of sickness comes from poor eating habits.  We always have vegetable for lunch and dinner and if it was something they did not like, we would make them take at least 2 bites.  After 10 or so times of doing that, they began to like it and understand why they should be eating it.  Both of my girls eat broccoli, fresh and cooked spinich, brussel sprout, aspargus and the list goes on.  There are a couple of veggies they still don't like, such as peas, but I am ok with that because I don't like peas.  By the way, this was a slow process but well worth it because I think they will continue to eat the right foods on into their adult life.  Anyway, hope you find what works for you and your child.  Good luck.



Eva

Karolina - posted on 01/07/2009

1

10

0

Hi... I hear you, I was too part of that past generation where moms used to make us eat almost everything... Anyway, I recently came across a couple of  book,s, "Sneaky Cheff" and   "Deceptively Delicious".



There are some nice recipes that will surprise you and if you like to cook, you just get the idea and go on your own. (I will suggest to browse them at your local library first)



As children grow, they change their minds and try new flavors, while temporarily abandon other ones, and later on will come home from a friend's house, telling you how delicious a 'broccoli pizza' was!!.



 



 

Emily - posted on 01/07/2009

18

17

3

My philosophy is, you have to try it. I make them eat 3 bites, and if EVERYBODY hates it, then we make PB&J. But I am not running a restaurant, so I make one meal and if you don't want it, tough. Go hungry. My kids are 5, 2 1/2 & 6 months. They very rarely don't like something enough to go hungry and they eat the vast majority of "normal" foods. (I grind up just about everything we eat for my 6 month old, and he has yet to spit anything out. Not that I'd force it on him if he did!) Kids will eat when they are hungry. Don't force him to eat, just don't give him any other alternatives. You could start with some other kid favorites, like macaroni and cheese. Then gradually work into more exotics like fruits and veggies. At ten, you may be facing some control issues as well as some picky-eater ones. Just a thought. Good luck! :)

Tammie - posted on 01/07/2009

1

5

0

Well, my kids are still 5,3 and 1 but every night they eat whatever we make. my 5 year old is the pickiest eater ever. she never wants to eat anything but sweets. The rule in our house is you have to at least take 1 bite. If after that you don't like it then you don't have to eat that but usually after the 1 bite she finds out she does like it and will eat the rest of it up.

Cheryl - posted on 01/07/2009

2

3

0

Dear Mindy,

I am also a big fan of hiding things... spaghetti sauce is an excellent way of hiding grated or pureed veggies... maybe you could try chicken based lasagna or spaghetti?? My stepdaughter would only eat chicken... eventually I talked her into trying chicken tacos/ lasagna/ rissoles/ sausages... most of which I managed to hide some vegetable matter in somewhere!! Your son might like tofu too, particularly if he dislikes strong tasting meats.... Years ago, I had a great little book called "Confessions of a Sneaky Organic Cook"and it had some great ideas on hiding good things in food... one of which was adding extra skim milk powder to your milk, in order to increase the protein content... and it really DOES work!! ...especially in milk used for milkshakes or smoothies...

Hope this helps,

Cheers from Cheryl

Deborah - posted on 01/07/2009

5

24

0

Mindy, I have a 10 year old with autism, and he has texture issues like Paulette mentioned.  I also discovered over Thanksgiving, after my teenager insisted he have a bite of sweet potato casserole, that he is allergic to tree nuts.  I think there are lots of ways to make sure he's getting the nutrition he needs without forcing him to eat everything, although insisting that he take one bite of everything you fix certainly isn't unreasonable.  I sometimes grate up carrots and put them in brownies or cupcakes.  Trust me, no one will ever know!   A food processor or blender may become your new best friend.  I put chick peas in meatloaf too, and even my husband can't tell. 



 

Paulette - posted on 01/07/2009

565

16

93

Hi Mindy, I have the same problem with my son, only eating certain foods. His is a texture issue. There is a book out there someone told of where you can hide the foods you child don't like in pizza for example. I know it was a lady and she was on a talk show like 'Today'.  I saw a show too recently where chef Rocco did that with pizza and this dad on his show. They blended up veggies and put them in the pizza sauce and the crust I think too. So I know that there is hope.



I also have experienced that me for example, I did not like eggs as a child or adult. When I got tested it turned out that I was highly allergic. So maybe it was instinct not to eat them. I am not saying everything you son does not like or won't eat is an allergen. But you may want to get him tested to see if there is anything there, any validity. Just a thought. Take care and have a nice night.

Paula - posted on 01/07/2009

2

22

1

Ha, this sounds just like my son who will be 11 in Feb.  One of my closest friends is a nutrionist and she recently made a menu for him consisting of only foods he will eat.  I was amazed by some of the things on there she was saying was good for him.  Since mine has been unhealthy and just went through surgery, her main goal was high protein.  I would highly recommend a nutrionist...they should be able to taylor it to him pretty well. 



Good luck

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms