View Full Version : Yet another picky eater
09-22-2008, 01:50 PM
Hi everyone! My son just turned three. He's going from a picky eater to an almost non-eater! He seems to be going from bad to worse. He'll eat a cereal bar, waffle, fruit (some) and snacks (chips, etc.) He'll occasionally eat a pb&j or chicken nuggets, although he seems to not be eating those lately. Yesterday, I tried playing hardball and not letting him eat/drink anything (besides water) until he ate his pb&j. He wouldn't give. I just ended up feeling bad for being mean to him. (I gave his sister a cookie after she at lunch but wouldn't give one to him.) It feels like such a battle, and I'm looking for tips! I know he'll eat if he's hungry, but he was a preemie (born at 32 weeks, 3 lbs/1 oz) and has always been skinny. He's perfectly heatlhy, just skinny. Thanks in advance for any advice!
09-22-2008, 03:16 PM
I'd probably stick with the hardball for a while. If you know there's no logical reason for the pickiness (like an oral sensory problem or a gastric problem or an intestinal problem), then it's simply a discipline issue. In the past, several moms have suggested getting the children involved in the meal planning and grocery shopping and meal preparation; and I agree that those ideas can be very helpful. Keep exposing him to a variety of foods over and over. The rule when I was growing up was that we had to TRY it. And typically after they've tried a few bites on several different occasions, they'll start to like some of the new things. Serve something new with something that he likes. He's got to eat the amount you give him (be careful to be reasonable) before he can leave the table. Those are my thoughts. I wish you the best! :)
09-23-2008, 07:29 AM
If he won't eat what you're giving him, let him go hungry. It won't hurt him. He may be little but his body still knows when it needs food so he'll give in long before he gets sick.
All children are picky eaters because a palate isn't something we're born with, it's something that we develop over time and they haven't developed theirs yet.
In our house, there are two things that helped us.
First, because we live on a farm, the children can see their food grow and they each had a small garden. They loved seeing their own vegetables grow and picking them (this also taught them responsibility at a young age) and that makes eating them more fun.
Obviously, not everybody has the space to do that so anther thing you might want to consider is making pizza an tacos with your children.
When you make pizza and tacos, you can put anything on them you like and it's a great way to introduce children to different vegetables.
Cooking with your children is also a great way to spend time doing something with them.
This is something I learned from my mother and, speaking as the only person on the planet who loved brussel sprouts as a child, a child that won't eat vegetables on a plate is much more likely to eat them on a pizza or a taco.
And cut out the chicken nuggets. Processed chicken has all kinds of chemicals and hormones in it. The rule in our house is, "if it's got more than three sylables (sorry, arugula), we don't eat it".
09-24-2008, 02:01 PM
Peanut butter policy-You'll have what we're all having, or you can have a peanut butter sandwich. Have you checked his teeth? It could be painful for him to eat. You could try mixing a little bit of something he doesn't like with something he does-like putting lima beans in the hamburger helper. Keep trying. I read somewhere that you have to expose a child to something 3 times before they seriously consider eating it.
09-24-2008, 11:03 PM
VERY good thoughts! I didn't even think about the teeth. I had a little girl at daycare who was three; she hardly ate and hardly talked...UNTIL her mom took her to the dentist. All KINDS of fillings and crowns yielded a totally different kid. She loved meals and spoke unceasingly! And I think a lot of kids require more than 3 tries...I've even read up to 15 (which I can attest to from personal experience!).
09-25-2008, 09:49 AM
I hate to say this, but maybe try introducing new foods. My kids are only two, but we go through a revolving door of phases. Two months ago, tater tots were all the rage in my house. Now they're thrown straight to the floor. So I made a mental note and took them off our menu for a while. I'll introduce them back in a few months. Right now, we're really into pasta. We'll see how long this phase lasts!
For instance, last night I made them baked chicken. Straight to the floor. I gave them mandarin oranges (more of a side-dish or snack), which they ate and promptly declared they were done. And that was that. Hopefully today will be more successful. We'll see!
Ooh! I just had a thought. How about trying to give him choices? Like a choice between dinner A or dinner B, or he can choose neither and go without. Then when he complains he's hungry, you can explain to him that he made the decision not to eat the previous meal.
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