I'm a nanny for a six year old boy that I have worked with for the last three years. He only eats macaroni and cheese, cheeseburgers, chicken nuggets, french fries, pizza (cheese and pepperoni no sauce), tacos, grilled cheese, yogurt, cheese, and milk. I finally convinced his parents that he really should be eating some fruits and vegetables but they won't enforce this while they are home because he throws horrible tantrums with them so they asked that on nights when I serve him dinner to prepare healthier dishes for him (his parents always eat healthy so there are always fruits and veggies in the house he just never had to eat them).
They were concerned about feeding him vegetables and fruits because he throws up whenever they try and they believe he simply has a weak stomache for new foods. I have discovered though that he throws up before the food even hits his mouth. Last week he was trying some steamed carrots covered in cheese (he chose this dish) as he was bringing the spoon to his mouth he threw up. He hadn't been crying or anything so he didnt make himself visably sick from a tantrum, he actually seemed sort of excited because we agreed if he ate three bites of the veggies we would make sugar cookies. Later that week In the grocery store when I asked him to choose some fruits to buy he threw up in the produce section from the thought of eating the fruits.
I'm not sure what to do because he has many behavioral problems and is a special needs child but I don't feel that his disabilities should prevent him from eating healthy foods, but he runs the house when his parents are home.
I think these parents are very lucky to have you as a nanny! It was absolutely wrong for the parents to ask you to do something because they are too weak willed to do it themselves. It is the parents responsibility to teach their child to eat healthy food and their job to enforce it.
That being said, it sounds like tough love may be needed here. My nephew used to do the same thing with vegetables. When he was at my house, I simply told him that if he was going to make himself throw up, he would have to eat by himself so that no one else had to witness it. Then I gave him a bucket (no puking on the food!) and after he threw up I made him continue to eat. Surprise surprise, 2 days later he could eat vegetables without getting sick. Obviously, this only works if you have the parent's consent and only if you know there is not a medical reason causing it.
It sounds like those parents need to wake up and realize that it is their job to make their child do things that he doesn't want to. Otherwise not eating vegetables will be the least of their worries.
Things that made me vomit, or nearly vomit as a child:
* Boiled spinach
* Boiled squash
Things that make me want to vomit as a 40+ year old adult:
* Boiled spinach
* Boiled squash
My mom was of the Betty Crocker generation where if it didn't come from a box and wasn't boiled for 20 minutes it wasn't food.
Now I love spinach. In salad. Or lightly steamed. But boiled so it's a slimy green mass? Forget it. Squash? I will also eat that raw, or lightly steamed, or prepared in a dish. But that soupy liquidy stuff my mom did with this otherwise fine vegetable I never wish to experience again.
So maybe you might suggest different ways of preparing the veggies. Just a suggestion.