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  1. #1
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    how do you you get a picky kid to eat???

    i know this is kind of redundant - we've got the "what did you feed your kids today" thread but i need suggestions for getting my super-picky son (almost 3) to eat ANYTHING remotely good for him (other than whole grain stuff and fruit leather.) in fact, i'm having a hard time getting him to eat food he DOES like right now....

    after watching a sesame street short of a carrot growing, he became obsessed with 'finding carrots' when we were outside. so my sister stuck some baby carrots in the ground in the garden and he got to pick them and wash them. remarkably he ate them instead of chewing and spitting them out. so i got the idea of letting him put "carrot seeds" (peppercorns) in the ground and water them. the next day, three more baby carrots "grew" in the holes. he excitedly picked them and showed everyone but then wouldn't have anything else to do with them. the novelty was gone.

    any ideas? if there's anything on his plate that he doesn't want, it MUST go away before he can continue eating. i'm a picky eater (so i'm really not setting a good example) and think maybe it was because trying new food was a traumatic experience as a kid - having to sit at the table crying until i ate something gnarly like a pickled beet. i'm thinking that if it's not traumatic, he might wind up being a more adventurous eater. or am i wrong? or should i make him stay at the table until he eats a pea?

    any ideas?!?

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  3. #2
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    Studies have been done that have shown most people can get acustomed to most new foods if they eat those foods multiple times on different occasions. So, it makes sense to insist that kids *periodically* try the same food in different contexts a few different times, to see if they become acclimated to it, but don't make any one of these occasions a big showdown.

    That said, a three year old is probably too young for this kind of negotiation. I seem to remember that toddlers are often picky and given to strange passions and eccentricities when it comes to food and they tend to drop them as quickly as they pick them up. I'd try to reasonably accomodate at this stage. If he's eating whole grains and fruit leather, it's not like he's living on candy bars and ice cream.

  4. #3
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    Thankfully, my daughter isn't really picky and loves her veggies, but she'll go into these little phases where she won't eat anything on her plate but the macaroni and cheese. So we have a rule. You must have a small spoonful of everything served before you can have seconds. That said, she has to eat the chicken and green beans and then she can have all the macaroni and cheese she desires. If she chooses not to eat, I wrap her plate and put it in the fridge because if she says she's hungry later, she has to finish her dinner before she gets anything else. And if I know it's something she absolutely hates (who wants to eat pickled beets anyway?!?!) then I do give her an option, usually raw carrots that we always have. And like Marina-Trilobyte said, giving it to him over and over again may make him agreeable to it. It took me a solid year to get my daughter to eat potatoes willingly.

    Also, I read that certain tricks can get your kids to eat. Like popping a toothpick in bite sized food and calling them hors d'ourves (sp?) or putting things in muffin papers. Try making faces with the food and then encouraging him to eat the eyes, then the nose, etc. I loved that carrot growing idea, but too bad it didn't work the second time.

    I definitly agree with you about not traumatizing him with the pea! Just tell him he doesn't get anything else until it's eaten and let him get up, but really reinforce the rule if he decides he's hungry later and give him back his peas. He's not going to let you starve him - he'll end up eating the peas if only to get something else!

    Good luck. And don't forget to try weird stuff on him. Maybe he likes pickled beets (gag)!

  5. #4
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    Oh sarabell. Do I have a picky eater or what. He's 1 1/2 and my god. NOTHING gets near his mouth except bread/whole grains, some fruit, maybe a banana, cheese, sometimes pizza.

    He tends to over stuff his mouth and then spit stuff out when it becomes to much to swallow.

    He's got sensory issues. :) Seriously, he's having his first early intervention physical therapy appt. Sat. morning. It goes along with the fact that he's not walking yet either. Weight bearing etc. but won't free stand or walk. Nothing wrong with him physically to prevent him from walking. EI said with or without them he'll be walking in six months, ugh.

    Anyway, I digress. His sensory issues go along with his hands as well as his feet. The touch and textures of certain foods bother him even before he gets them to his mouth to discover whether or not he likes their taste. Thus, he's not walking because he has sensitive bottoms of his feet.

    Part of the therapy will be 'brushing' his feet (I can't wait to see what that's like . . .). She's also going to help me with the food issues but I don't know how she'll do that.

    I try not to make anything of his eating and try my best to get him to eat good food. It's aggravating at times though. Very frustrating. He's doing okay though surprisingly and has a bowl movement ea. day :)

    As I mentioned in the other thread, try those pumpkin muffins in the "What to Expect the First Year" book. It's a yellow vegetable equivalent and a fruit. My son will eat those (sometimes).

  6. #5
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    Part of the therapy will be 'brushing' his feet (I can't wait to see what that's like . . .).
    This sounds a little bit like Dooce went through with her daughter. (www.dooce.com)
    She has some descriptions of physical therapy where her seated daughter did things like dangle her feet into bags of uncooked rice, to explore the sensation on her feet.

  7. #6
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    try "froggy noodles" which are pasta with a spinach sauce made of frozen chopped spinach sauteed in olive oil, then melt in some cream cheese and maybe a tiny bit of garlic, add milk and puree...it's very mild and the texture is smooth and it's bright green.

    If a kid hates all veggies, eating fruit is pretty much just as good for them...and most kids do seem to like fruit. Frozen blueberries, cut up pears, bananas, and quartered oranges are good ones.

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marina-Trilobyte
    Part of the therapy will be 'brushing' his feet (I can't wait to see what that's like . . .).
    This sounds a little bit like Dooce went through with her daughter. (www.dooce.com)
    She has some descriptions of physical therapy where her seated daughter did things like dangle her feet into bags of uncooked rice, to explore the sensation on her feet.
    ooo, thanks, I'll have to check that out! :)

  9. #8
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    It's so hard with toddlers because one day something is their absolute FAVORITE and then the next day/minute/second they act offended that you even put it on their plate.
    I agree with the try one bite rule. I tell my son that he has to try it to be able to tell me he doesn't like it.

    I'm generally not a fan of 'tricking' your kid but I do sometimes sneak in veggies. I make a puree of spinach and chicken stock and maybe a little carrot (whatever is on hand) and then put that over pasta or use it as a dipping sauce. If my son gets to dip it he generally loves it. Hummus is good for dipping, or yogurt jam mixes. Also I find that if he makes it himself he is more likely to eat it. Zuchinni or banana bread muffins work well. Or I give him a plastic knife and he gets to cut the cooked carrots.

    This book, First Meals by Annabel Karmel, has some creative recipes that might work for picky eaters. Here is a link with a good article about the book.

    http://www.superchefblog.com/2005/03...rst-meals.html

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knits4Fun
    Quote Originally Posted by Marina-Trilobyte
    Part of the therapy will be 'brushing' his feet (I can't wait to see what that's like . . .).
    This sounds a little bit like Dooce went through with her daughter. (www.dooce.com)
    She has some descriptions of physical therapy where her seated daughter did things like dangle her feet into bags of uncooked rice, to explore the sensation on her feet.
    ooo, thanks, I'll have to check that out! :)
    Quick tip, when you go to the site, it's searchable, so search on "physical therapy". I just tried and it's all the posts dealing with her daughter's issues and how they worked on them.

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knits4Fun
    Anyway, I digress. His sensory issues go along with his hands as well as his feet. The touch and textures of certain foods bother him even before he gets them to his mouth to discover whether or not he likes their taste. Thus, he's not walking because he has sensitive bottoms of his feet.
    That's weird. I am a VERY picky eater and it's mostly because of textures. I cannot stand onions in tacos or pizza. And it's not the taste at all, it's the crunchy-ness. Makes me shudder. I can't eat what my mom calls rump roast because it's stringy. Most of my limitations aren't because of what something tastes like, it's what it feels like. Although I make myself try things...I still can't bring myself to like some stuff. I also have very sensitive feet. When I was little my parents tried to put me down barefoot in grass. It touched my bare feet and I screamed and cried and brought my legs up. Nobody can touch my feet today because they are ridiculously ticklish. :) Even when I broke my foot I was thinking "Oh no, what am I going to do when the dr. has to touch my foot!" hehe. I had chicken pox and my mom tried to get me to take a bath in oatmeal stuff. I could NOT do it at all!

    Anyway. Even though I was a picky eater growing up, I still got hooked on some good things. Like Cheerios and Life cereal - I cannot stand the sugary "kid's" cereals and I still eat these like snacks today :) Whatever he chooses to eat or not, as long as he's brought up on certain things he should grow to like them and not like the stuff that's bad for him. It seems like it's possible that he's just at a weird age too. But the only thing that worked for me, was CALMLY making me eat something every time it was served - at least three bites. Then eventually, some of the stuff I grew to actually like. It could help if you are excited to eat the stuff too...like "yay we get asparagus with dinner tonight!!" lol.

    Maybe you can find one of his friends who likes something healthy to come over for dinner one night - he might want to eat it since they are eating it. That worked with green beans for me :)


 
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