KIDS…PICKY EATERS….. HELP ME

posted 1 year ago in Babies
Member
9285 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

My parents always made us take a “no thank you” helping, and we had to eat it.  I ate so many things I would never have tried.  We had to sit at the table until we finished.  The only time we ever won was when my mom served mashed turnips.  My brother and I looked at that stuff, looked at each other across the table, and refused to try it.  The embarrassing/funny part is that that was my…senior year of high school.  HA.

For my nieces, my mom tells them, “You must have something of everything on the table.  Whatever you put on your plate, you have to eat.”  This has been working very well…except when my one niece took like an entire tablespoon of butter! HA.

Member
2627 posts
Sugar bee

My mom did something similar to @peachacid: . Although she never made us finish our food. That is a bad habitto learn. You eat until you are no longer full.

She did however make us try and swallow one bite of everything on the table. She would make sure there was one item we could eat for dinner, then we had to try everything else.  Eventually we learned to like many things.

And when we were done if we were still hungry we were allowed to reheat dinner, not a dessert or anything else if she was not satisfied with the number if different foods we had eaten for dinner.

Another idea is to take them to the grocery store and ask them to pick out a vegetable they would like to try (or meat etc) and get them involved. If have ownership in the decisions they may be more likely to like it.  

And have them help cook too! let them mix the meatballs with their hands. Measure the spices etc. Real young kids can do that.  I teach a healthy cooking class for kids and getting them involved is a huge step to getting them to like it.

Member
1209 posts
Bumble bee

My parents never had success with me if I didn’t want to eat it I didn’t. Period. Grounding, spanking, taking things away, no dessert….nothing worked. So it’s not always as easy as the first commenter stated. 

DUKE is doing a study on picky eater. They’ re trying to catogerize it as an eating disorder. http://www.dukehealth.org/services/eating_disorders/about/news/ 

Sorry. Keep trying. 

Member
9285 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

@luvmesumhim:  Well maybe you can provide some insight.  What was it about the food that made it so unpalatable to you?  Are you still a picky eater?  I used to hate most food but I got over it in college, and now will try almost anything.

Member
2992 posts
Sugar bee

I raised my daughter and several nieces, with several being picky eaters. I was always very matter-of-fact when dealing with them and food. No threats, no bargining, no pleading, no enticements, no punishments. Our rule was that you had to TRY a “good bite” of whatever, chew and swallow it. After that, if the child did not like the food, they did not have to eat it. On the other paw, I totally refused to make any alternative food for them. If they did not eat the meal, then they did not get dessert or snacks. Eventually they get hungry enough to eat.

Member
92 posts
Worker bee

@asher212:  I’m a nanny and I’ve noticed that sometimes it’s that they think they are missing out on something “more fun”. So if you aren’t already, make sure TV, iPads, etc. are off and that they know that no one gets to use them whether they decide to eat their food or not. 

It certainly may be the actual food that they are picky about, but often the Fear Of Missing Out can play a role. 

Good luck!

Member
1209 posts
Bumble bee

@peachacid:  I’m much better now. As I child I ate more than you have listed but not much. My friends used to joke that I only ate bread, pizza and chicken. I’m much better now but still don’t eat like a “normal” person. 

for me most things were a texture issue. I still don’t eat bananas for that reason. I don’t like the mushy-ness in my mouth. It’s not the flavor, I’m eating banana chips now. Some things were just being stubborn I guess. For instance I ate no veggies until my late 20s.  Others were I didn’t like the way it looked or smelled. Others were truly taste. 

I think I changed while I was trying to lose weight and be healthier. I had to eat other foods for that to happen. So I started out really slow with very small quantities of veggies or whatever I didn’t like until I could get used to it. It’s still a mental thing. If I think about the fact I’m eating broccoli I freak out but if I just eat it I’m ok. I also need to put something else on my mouth at the same time. Basically I’m not goong to just eat a forkful of broccoli. 

not sure if that helps. 

Member
1209 posts
Bumble bee

OP @ @trueblue14:  just FYI this wouldn’t have worked for me. (The theres no alternativr route) My parents tried. I just wouldn’t eat. I would half eat a lot of stuff though, like meatloaf, I’d sorta pick at it. Enough not to starve basically. 

I do think the one bite approach is good. It won’t traumatize them too much. But I won’t make them eat a whole meal of the new thing. 

Member
464 posts
Helper bee

I was an incredibly picky eater as a child, I’m still picky but a lot better about trying things. I am grateful my parents never forced me to “clean my plate” or eat things I hated. I was always encouraged to try things. I imagine its such a challenge now, but I think most picky eaters will eventually expand their palate, however slightly at first. Do the kids encourage each other? Maybe separating them would help? Maybe one will be more willing to try something the other wont. Just a thought. 

Also, there is a book called Deceptively Delicious that has recipes for different things but they are made so you can hide veggies. (There may be a kid specific version) For example, using cauliflower purée in Mac and cheese. The kids won’t taste it and at least if they won’t try new things, you will be getting them more nutritious versions of what they *will* eat. 

Good luck!

Member
537 posts
Busy bee

@asher212:  My boys are picky too, well were picky. We made them have 1 bite of everything ‘new’ we served…they had to at least try it, and swallow it. Then they could decide if they wanted more or not. Also at age 4 we started letting them dish their own food, they had to eat what they put on their plate. And if they didn’t eat it all, the plate went into the fridge, and if they got hungry again, they had to eat what was left on their plate before getting a treat…it worked. Within 3-4 months we have non-picky eaters…granted some things they just don’t like.

Member
42 posts
Newbee

I think I changed while I was trying to lose weight and be healthier.

Member
1007 posts
Bumble bee

@asher212:  I was a picky eater as a kid (I wouldn’t touch eggs to save my life). My parents’ policy was, if you don’t eat it for dinner, you can eat it for breakfast. Usually worked. If I had to eat veggies (peas, yuck), I would douse them in ketchup first.

I had read an article about how one mom experimented with getting her kid to eat something new. She prepared a bowl of broccoli, sat down at the table (her toddler was sitting in her own highchair), and smell the broccoli, comment how good it smelled, then take a bite, chew, talk about how yummy it was, etc. and did NOT offer any to her kid. After the mom had a few bites, her daughter got REALLY curious about what was so yummy, and asked for a bite. Pretty soon she was eating it too! So part of it may be the assumption that the food is gross.

Another method would be to insist that the kids take 2-3 bites of every kind of food on their plate. At the very least, they get food in their tummy, and while they may not fill up on it, it’s still not a complete waste. Be firm in your resolve, and don’t let them try to con you into making nothing but the unhealthy stuff. As they get older (10-12 for instance), you may want to tell them that if they don’t want to eat *X*, they are welcome to make their own *Y* in the kitchen (pb & j sandwich or something).

Another thing that might convince them that eating good food won’t kill them: Take them with you to volunteer at a shelter feeding the homeless, and use it as a lesson that some people don’t always get the opportunity to eat a healthy meal, and rely on soup kitchens or have to dig through trash to be able to eat at all. Kind of extreme, but might work.

 

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