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Thursday, October 1, 2009

Picky Picky


I have a dilemma so I come to you, my wise and glorious Internet, for help.

The Boy is a picky eater.

And I mean a really picky eater. His diet consists of cold cereal, peanut butter sandwiches, chicken nuggets, and fruit. He'll eat corn on the cob but not regular corn. Cool new fruits like kiwi don't faze him but the kid balks at pizza! PIZZA! An American staple!

Earlier this year for Mother's Day, his preschool teachers helped him fill out a card for me, listing things like my age (7) and weight (70) and the color of my eyes (he got that one!). When asked for my favorite food, he immediately replied "Yucky food." Anything not within his pre-approved selections is deemed "yucky food." He'll even ask me if something new if yucky or yummy but doesn't trust my answer. Watching his sisters down everything placed in front of them isn't convincing either. We've already determined that Baby eats more things than the Boy.

The hardest part of about trying to get him to eat different foods is the fact that when he gets hungry, he gets grumpy (just like his mommy). I think it has to do with low blood sugar. Gentle encouragement sends him into a screaming fit. Threats cause him to completely shutdown. Feeding him a piece of cheese or a small bunch of grapes a little before dinner or giving him a larger snack both result in declarations of "I'm not hungry."

I tried the whole "just eat one tiny bite" and he ended up screaming and running from the room. When I tried being consistent with that idea, he wouldn't come to the table at all. He refuses to try anything new that isn't a dessert item and makes us all miserable if we try to force the issue. And I just don't know what else to do! I am at my wits' end, people!

What suggestions do you have for getting a picky eater to just try a new food?

20 comments:

annie valentine said...

I have absolutely no suggestions. My second child is even worse than yours, we sent him to bed without supper for an entire month before realizing that it wasn't working. Now we give him whatever and console ourselves with the knowledge that neither of us know any adults who only eat chicken nuggets and PB&J. He'll grow through it on his own, we just have to be patient.

The Boob Nazi said...

CORN DOGS???? What kind of kid doesn't like corn dogs?

Janell said...

Have you attempted to just make everything look identical by cutting it into perfect cubes? His beloved fruit, pepperoni blocks, whatever.

No idea if it'd work or not, but it'd be certainly an amusing experiment.

Nat said...

I bribe my picky eater with Bakugan Cards. Good luck. If you find something that works, please let me know!

優質行動網 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
SO said...

That is a seriously wacked comment that is before mine. Did it help?

Have you tried guilt? Worked wonders on my kids. I slaved making a new dish one time and they all complained. I broke down and cried. My husband then informed them that they WILL at least try the foods that are placed in front of them.

Also I have heard somewhere that you have to place a food in front of a child a certain amount of times ( I want to say 5 to 10 times) before they will even try it.

My oldest son used to hate chili but he was required to eat at least some of it every time it was placed in front of him. I now LOVES chili. The same goes for my daughter and my black bean soup.

Don't know if this helps but there you go! Good luck!

Tipi said...

My Love suggests cutting the corn off the cob in front of him and seeing if he'll eat that.
The corn just off the cob has a distinct taste to it. Perhaps he can taste the flavor of the can in the caned corn.

Tipi said...

Okay I wrote a freaking book in reply in my first post and it disappeared!


let me explain, no there is too much let me sum up...

step one: Tactile, is there a common color, temp, texture... with the food he will eat?

step 2: Grown up food you can't have it. at least for the first few times. ;)

step 3: teach him to cook. He can give you more insight on what he likes and people are more likely to try what they help make.

step 4: Tell him your taste buds change as you grow. What is gross now may taste better as you get older. So he can try it again another time, he might like it later.



If I can recover a copy of what I originally wrote I shall post it... it's eloquence far surpasses this summary :P

Jillybean said...

Max is picky too, only he won't eat fruit or vegetables or juice.
He survives on milk, Eggo waffles, PB&J, and Mac & cheese.
And pizza, he loves pizza, but only pepperoni and then he won't even eat the pepperonis.
He does, however, love cake and cookies, but he won't eat ice cream.
Did you hear that? MY kid won't eat ice cream!

I think our boys will be great friends.

Jessica G. said...

Tipi - tried cutting the corn off the cob...it just made him cry. And I'm horrified that you would even suggest that I would serve my precious ones canned, squeaky corn! All the best for my babies: frozen.

Jessica G. said...

Jillybean - does that mean you'll teach the Boy to sing songs for chocolate milk like Max does? ;)

Diane said...

What mother doesn't love a picky eater. I have a few of them myself. (I cannot relate to my picky eaters because I will eat anything ...almost. I can't get past the grainy texture of tootsie rolls.)

I thought my picky eaters were so limited in what they would eat until , in frustration, I had them help me make the weekly menu and they surprised me by suggesting things that they liked that I don't usually make or don't usually buy. So I try to buy more of what they will eat and make more of what they like. I still throw in my favorites now and then and if they don't like it then they can have some plain bread. (I try to make the alternative as bland and boring as possible so they are not rewarded for not liking dinner.) Good Luck!

angie.pedersen said...

My suggestion is to not worry about it too much. Lots of kids are picky and have survived. Tastes change a lot through time. Make sure you give him a daily vitamin, get him to drink his milk, and he should be ok. His diet isn't varied, but at least it is fairly balanced. Maybe if you leave the issue for a little while, he'll come around on his own. It's a good thing they're cute when frustrating issues come up. Good luck!

Lisa Anne said...

You have to sneaky the healthy food in with the bad food. Rachel Ray has some great recipes for kid friendly food. Shakes and smoothies are also great ways to get your kids to eat more fruits and veggies.

My doctor told me that if I have to put chocolate in my sons milk to get him to drink it, to do it. That the benefits of the milk out weight the negative aspects of the chocolate.

So be creative and slick when it comes to disguising healthy food in what would be thought of as an unhealthy meal.

Thanks for visiting my blog. I can't wait to see if you make the mummy gum!!

Hoe you come back soon!!

Just A Mom (Call me JAM for short) said...

Oh, I'm hardly the one to ask. I've got a picky eater too. Fortunately I just have one at home, so I don't really force him to eat a wide range of food. We stick to the basics with him (and make sure he takes his vitamins!)

elesa said...

Shoot him.

Lola....L..O..L..A....lo--oh--luh! said...

I have 3 that don't like pizza, 2 that don't like Ice Cream, and one that will only eat toast-no butter-only Sugar and Cinnamon.

What is up with kids?? I just feed them whatever they will eat, and I lie to the Doctor at their check-up's.

Mary~Momathon said...

Sadly, I have a wee bit of experience in creative feeding. Some things I tried and had some success and some failures...

One thing to note: try, try, try. repetition can make all the difference.

1. Broccoli, potatoes, asparagus, starfruit, anything really - let him paint with it. Let the food be the paintbrush. This gives him a non-eating experience with the food and lets him become "friends" with the feel, look, texture of the food without the threat of having to eat it. Later, let him paint with eatable paints such as juice, pudding, sauces... get messy.

2. rename the foods. Use fun names for food based on shape, color, texture, whatever. Such as monkey tails, bunny tails, frog legs, alligator teeth, clouds, you get the idea.

3. Draw funny ketchup faces on pretty much anything that you can. Or use any condiment that will do. Happy food tastes better!

Don't force it. Keep presenting it. Don't expect much, and one of these days, you'll be buying food in bulk.

nikki said...

I have two suggestions - first what my mother in law taught me
"Eating is an option." Mommy makes the food and you have the choice to eat it or not. You just have to be present at the table. There is never any fighting or negative comments or stress on her part. Simply the comment, Eating is an option, you decide if you want to eat.
second - do make the meals they love, just make them special meals - like on Saturday or wednesday nights or something - so they have something to look forward to. for example, my kids love cold cereal, but we have cold cereal as a "special meal" on Sunday morning. they also love French Toast, so I try and make it in every other day, so that I can bribe them on the days I make oatmeal - "eat your oatmeal today and tomorrow I will make french toast"
good luck

Debi said...

Invite one of their friends who loves different foods for lunch every so often. When he sees his friend eat something, it will seem better. But don't make a big production of it, or he'll know what you are trying and it won't work. Also, you could try cutting cheese and lunchmeat with cookie cutters into shapes of ducks, bunnies, etc. Have them take at least a bite of each food. Pray they will outgrow it. Some do....some don't.

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