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My son has to be the WORST eater on earth. He is a pretty high anxiety kid anyway, and I think some of that anxiety comes to the surface as control over his diet.<br><br><br><br>
I am moving the whole family to a veggie diet, but he is my hold out ( listed some of his meat likes, I do not mean to offend...just sharing what I am working with here!) Even when with the meat in his diet (which is rare these days) he has a horrendous diet.<br><br><br><br>
What he does eat:<br><br>
Anything sugary<br><br>
Fruit: Apples only and they have to be green<br><br>
Veggie: baked potato<br><br>
Grains: Plain white rice, plain white pasta, tortillas<br><br>
Meat: burgers, chicken nuggets, plain chicken, tacos<br><br>
Beans: NONE<br><br>
Dairy: Sugary yogurt, pizza, mac'ncheese, some cheese<br><br>
Breakfast: waffles, english muffins, bagels, packaged oatmeal and occasionally cereal<br><br><br><br>
Loves: tortilla chips, cheez-it crackers, Tigers Milk bars, peanuts, sunflower seeds, cookies, ice cream...crap in general<br><br><br><br>
I have GOT to get this kid to broaden his horizons and try some new foods. At dinner we make him try everything but he has yet to come around to a new food. I do not want to turn dinnertime into an unpleasant battle, so I do not make him eat everything. On some level I just don't agree with the shut-up-and-eat-it mentality and yet I have to wonder if perhaps that is the only way to get this kid to eat!<br><br><br><br>
Any input will be greatly appreciated ..I am at the end of my rope and hanging by a thread!
 

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An older friend of mine told me that her mum used to say "You can eat it now or you can eat it later, but that's what you're having". If she didn't eat her dinner it would go into the fridge, and at the next meal out it came. She learned to eat what was served in record time, I think.
 

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Maybe you could make some rules that give him a bit of control but still encourage better eating, for instanced say that he has to eat X serving of a whole grain/day, X servings of veggies, x serving of fruit, etc. but he gets to pick what those servings are. To start I would make it pretty manageable like 1 serving whole grains, 2 servings veggies, etc. Also maybe try to make veggies w/ a sweet sauce (like maple butter carrots, or sweet Asian broccoli) and make fruits a sweet yogurt dip kind of thing. If you find one way he really likes a certain food he'll probably be more willing to eat it other ways eventually.
 

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How old is he? He may be playing some games to get what he wants. No matter what you feed him he may say he doesn't like it, just because you want him to, and you would be right if he did like it. If he's old enough to go make himself a sandwich, I say serve what you're serving for dinner, he can eat that, or make himself a sandwich. He may eventually start eating what you're serving.<br><br>
For young kids I've heard it can take up to like 20 exposures to a new food before they'll try it/like it, so just keep trying!
 

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I am going to strongly recommend <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=veggieboards.com-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FHow-Get-Your-Kid-Much%2Fdp%2F0915950839%2Fsr%3D8-2%2Fqid%3D1169745855%2Fref%3Dpd_bbs_2%2F104-4516367-1900751%3Fie%3DUTF8%26s%3Dbooks" target="_blank">How to Get Your Kid to Eat But Not Too Much</a> by Ellen Satter. Another good book of hers is <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=veggieboards.com-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FChild-Mine-Feeding-Love-Sense%2Fdp%2F0923521518%2Fsr%3D8-1%2Fqid%3D1169745855%2Fref%3Dpd_bbs_sr_1%2F104-4516367-1900751%3Fie%3DUTF8%26s%3Dbooks" target="_blank">Child of Mine</a> She has an interesting approach to feeding children: it is your responsibility to provide regular nutritious meals and snacks for your child, and it is your child's responsibility to eat them. If the child knows that he will be offered 3 meals per day, plus snacks, he will always know there is food available. He will know if he chooses to skip a meal that another will be coming along shortly. Don't cater to your child's fussiness: it could be his way of seeking attention, and the more your encourage that behavior, the more he will exhibit it.<br><br><br><br>
There has been some interesting research on exposing children to new foods. Studies show that it can take up to 20 exposures to a new food before a child will decide they like it. Introduce new foods gradually - don't completely change his diet this week. Introduce new foods by placing them on the table, without any pressure on him to try the new food. Eat it yourself and make it known how good it is (like making a casual comment about how yummy it is, without going too over the top). Hopefully, he will be curious enough to try it on his own. Don't try to pressure him or force him to eat anything. Respect that he will have some genuine dislikes - we all do. But the more you eat it, and others around him eat it and enjoy it, the more curious he will be, and the more likely he will be to enjoy it.
 

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As a former very picky eater as a child I strongly encourage you not to use methods that force your child to eat something he doesn't like. It may be that he's trying to assert his control, or it may be (as it was with me as a child) that some of the foods you're offering are truly inedible to him at this time. One thing you could try is making vegetables a little more fun. As a kid, I wouldn't eat any cooked vegetables, but I was glad to eat carrots and celery with peanut butter. I also would eat other vegetables raw like peas, green beans, peppers, etc. How old is he? If he's old enough, you could get him to help you with some of the easier aspects of preparing food. I think kids are more likely to want to eat something if they "made" it. I don't think "forcing" or pleading with your child will get you anywhere though. Just be an example to him of enjoying a wide variety of foods, keep unhealthy foods (very sugary or refined) out of the house, and offer him everything without saying he has to eat it, you want him to eat it, or that it's good for him. And try not to worry too much. I subsisted in my childhood on a diet of spaghetti (no sauce), mac and cheese, cereal, pancakes, with some fruit and veggies thrown in, and I survived!
 

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give them an option.<br><br>
for dinner they can have: healthy food, or a belt-ing.<br><br><br><br>
after a few days they will catch on and eats whats good for em!!!!
 

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I'm wondering how old he is, as well.<br><br><br><br>
<<well practiced in getting finicky kids to eat
 

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I was also wondering how old he is.<br><br><br><br>
I'm a fan of the "If you don't like it, make yourself something else & then clean up after yourself." but that kind of depends on his age.<br><br><br><br>
I didn't think of it before, but I do like thebelovedtree's suggestion of giving him guidelines and letting him pick the foods.<br><br><br><br>
I have a 3 year old niece who is a TERRIBLE eater, and it's because my brother lets her eat whatever she wants. I say cut out all the crap food (yes, that means no more for you and whoever else eats it) and don't even let it be an option or temptation in the house.
 

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I have to make the point here that while it seems logical to completely ban all unhealthy foods, it can create an unhealthy relationship with food (as can any type of food restriction). Even unhealthy foods have a place in our diets, and it's the parents responsibility to teach their children this.<br><br><br><br>
I'd also like to add that giving your child some choice is also part of the process. For example, for a snack you could give them the choice between an apple and a pear. You can also incorporate them into meal planning and preparation, as others have pointed out, if it is age appropriate.
 

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I dunno. I grew up with the "eat it now or eat it later" method and my brother and I both eat a wide variety of foods.<br><br><br><br>
Mom would make dinner, and if we didn't like it, we were allowed to leave the table. But if we got hungry later, the only option we had was to eat our dinner.<br><br><br><br>
My brother was extremely picky for a few years (only wanted pizza, spaghetti, or fried chicken), but he got over it. I say, stick with it and it'll work over time. If you cater to the kid's tastes, you'll never get him to try new things.
 

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I dont' think it's fair to say that catering to kids tastes doesn't work. My mom let us literally eat whatever we wanted, and my sister and I both have a pretty healthy relationship with food, and we were also very good eaters as children. If we wanted to eat ice cream for breakfast we did (and mom would usually have some with us). Since there wasn't any real power involved with refusing food, and since healthy food was offered to us from the start we developed a taste for broccoli as well as cookies. By the time I was in second grade I was going to the grocery store and reading cereal box labels to find the healthiest breakfast. I was also packing my own lunches balanced according to the food pyramid, and learning basic cooking skills (I cooked family dinner a couple nights a week with no help by about 3rd grade). There is no one solution for healthy eating, it depends on the kids/parents in question.
 

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I've heard some kids are more sensitive to bitter tastes, which cause them to like less veggies.<br><br><a href="http://digestive.health.ivillage.com/newsstories/totswithsensitivetastebudseatfewer.cfm" target="_blank">http://digestive.health.ivillage.com...dseatfewer.cfm</a><br><br><br><br>
Maybe you can turn new veggie tasting into a game, that way you can figure out if he's more sensitive to bitter tasting veggies.<br><br><br><br>
You can also try hiding veggies. If you make him a sandwish, sneak some raw spinach in there. Instead of regular waffles, make <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/recipe/0,,FOOD_9936_24960,00.html?rsrc=search" target="_blank">Sweet Potato Waffles</a>, you could probably veganize 'em. One thing I loved as a kid was chili on chips. Hormell makes an awesome vegetarian chili you could heat up and pour on top of tortilla chips, then top with cheese (if necessary) and some shredded lettuce. If he likes this dish, you can hide some diced veggies in the chili too. You could also make more fruit based desserts, like baked apples or fried bananas.<br><br>
HTH,<br><br>
~Wondre <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/biker.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":ymca:">
 

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I know all kids are different, but I'll just share my experience with my 3 yr old. She loves junk food, but she also loves healthy foods. Sure, she'd probably choose junk over healthy stuff, most of the time. But, that's why I try to buy "healthier" junk food. And not too much of it. Sometimes, I let her go all out and eat the junk (not all day, but for a snack once a day.) Other times, I give her 2 healthy options and let her pick one. She's fine with that. At this point, I think trying to make healthier foods that your child may like us a good idea. Finding recipes like the pps talked about with sweet sauces, etc. Have you tried veggie versions of chicken nuggets? Whole wheat waffles and pastas as opposed to white?
 

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I'd also like to mention that it is a good idea to keep track of your son's growth. As long as he is growing at an appropriate rate (his doctor will determine this), don't get too upset about his food intake. Lots of kids go on food jags and most of us turn out ok <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>fyvel</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I have to make the point here that while it seems logical to completely ban all unhealthy foods, it can create an unhealthy relationship with food (as can any type of food restriction). Even unhealthy foods have a place in our diets, and it's the parents responsibility to teach<br><br>
their children this.</div>
</div>
<br><br><br>
I didn't say ban them. I said don't keep them in the house. That's not creating an unhealthy relationship with food, it's making that food not an option when it comes to meal time.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Jessica Alana</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I didn't say ban them. I said don't keep them in the house. That's not creating an unhealthy relationship with food, it's making that food not an option when it comes to meal time.</div>
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I wasn't responding to your post in particular, just in general. Personally, I don't see anything wrong with keeping small amounts of unhealthy snacks in the house, as long as they aren't consumed on a regular basis (and never at meals). The more desirable you make a food, the more kids will want it. I think it's important to show kids when it is appropriate to eat these foods and when not to.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>OregonAmy</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I dunno. I grew up with the "eat it now or eat it later" method and my brother and I both eat a wide variety of foods.<br><br><br><br>
Mom would make dinner, and if we didn't like it, we were allowed to leave the table. But if we got hungry later, the only option we had was to eat our dinner.</div>
</div>
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Yeah. I think this strategy is about more than choosing certain foods, it's about respecting the work your mom/dad did in cooking the meal. That is, you start to learn that your parent is not your slave who'll cater to your every whim. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br><br><br><br>
wrt healthy foods in the house, I have to say I agree with JA. It's empowering to kids to be able to say, choose their own snacks. If there are only things in the house, which are "okay" for them to eat, then the kid feels a bit more in control.<br><br><br><br>
However, fyvel, I see what you're saying. I can't definitely relate to this in my own life with the "finish all your (insert gross food like broccoli here) and then get dessert" mentality. This is what makes (some) people fat.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>IamJen</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br><br>
However, fyvel, I see what you're saying. I can't definitely relate to this in my own life with the "finish all your (insert gross food like broccoli here) and then get dessert" mentality. This is what makes (some) people fat.</div>
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I also agree that using junk food as a reward is a bad idea (as a reward for eating all of the dinner). Food should never be used as a reward, regardless. Some experts feel that dessert should be offered along with dinner and the child can choose to eat that first, if they choose. The trick is to not offer too much dessert so that the child fills up on that food, and will still be hungry enough to eat their dinner as well.<br><br><br><br><a href="http://extension.unh.edu/Family/documents/TeachCE.htm" target="_blank">Here</a> is an interesting article on the subject. This part is relevant to our current discussion:<br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Parents who worry that their young child is not eating enough will be reassured to know that children are born with an ability to self-regulate how much food they need to eat. In fact, research done by LL Birch and Associates showed that although the food intake of pre-schoolers fluctuated from meal to meal over a six day period, total daily calorie intake was consistent. The children studied had access to a variety of nutritious foods with a limited number of high calorie snacks and desserts. This research underscores the importance of recognizing and respecting the ability of our children to take charge of their own eating and to make healthy choices when the environment offers them. There is another important message for parents here: its not necessary to eliminate high calorie snacks and desserts, just offer them on a limited basis along with more nutrient dense foods.</div>
</div>
<br><br><br>
Of course, my position on the matter doesn't come from personal experience with raising children, but just from coursework & research I have done on the subject.
 

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Does he like veggies with cheese sauce on them? You could be veggies in the mac and cheese. I used to prefer peas and green beans mixed together with mashed potatoes. One of my sisters "ate" her lima beans by taking them like they were pills.<br><br><br><br>
My parents had a "you have to eat 3 pieces" (or a small serving) policy. I could generally manage to choke down 3 small pieces of whatever I hated.
 
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