Feeding a 'picky' child .

@oldchem1 (8145)
June 13, 2010 11:09am CST
I have nine grandchildren. Three of those are all in one family big brother Harry is 8 with sisters Alice ans Amy age 6 and 4. All my children have grown up to eat 'real' food, to sit at the table with decent home made and nutritious meals - including lots of fruit and vegetables. And I was pleases that each of them got married they carried on these traditions, When Harry was eating solids he would eat literally ANYTHING - his favourite meal were hot pot and a good old fashioned Sunday Roast with loads of vegetables. Suddenly he went off everything except chicken nuggets and chips; this actually coincided with a bad case of constipation that we put his present eating habits down to. Now I have always been a firm believer of telling kids'you eat that or nothing', but with Harry that literally would have been nothing! It was nothing to do with how he was brought up his sisters eat anything - favouring things like spag bol and casseroles to chips and loving fruit and vegetables. We tried everything with Harry - literally all he would eat were sausage rolls, fish fingers and chicken nuggets and chips - he wouldn't even eat tomato sauce! Both my daughter and I made him his own chicken nuggets and he could see that it was chicken that we were coating in breadcrumbs, the same with the goujons of fish that we made him - he would eat them in that form but not in any other. He wouldn't eat sausages so I would have him making sausage rolls using sausages - which he would eat but no way would he eat a sausage! In the end he went to a child phycologist who said that it was 'normal' for children not to eat veg and to live on nuggets. This was no normal child, he literally balked at the thought of other foods. He is a little better now - he will eat sausages and loves fish, but breaded or battered - I made him goujons of lemon sole this week that he loved! He has tried and loved jam roly poly (this was an achievement, I have got him eating garlic bread this week and he loves yorkshire puddings but he won't eat any sauce, gravy, mashed or boiled potatoes (although he will have roast), rice or pasta, vegetable or fruit - apart from raisins and sultanas, we do make sure he gets plenty of fresh fruit juice. This is not a case of lazy parenting or him not being used to such foods - our home always has a massive bowl of fruit that the other children dig into at leisure; it is a real worry and we feel so guilty. Please don't say make him eat it - you can't, have you any ideas on what would help!
2 people like this
11 responses
@ellie333 (21029)
13 Jun 10
Ho Oldchem, This is a difficult one indeed. I had one of my three children that was extremely picky with her food and would never touch anything and would only eat maccaroni cheese and seafood sticks, no fruit no veg at all, so I just kept feeding her that until in the end she was so sick of the same thing that one day she wanted what the rest of us was having an these days she will eat a whole plate of just cabbage and gravy if you let her. I would say it is a time thing really. A child will not starve themselves and likeyou say forcing won't won't, I was forced and to thisday I will not eat some things that I was MADE to eat, I would suggest though that you get some multi vitamins whilst Hary is going through this stage, also the more people worry and fuss overitthe more heis likely not to eatother things. Good luck with this one. Huggles. Ellie:D
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@ellie333 (21029)
13 Jun 10
Also meant to add she no longer will eat maconroni cheese or seafood sticks at all now but does have a very varied diet.
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@oldchem1 (8145)
13 Jun 10
His mum gives him vitamins just to make sure but he does get a lot of vitamins anyway through his fruit juice, he also eats a lot of raisins. While he's been with me this week he has had cod, lemon sole, fresh chicken (made into nuggets!!), potato wedges, yorkshire puddings , jam roly poly(!!), eggy bread as well as his normal things so He's getting quite a good variety. If he would eat curry I'd blend a vegetable curry into a sauce - but while his two little sisters eat curry and rice Harry won't!!
@marguicha (66384)
• Chile
13 Jun 10
Sometimes a granny will be of more help than parents. How about cooking together? How about having him make up sandwichs with chicken AND veggies, And playing who makes (and eats) a more colorful sandwich? Then maybe he will need (specially if you win the first time) tomatoes and greens. Have you tried ham, a bit of condensed milk (sweet) and corn? I hope this can be of some help. Take care.
@oldchem1 (8145)
14 Jun 10
I do all that - he'll COOK anything, but won't eat it!! He won't touch corn and certainly wouldn't touch condensed milk. He is actually SCARED of food!
@marguicha (66384)
• Chile
15 Jun 10
The poor sweetie! What does the doctor say? Because it seems this is a more seious issue than what I had thought when I read your post!
@cyberfluf (5007)
• Netherlands
13 Jun 10
Dear oldchem1, These can be difficult situations, mostly because like you said early there is no point in trying to force feed him the things he does not want to eat. It will only make matters worse because he will associate this food with something bad that happened to him. There are more children that go through a similar fase like this and most of the time it will pass after a couple of months or sometimes even longer. As long as he does keep eating, keeps growing at a good pace and doesn't get ill, I would stick with trying to enlarge the variety in his menu but not undertaking any other action. I do not agree that this is normal for a young child, but I was a picky eater as a child aswell and I turned out just fine. Once I stayed over with friends and got older I would try different things. Social pressure was one of the reasons I tried new foods. I didn't want to be different so I ate the same food as everyone else. Also, I got bored of the same food every couple of days. Perhaps having friends stay over for dinner, or letting him stay over for dinner could make a difference; if he is willing to do so. Good luck with the situation, keep us updated if you can and want to.
@oldchem1 (8145)
13 Jun 10
Yes I think that this is what will change him. He started eating sausages because he ate on on a school trip, each time he comes to stay with me I try to teach him a new food taste!!
1 person likes this
@cyberfluf (5007)
• Netherlands
13 Jun 10
It's wonderful to hear that you are so envolved in this. Also, it's good to hear that he does try new things when he is out and about with school for example. This way he will learn and try new things along the way and eventually the chances of him getting back to his old eating habbits are very high. It doesn't sound like he is using the not-eating or eating just several types of food to get his way; some children use not-eating as a powertool because they know that it will worry their parents. As a parent you have a fair your child will be hungry and you will be more likely to give in. But like I said, this doesn't seem to be a case like that at all.
@gossipzz (500)
• Canada
14 Jun 10
Sorry I have no ideas. I am looking for some myself. I have a little boy who only drinks juice. He will eat french fries and anything unhealty. Can't have him eating any solid nutrious food. Oops am lying, he does like fruits. However fruit alone cannot make you strong. I try him with any variety of foods but nothing works. Yes the professional does say not to worry but as a mother you can't help but worry. Happy lotting.
• India
14 Jun 10
Eat Less
@sender621 (14956)
• United States
14 Jun 10
My sister was always the picky eater in my family. She is still that way today. You can alwaysfind her peeling away most of her pizzas toppings because she didn't like something. She is always picking through our mother;s homemade potato salad because she doesn't like onions. When we have salad, she picks out the tomatoes. It is funny to watch her eat and see what habits she has passed on to her own children.
@gracielle (346)
• Philippines
14 Jun 10
im a mother, my son at about 4 yrs of age, is also a picky eater. Im always frustrated on feeding him. How i wished there's really medicine that can cure or should i say change this kind of behavior on kids. I really want my child to grew fat & healthy.
• Philippines
14 Jun 10
hi oldchem,.. i am also a grandmother for 6 children and they are all living with me.. yes this is a big issue for us cos i have this one granddaughter who is so picky when it comes to eating proper meals.. even i cook meat and vegetables she will not eat but instead look for some hotdogs.. she will not eat unless my daughter will gave her what she wants to eat and i did not like that.. for me hotdog is ok once in a while but for every child's meal just hotdog is not good.. i dont know what to do.. one day my youngest son got this idea from his friend so he told me what to do but we both agree not to tell to the mother of my grandchild cos we know she will not like the idea,, lunchtime again my grandchild ask for her hotdog and my son gave it to her and after some bites she started to crying asking some water while screaming HOT! my son marinate the hotdog in some hot chilly sauce before frying it.. now my granddaughter never ask for hotdog and if any one ask her if she likes hotdog a big NO is her answer.. now she starting to eat healthy food..
@ericpapasit (1276)
• Philippines
14 Jun 10
Big family there my old friend..... but eventually it is a case to case bases thing and you daughter or son must figure it out..
@ndubose (418)
• United States
13 Jun 10
I think I am the pickiest kid, so what my mom did was make separate meals for me which was nice and good...Til this day i do the same thing, like if we are having meatloaf I will make a separate meat loaf with the things I eat so I am a two meal making woman and now my man has picked up on the deal there are times that he may forget but 9 out of 10 times he remembers.... It's nice to have someone who can deal with your alternative eating styles
@mentalward (14716)
• United States
13 Jun 10
My oldest son was like that. He ate everything when he was just beginning on solid food but, as he got older, he stopped eating just about everything. He could have lived on hamburgers and mashed potatoes. He would eat corn but that was the only vegetable he ate without me threatening to take his TV privileges away. I learned to sneak vegetables into other things. I'd chop up broccoli or green beans so tiny that he couldn't possibly pick them out and put them in his mashed potatoes. When I made vegetable soup, of course with some kind of meat like chicken or beef (he would eat them), I'd boil the heck out of the vegetables because, although he would pick them out and not touch them, he did drink the broth. At least I know he got some vitamins from that. I also made him take a multi-vitamin every day. He didn't like taking them and I would tell him that, as soon as he started eating fruits and vegetables again, he could have to take the vitamin pill every day. Maybe that's what finally got him to eat more veggies and fruits. Either that or it was because girls came into his life. When that happened, he didn't want to offend the mother of his girlfriend so he would eat whatever they had when he visited them. He's still partial to meat and doesn't eat enough vegetables but he is better now. He even tried cherries not long ago but had an pretty serious allergic reaction to them so he still doesn't eat enough fruit. Apparently, he is allergic to fruit that grows on trees, none of the others. Weird, huh? He found out that his blood pressure is a bit higher than it should be and he did begin to eat much healthier. He asked me what he should eat and what he should avoid to bring down his blood pressure and that seemed to help quite a lot. Maybe, letting them know that they could have serious health problems if they don't eat right would help, although I don't think a kid Harry's age would really care much about that... but I could be wrong!