Holly Days: Picky Eaters, I Have One

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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Picky Eaters, I Have One


Collin is seriously the pickiest eater on the planet. What's super off-putting about that is that I always cook wholesome, nutritious meals for him & always have. I don't know if it's Mother Nature's payback for me being so picky with my Mom or if it's just that he has had one too many happy meals in his lifetime, but can a Mama catch a break?!?!

Little homie will declare, "Dat's YUCKY!!" at every dinner. And then I have to practically force feed him a taste. Sometimes he will *GASP* enjoy the food I put on his plate & then promptly scarf it down & ask for more. Other times he won't like it & I'll explain, "You don't have to eat it all, but just a little bit. This is all Mama is making tonight & I don't want you to be hungries later." 

I don't want to bargain with him all the time, "One more bite & you can go play." And I don't want him thinking he can just say he doesn't like something so he can get down & go play. But I also don't want to FORCE feed him food if he genuinely hates it. And I also don't want to just make turkey meatloaf or pork chops or, "trees," (broccoli) every single night because I know he will eat them.

We have tried a few different approaches. The other night, we decided to let Collin help make dinner & add the seasonings to our chicken & help put the potatoes in the pan, etc. I thought that maybe if he helped, he would want to eat his creation. But no such luck. We have tried the Small Potatoes song when he has potatoes. Dude don't even care. 

What have you Mama's done? Can anyone offer up some advice on how I can get Collin to eat & try food before immediately declaring it yucky? Does it get better? Am I doomed to turkey meatloaf (recipe coming to the blog soon) & pork chop dinners for the rest of my life? Hold me.

10 comments:

  1. I think I can help, a little.

    First off, he's 100% normal. This is a really common toddler issue.

    Second, if he's meeting milestones and growing, however he's eating is totally ok. An ok meal to a toddler is apparently a few tablespoons. Kids need 10 calories per pound to maintain their weight (not gain, not lose). So if he weighs 30lbs, that's only 300 calories.

    Third, turkey meatloaf and broccoli are AMAZING foods for him to only be willing to eat... in all honesty, he's getting protein, good fats, calcium, and tons of nutrients from those foods. If you feel it isn't enough, make sure he's getting a multivitamin.

    Fourth, have you ever read the book "Bread and Jam for Frances" as a kid? Basically it's about a little girl (ok she's a beaver or something, but you get the idea) who only loves bread and jam. Her mom made her bread and jam for every meal for a few days because it's all she ever wanted to eat, and after a week she was sick of it and was willing to try other things. Maybe try that. Of course, this could backfire, and you may feel like you are operating an a la carte restaurant out of your home if Collin is REALLY totally content with spending his life just eating those things. However chances are he will tire of them (eventually!)

    Finally, you have one job as a parent when it comes to feeding your kid: consistently offering your child healthy food during meal times. Your child's job is to decide how much of it they are going to eat.

    I'd suggest you either keep offering other things and not worry about it, but don't turn around and then offer what he likes as an alternative BECAUSE he refuses, OR simply try the "Bread and Jam for Frances" thing and just make yourselves something and make him that same thing over and over until he tires of it.

    I should add (ramble ramble ramble) Aias has a serious eating issue and is seeing peds and nutrition consultants about it, so these are some tips from them as well. He's making lots of progress now :)

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  2. Maybe put broccoli in other stuff? So he knows it's in there and might be forced to try whatever it's in? Broccoli is a good thing to like haha! Or really cut down on snacks between meals so he'll be really hungry at meal time, making him more likely to actually try. I do that to my boys a lot.

    Or have you done smoothies? You can put so much stuff they don't like in there lol. We stick to a lot of basics that the boys like, sometimes in different ways if we can. But if they're eating, they're eating haha I guess that's how we look at it!

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  3. My husband is 34, and he's lived on french fries, chicken nuggets, fried fish, steak, crackers, and pancakes his entire life. In fact he's just tried steak and pancakes as an adult. Never even had pasta, rice, cheese, pizza, a sandwich...or anything else. That is the EXTENT of his diet. He won't try anything, doesn't want to, and eats the same exact thing every single day of his life. Anyway, I feel your pain, even though my 10 year old will eat ANYTHING, even Sushi and squid!

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  4. Isa is normal-picky, like she doesn`t want anything green or brown or new (& she doesn`t like potatoes, either). My only (not-very-helpful) comment is that it is a little bit easier when they are a little older.. because you can start taking things away like dessert or tv or outside. Isa will eat anything to be able to go outside haha (:

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  5. Like everyone else has said... This is totally normal and as long as he is meeting his milestones i wouldn't worry so much. I personally wouldn't give in either. Put his food in front of him and if he won't eat, don't force him. Kids will not let themselves go hungry. Eventually he will eat when he gets hungry enough. There is nothing wrong with eating the same foods either. Elijah ate next to nothing at every meal up until just recently and now he eats everything. Replacing their foods when they say they don't like something just teaches them to be picky. None of my kids are picky eaters. Just like most people they have a few things they don't like but for the most part they eat everything I fix at every meal. Variety is key. In our house we always encourage our children to take a "no thank you" bite even when they aren't very interested in a certain food item I have cooked. Tastebuds are always changing do perhaps after tasting it a few times they may realize they actually do like it.

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    Replies
    1. Oh geez! This was kinda all over the place so I am sorry. I am on my phone and it sucks making comments from here. I also wanted to say that a "no thank you" bite is basically one bite letting me know you tried it but you are politely declining any more.

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  6. try watching YGG the food episode over and over. Austin AND Bella were this way and now we sing, "try it, you'll like it" and "there's a party in my tummy" whenever they're being picky. austin just WON'T eat and bellz prefers rice and crackers....weirdo kids.


    so try that...you might like it! ;)

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  7. I love what Monika has to say. I agree completely. I also once read that kids eat in different cycles than we do, time wise. So they consume the right amount of food in a 48 hour cycle instead of a 12 hour cycle. If my kids don't want to eat, they don't have to. No questions asked. But if they're hungry before bed, we give them another go at their dinner plate.

    Also, how much food does he consume during the day? My middle eats 80% of his daily food before dinner. Maybe more. He's a huge snacker, so I always have a healthy and well-rounded snack plate ready for him. Do you think maybe Collin just isn't hungry all the time?

    But above everything else, don't stress! That's not good for anyone. :D

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  8. Unfortunately I've got a picky eater too. It's getting her try new things that is a pain in the bum! Most of the time if I can get my little one to just try something, she'll like it! I've tried everything from eating the food myself to making overly dramatic yummy noises to stress how delicious it is, bargaining, etc., but nothing works really! I'm of no help. Sorry. I just try not to stress about it so much. Even though some days she eats the same ol' foods, I know on other days (although few and far between) she will try something new :o)

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  9. This is quite casual problem. Most of kids are picky eaters and it also depends upon their childish mood. If you serve food nicely and properly then your kids would definitely like that. This method worked for me. Hope it will work for you also.

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