Pickey eaters?

3 posts / 0 new
Last post
zoe08's picture
Joined: 09/09/08
Posts: 665
Pickey eaters?

Do any of you have picky eaters? Mason is really picky, which is really no surprise because as a kid I was a picky eater to, and still am to an extent.

I know my neighbor is really big on "you eat what I fix or not at all" and my husband feels that way too. Now my mom did not do that with me. She was more concerned about me at least having SOMETHING to eat, which is the norm is my family.

Now we have tried a couple of times making Mason go to bed without dinner. Last night being one of them and this morning he was so shaky and I thought he was going to vomit. He seems a bit better now that he had some breakfast, though he keeps asking for more telling me he is still hungry and just laying on the couch. Last time we made him go to bed without dinner because he refused to eat any of what we fixed, the next morning he was so shaky he could barely stand and his lips were so pale and he just flopped on the couch and could barely get up to get his breakfast. However once he did eat is breakfast he was fine.

Now I do not handle sickness well, especially vomiting, so I want to avoid this at all costs! Other people tell me well they will learn. I don't see him associating him not feeling well in the morning with not eating the night before, so I don't think that is going to change whether or not he eats dinner. I hate seeing him like this in the morning, so I would rather give him a peanut butter sandwich for dinner than for him to go without eating. I also don't let him snack much in the afternoon, so that he will be hungry for dinner. But it doesn't really matter how hungry he is, he still won't eat many things.

I myself get shaky and weak and not feel well if I need something to eat. I don't want him to feel that way.

gardenbug's picture
Joined: 03/12/07
Posts: 2025

In the situation I know best that is related to picky eating, textures played an important role. Do you see any pattern in the foods that Mason rejects? I suggest as little emotion about food at mealtime as possible. See below!

Some kids have great difficulty with unfamiliar foods and can't force themselves to try new things. This is even true of clothing! (Not wanting this year's snowsuit that fits - but rather the familiar one from last year that is too small...)

From the web:
[h=3]Your 3-year-old now[/h]Preschoolers are seldom gourmands — they're too busy to be too interested in food, Some kids, though, are more adventuresome eaters than others. If you have one who tends to be finicky, you need to walk the fine line between haranguing and giving up. If you force foods on your child or try to make her clean her plate, she's apt to dig in her heels. You don't want to surround mealtimes and food with too much emotion. Don't let fussiness stop you from presenting healthy choices, though.

Many preschoolers go through a stage of fearing new foods. They'd rather skip the park for a week than let a single broccoli floret pass their lips. But this is also the age when children develop the food habits they'll have for a lifetime, so it's best to keep trying. Nutritionists have found that a new food may need to be presented as many as 20 times before a child will agree to try it. What's happening those other 19 times is that the child is growing more familiar with it. Even if she acts indifferent, she's smelling it, eyeing it, seeing how it feels in her hand or on a fork. She's also watching you eat it, which is another way of familiarizing herself. Obviously it's impossibly frustrating to prepare a special, nutritious dish for your child only to have it rejected again and again. This is another reason it's a good idea to offer your child small portions of whatever you've made for yourself (and another reason to cook nutritious food for yourself!).

Bottom line is, you're in charge of what food comes into the house and what gets put on the table. Your child is in charge of what goes in her mouth.

sarahsunshine's picture
Joined: 11/29/06
Posts: 1462

Ivy isn't picky a all and will eat most anything, but she is going through a "copy-cat" and "control" phase. A month ago she would eat tortellini for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Same thing with perogies. This week she says she "hates" them. She'll eat lentil soup and various recipes that I would not consider to be typical, but refuse bread and butter. Depending on the situation and the meal (how much she's eaten recently and how healthy it was) though, I don't worry about those too much. If it's obvious that she's just not eating dinner and she wants to eat a snack (granola bar or ice cream), then she has to finish her dinner first. We so rarely have desert, though, that that is not usually an option. Usually we leave her dinner and Leo's on the table for another hour or so in case they get hungry and they can go back and eat some.

She doesn't seem to get weak and shaky, but she does get belly aches when she hasn't eaten in a while (early in the morning), so if she's gone a long time without eating and she's hungry, I give her a healthy snack (apple, orange, yogurt, bread and peanut butter). The size of the snack depends on how long it will be until the next meal, and how active she has been and will be.

As I said, though, she's not a picky eater unless she knows that there are sweet options around, so it's not a "don't like" issue.

DSS on the other hand has been a terrible eater most of his life. Just recently he has got much better, however. I think it's because he's much hungrier, and he's correlated being hungry to not eating. If he doesn't like what's for dinner, he'll still eat a smallish portion. Then an hour after dinner he'll make a cheese sandwich or something. I don't like that much (rather he ate leftovers), but he's getting better on that too. He is 13 years old, though, so just wait another 10 years!