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Mommyof1

How do you deal with your picky eater?

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I don't believe in making food a negative experience. My picky eater is now 21 and is still picky but the foods he chooses to eat are okay. Not great, but he's an adult now. I still have hope he'll learn to like some new foods. All his life, I've gotten him to try foods occasionally by talking to him about what they were and how they might taste. I don't pressure. He would take a bite and most of the time he would say he didn't like it and that was that. But occasionally he'd decide something wasn't so bad. 

 

I always made sure I had food in the house that he did like. If he didn't like dinner, I'd make something else for him. I'm not talking about cooking a separate meal. He ate things like frozen chicken nuggets and butter bread. Canned veggies. Chicken vienna sausages. Yogurt and apples or bananas. And snack food like goldfish, pretzels and crackers. Some deli meat like ham. He was never a big eater so small amounts satisfied him so I'd put them on a plate and call it a monkey platter. He ate what he wanted when he wanted.

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Modular meals. Starch, protein, vegetables - no casseroles, pies etc.

Every meal had separate components, and the picky eater could choose the components he wanted and leave out the ones he hated.We could still alll sit togeteh and enjoy a joint family meal.

 

Lots of patience. Picky eater has broadened his repertoire slowly over teh years.

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My mother forced me to eat foods I didn't like so I didn't do that with my own kids, plus I am picky myself so I am pretty understanding about not wanting to eat certain food.  My kids were picky when they were young and I let them have things like cereal for dinner or a sandwich or leftovers that they did like if they didn't like what I made.  Now none of them are picky - they are great eaters!  Way better than I am.  

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My picky eater DS12 eats mostly diary goods from birth and now eats raw salmon sushi or grilled salmon teriyaki as well.

 

When he was a toddler, he only wanted whole fat milk and cheese. His pizza had to be the all cheese kind. He would eat hotcakes if we are at McDonald's while on a road trip but he would rather guzzle down two to three milk chugs and not touch the hotcakes. He won't eat chicken nuggets either unless he was very very hungry.

 

From 3-5 years old, he was willing to have chicken nuggets and apple pie at McDonald's, the simplest burger at Burger King if we were on a road trip but his default choice is milk. Many times we would pit stop at Target and buy packets or chugs of milk for him.

 

From 5 years old, he had at least one menu item he is willing to eat at common fast food places. For example, he has a particular choice for Subway, a particular burger for BK, particular dishes for Panda Express. It was a lot easier to spend weekend out and not worry about bringing food from home.

 

At home, we just make sure we buy more milk and cheese. He also likes spaghetti bolognese or spaghetti marinara but not every day. He can cook his own spaghetti and we use store bought sauce. Our nearest grocer is a 10mins walk down the road so getting ingredients isn't an issue.

 

We love going to buffets and so he has the chance to try all sorts of food. However he had always prefer milk and if we go to a Japanese or Korean cafe, he would go for the salmon. He would rather go hungry than eat something he dislike. He is 5'11" tall 12 year old despite his self limiting food choices.

 

My 21 year old nephew does not like sauce so his burgers at fast food places are all special orders. He can customize his order at Subway to have no sauce.

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My husband was the picky eater in his family, so I blame him and make him deal with it!  :lol:   Interestingly enough, before we even had kids I told him I grew up overseas and ate everything that was served to me in others' homes, and did it with a smile on my face even if I didn't like it, I didn't have the opportunity to be picky.  I told him if we had a picky eater, he had to deal with it because I have no sympathy for it.

 

So, he does.  Although I admit I do try to help accommodate, but when picky eater changes what he likes and doesn't like.....I throw up my hands.

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My 5 year old picky eater just seems to be getting worse. Yesterday, breakfast was 6 strawberries. Lunch was two pieces of cheese. He gets his own plate for every meal. I give him a cup of milk for each meal, mostly left behind. I offer choices in every category: fruit, vegetable, protein, certain carbs. I offer nuts and olives to try and provide more fat and calories. Right now he is turning down meat, eggs, yogurt, and peanut butter (but I offer them every day in case), so finding enough fat and protein is tough. If he doesn't pre-approve everything on his plate, he refuses to eat the whole thing.

 

The best thing going on right now is that he's way into eating popsicles.I am doing fruit + vegetable (spinach) + cream + whey protein made into fruit smoothie, then frozen into popsicles. 1 or 2 a day, and at least he's getting some calories and nutrition.

 

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Have easy options around. I force fed for a very short time and have deep regrets for that. By force fed, I don't mean literally shoving it in their mouths but rather, making dinner a battleground of "you will eat what I make or you will not eat". If they don't like the main option, they can have a sandwich.

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 If he doesn't pre-approve everything on his plate, he refuses to eat the whole thing.

 

What if you were to separate out his food? Put each thing into a small bowl or small plate. Let him choose which ones he wants and he can help carry them to the table. 

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 If he doesn't pre-approve everything on his plate, he refuses to eat the whole thing.

 

Can't he serve himself from the available options and only put on his plate what he chooses to eat?

 

I serve all meals by putting the options on the table, on platters or in pots/bowls. Everybody serves himself.

Edited by regentrude
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I have sensory issues, especially around food so I created many children with food aversions. My ASD kiddo is the most picky. I make it a non issue. I never make them eat something they don't like but I require a one bite try each time. This is true even if they have tried and not liked it previously. I can honestly say this had lead to my kids eating many new foods. My picky DD usually starts liking it after about 10 to 15 tries over time. One of my boys starts eating things after about 5 to 6 tries typically. My little dude on the spectrum sometimes will like something and then not. I always keep foods he will eat on hand if he likes nothing at dinner. He is allowed to go make it/get it once he has tried dinner.

 

I don't force them to take a bite of dinner, I just started offering a small dessert or treat post dinner and if they wouldn't take a bite, no big deal they just didn't get the treat. I phased the treats out over time and it was a non issue.

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Picky eaters are welcome at my house!!!!

 

I was a picky eater and heard negative comments about it constantly. You would have thought I committed a crime!

 

I was forced to eat red meat several times/week as a child. I have been meat free over 30 years!!!

 

My kids are semi picky eaters, it has never bothered me. If you don't like it, eat something else!

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I make what I want any everyone else is welcome to eat or not. It makes no difference to me. They can make (and clean up) what ever they want. I do call dibs in certain ingredients if I have planned a specific dish.

 

I have 1not so picky teen, one AU adult child, and a DH who prefers junk food or meat and potatoes to my vegetables,

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Honestly, I don't handle my picky eater well. He was probably 5? 6? before he stopped requesting foods that have never been invented, ten minutes after the meal was served, and throwing a fit when he could not have it. The child would refuse his favorite food if you offered it to him, simply because it wasn't his idea first. But he will not eat to the point of having a headache and feeling queasy before he will go through the process of feeding himself.

 

Not all the time. But enough to make me irrationally angry. Especially when I am queasy and nauseous every evening, trying to get them fed, and all I get from him is complaining and whining... because negative attention is apparently a food group.

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I try to have some component of the meal be something my picky eater likes. So, if we are having black bean burritos, the picky one is welcome to serve herself plain black beans and tomatoes. Sometimes she just eats a plate of broccoli.

 

If nothing from our food happens to sound good to her she is always welcome to make something separate for herself. (Toast with peanut butter or hard boiled eggs from the fridge are 2 often chosen options).

 

It seems to have gotten better as she has gotten older. She literally would only eat cantaloupe and oyster crackers when she was 2. Now at 8 she rarely eats a plate of food the same as everyone else but I no longer worry about lack of calories and nutrition.

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Debi21 that popsicle idea is clever.

 

I don't force mine. There isn't a point she is just as stubborn as I was. I rather go without and so does she.

 

My daughter shares my texture issue but hers is more sensitive then mine. She will only eat slightly seasoned chicken but is okay with fruit,veggies and dairy. Not that into bread. Loves bacon but no other pork or any fish. She is not very open to new food.

 

I wasn't a big meat eater either. Fat contents was the issue not taste. Same with her. My natural bent in childhood was more vegetarian. My DD just doesn't like veggies the way I did. I would eat anyone my DD only about 5 of them.

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I was a picky eater, and I am so thankful that my parents never made a big deal of it. I remember them taking me to several doctors when I was 5 or 6 to find out if there was a medical explanation, but after that I don't remember them ever commenting on my eating. 

 

Like regentrude, our meals almost always have several components and everyone serves themselves. If I'm cooking something in a sauce, I will make several servings without the sauce. If I'm cooking a main dish that my picky eater won't like, I make sure to have a filling side that he will eat. He's free to eat as much or as little of the meal as he likes. If there isn't enough food he likes to fill him up, he can find something else (Cheerios or plain chicken, usually) to add to his meal. I do the same if I'm cooking something that I don't like. 

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