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Old 11-30-2007, 06:30 PM   #1
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Make This Kid Eat!

My son (the almost 4 yr old that used to be the cute baby in my Avatar pic) will not eat a single meal. He will eat snacks til they come out his ears. If I stop w/ snacks, weather they be healthy or not, he doesn't eat anything. Now I've heard the addage that a kid will not starve himself, but I think this one would. He worries me to no end. Do I stop letting him eat anything if it's not at the table at meals? Oh wait I lied he will eat tacos, bagels and PB&J. Sometimes carrots, always grapes and pears.
I am not willing to make him a separate dinner just so he will eat. I think that's wrong. This is no diner, ya get what ya get.
HELP ME!!!!!


Not that there's anything wrong with that.....
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Old 11-30-2007, 06:42 PM   #2
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Now that he's a "big boy", have him help you in the kitchen. Look through cookbooks with good photos (with easy recipes) and have him be your sous chef. Don't let on that you want him to eat the meal, btw. Once you're ready to serve it, take a bite and go on and on about how wonderful it is. He'll want to try it, I bet :)

Another idea: take him to the produce section and let him choose one thing that is new to him. His curiosity may take over.

Another yet: Tell him that when he does eat "snacks", he has to have at least 3 colors on his plate. Then show him all the colors of foods in the fridge and let him choose which ones he wants.

Last: Buy him an orange plate. Orange increases the appetite!

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Old 11-30-2007, 06:49 PM   #3
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One ploy you might try, but it's only good this time of the year, is to tell him that Santa eats "this or that" or that Santa would be happy to know that he (your son) is eating the same foods Santa likes. You might even prepare a special "Santa" plate and rave on and on about how wonderful it is.
"As a girl I had zero interest in the stove." - Julia Child
This is real inspiration. Look what Julia became!
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Old 11-30-2007, 06:56 PM   #4
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This kid is the most stubborn thing you have ever seen. The only thing I can get to work for his potty training is to threaten to put a diaper on him. I think my 8 yr old was just as bad, but I can't remember! DH says he was. I'm senile at 33!
He helps cook, he gets to choose things, I try the Santa bit but I think he knows Santa does not disappoint. I have stopped making what I like just to avoid the dinner scream time. Well except this week. I don't care anymore. The oldest is finally in a place where he will eat what he gets, and I can't go changing the rules now!
He would eat ANYTHING when he was a baby. He ate spinach this summer, that was all. I bet if I made the same salad he wouldn't eat it again. It's the 2nd of 3 kids, you would think I know how to do this by now! Thank goodnes I am done!
Not that there's anything wrong with that.....
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Old 11-30-2007, 06:59 PM   #5
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I know how worried you are but eventually, he will eat you out of house and home! Young ones often go through periods of bizarre eating habits that include only eating one or two things for months. It used to scare me to death. But if your son is normally active and seems to have plenty of energy and has a multivitamin daily - you can be assured he is getting adequate nutrition (even if it averages out over the week rather than daily). Stick to your guns about not making separate meals just to get him to eat. I think it causes a multitude of problems not to mention takes way too much time. A wise pediatrician said that it is our job to offer an assortment of tasty and nutritious foods and it is the child's job to choose what he eats.

That said, sometimes kids get in the habit of grazing throughout the day and then aren't really hungry at dinner. One way to solve this is to plan a few days where you offer breakfast and then leave the house, without snacks, and go to a park or somewhere he will have a lot of activity and no snacks. By the time you get home for lunch, he may be hungry. Then, do the same thing after lunch and by dinner, he'll probably be pretty hungry. This isn't the time to try and make him eat an unfamiliar food or one he dislikes - offer things he's liking right now. This exercise is to get him out of the grazing habit.

Good luck. Your little guy sure is a cutie!
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Old 11-30-2007, 07:00 PM   #6
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My grandson is the pickiest kid I know. Hotdogs, french fries and chicken nuggets. That was it. DH and I started getting him to try "Papa's" food, which you know is magical. You can grow big and strong when you eat what the hero; in the child's eye, eats. He now eats trees(brocolli),white flat hotdogs(turkey breast meat), handlebars(greenbeans), numberplates(fish,broiled), anything else that we can describe using motorcycle parts!!
Of course, when company comes for dinner, it is very interesting to hear Tommy tell them what we are having
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Old 11-30-2007, 07:07 PM   #7
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Talk to his doctor for some idea of what he basically needs to eat. Knowing that, you can focus on what's key to his good nutrition. Sometimes we think a kid needs more food than he actually does to stay healthy.
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
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Old 11-30-2007, 07:16 PM   #8
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these are all great ideas. the cook with you idea is really important. I hated surprises in my food, but if I knew what was coming, oh boy! That's how I got to like mushrooms, visible tomatoes, green things (chives, green onions, green peppers, etc) It's also how I became a cook and a chef and a teacher.
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Old 11-30-2007, 07:49 PM   #9
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You've gotten some great advice here. My dd is 2 and has become a lot more selective than when she was a baby just starting solids, too. From what I understand (she's my 1st), it's a combination of her taste buds becoming more sensitive and asserting her burgeoning independence any way she can. It's the pot calling the kettle black, because I'm always worrying about something with dd, but don't worry! He'll be fine!

At the moment, her food tastes better with the new Hello Kitty silverware I got her for her b-day. Also try "nibble trays" during the day if he seems to be a better grazer. Take a mini-muffin pan and put something different (healthy) in each compartment. Often when dd ddoesn't want lunch, I do this and it makes up her lunch and afternoon snack. I just put it on a chair in the kitchen and she can pop by and have a bite as she makes her rounds playing. I usually cut her off by 3:30 so she's not too full for dinner.

Also check out this site if you haven't already. I swear by Dr. Sears and his books and website. They've been a wonderful help for me from the beginning!

Good luck!
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Old 11-30-2007, 10:55 PM   #10
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Two other suggestions.

Turn his normal meal into snack sized bits and pieces, like lasagna fingers, so he thinks he is eating a snack but is really eating his dinner. As kids, we used to have picnic meals that were served at the table but were in bite sized portions that we could pick at. Never felt like a meal.

If he will eat tacos, put a shell on his plate and let him stuff it with his dinner and get him to name it, like Johnny's potato taco etc. He eats the meal you make but he actually makes it and plays at chef. Give him some cheese and sauce as well to coat it with like a normal taco. Get all of you to do it maybe and see who comes up with the best combination.

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