HELP!!!! My kids are becoming picky eaters, grrrrrrrrrrrrr!
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  1. #1

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    Default HELP!!!! My kids are becoming picky eaters, grrrrrrrrrrrrr!

    This is really beginning to get on my nerves. I can't make a separate meal for each of my kids (and won't). I try not to make a big deal out of it if they don't want to eat dinner, but it's becoming more frequent that one or the other (the little ones) don't touch anything. I've made a rule that if I serve them something new/different, they at least have to taste it. Then there will be those times when I'll feed them something and they just LOVE it, and if there are leftovers, I'll give it to them for lunch the next day (thinking the whole time that it'll be a hit), and they won't touch it!!! Grrrrr!!!

    Anyway, I guess what I'm hoping for are a bunch of lunch/dinner ideas that are a hit with your kids.

  2. #2
    Member Darlene's Avatar
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    Glad you're not going to be a short order cook. My kids are grown now but were allowed to have a few foods that I wouldn't make them eat. We'd all eat the same meat and potatoes but lets say veggies, I wouldn't make them eat lima beans. I'd make them for us and an different veggie for them that I knew they would like.
    If they didn't want to eat, fine. No dessert or snacking later. Have to wait til tomorrow & we'd try again, lol.
    Oh when they were really young we'd feed the kids early, put them in bed & then have a nice candlelit dinner together with no whining.
    I understand your frustration.




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    Registered User MandiDawn's Avatar
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    I was a picky kid, and am even still a picky adult
    Most foods just taste bad to me, I can't help it. My parents would just make me sit at the table while they and my sister ate and then would put my plate aside for later if I got hungry. No snacking, I knew if I was hungry, I was going to eat what was still on my plate. And it's true, I was healthy, and ate when I was really hungry, and didn't if I wasn't. Our meals were usually a meat, starch and vege. So even if I didn't eat the meat, I would eat the potatoes or rice or something. Once I didn't eat for about a week and my parents were worried, but refused to cook extra - eventually I ate, and was never sick or anything - so don't worry, your kids will eat if they get hungry enough.

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    Registered User pkellyc's Avatar
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    I have grown kids and we also had the one bite rule. I swear my oldest lived off of p+j sandwiches for 7 years! I also refused to become a short order cook. If she wouldn't eat what I cooked she had to taste it, if she still refused she had a choice of p+j or cereal. As a young adult she is eating foods she wouldn't touch when she was a kid. The doctor told me she would as she grew older and I didn't believe it at the time.... but he was right.

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    Registered User Nada.Leona's Avatar
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    Amy D. did an article about this in TWG (I think it's called "War and Peas") and she got a lot of nasty responses about her ideas. However, the majority were very positive. Her theory was, if she cooked it, they had to eat it. If they didn't eat all of it that was fine, she'd just give them a smaller portion. But if she cooked it, it had to get eaten, weither they "liked" it or not. A lot of people told her that was "child abuse" and it was "cruel punishment". However, a lot of people also praised her, saying "Finally, a parent who won't back down from child pressure". *shrug* Just thought you might want to read the article.

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    I was raised in a home where if you didn't eat what was on the table you didn't eat. With that being said, there have been times I have made things for my DD different that what were having, but these days, she knows that if she doesn't like what I make then she has to cook for herself or go without. I figure at 13 she can handle it.

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    Registered User Daisygirl's Avatar
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    I am pretty hard-nosed regarding picky eating. That being said, there are very few things my kids will not eat.

    The rules at my house are these:

    1.) The famous one bite rule
    2.) After you try something, if you don't care for it there will be no retching noises, no "Ew, gross" , no rudeness whatsoever. You simply eat the rest of your food. If asked you can say you don't really care for it. Aside from that, you politely keep your mouth shut. Any rudeness about the food, then you get a double serving which you MUST eat before leaving the table. Rest assured I have given doubles only once per child, and that was sufficient to enforce the rule.
    4.) Things they truly despise (for one of my kids that is mushrooms, for the other it is onions) they are allowed to politely pick out of their food and push to the side of their plate. The doubles rule above applies regarding rudeness about the offending food.
    5.) If there is a food that they just don't want to eat, but it is not because they hate it, they are just being picky, they get a small serving of that food first. Then once they have eaten that, they get to have the rest of the food being served at dinner. My youngest is anemic, so it is very important for her to eat iron-rich foods. Sometimes the red meat or whatever is the only thing put on her plate and then once that is eaten she gets the other stuff.
    6.) Bribery is a wonderful thing. If there is a food that I know should be fairly non-offensive (for a while they would not eat lasagna because their uncle wouldn't eat lasagna) I make the most fabulous looking dessert I can come up with and put it at the center of the table during dinner. They know for a fact if they do not eat their food they will not get any of that dessert, so, they eat.
    7.) Same as most of the others here, if they don't eat dinner, they get nothing until morning. If they truly do not eat anything at all, then I will put their plate in the fridge and warm it up if they get hungry.
    8.) Never do they get offered a separate meal, nor are they allowed to make one. Not so much as a peanutbutter sandwich. If they don't like diner, they go hungry. The only exception is if you are sick, or for my vegetarian daughter, I make a different protein choice for her. Thnk about it. If your kids are at a friend's house for dinner, would you really want them to look at the food the hostess is serving and say, "no thanks, I'll just have a peanut butter sandwich?"

    There are no big fights, they just know the rules are the rules and they do have options. They can choose to go hungry if they are feeling really stubborn and that will be the end of it. The only thing they get in actual trouble for is rudeness. The rest is the choice of whether they will eat or not.

    For the record, how many 5 and 11 year olds would choose pizza with artichoke hearts, goat cheese, carmelized onions and shittake mushrooms? Mine do, with one picking off the mushrooms and the other picking off the mushrooms. There is truly no pickiness in our house, my kids are just great.
    Last edited by Daisygirl; 09-03-2006 at 09:24 AM.

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    Registered User Edelweiss's Avatar
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    I have always been a picky eater. My mom had the 1-bite rule, which I followed, even though I didn't like it. To this day it is really difficult for me to try new things, because I hate the feeling of shame and disgust when I don't like something. It's very embarrassing to order something from a restaurant and then dislike it. Once when that happened, the manager came over and offered to bring me something else, but I would have felt worse about that...it wasn't his fault that I didn't like my food, so why should he have to pay the cost for something else? I guess my point is just that, while I'm sure some kids are just picky out of stubbornness, some people just really don't like a lot of foods. I guess the parent's role is to determine which category her own kids fall into and deal with it accordingly.

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    Registered User inneedofhope's Avatar
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    My son is perfectly happy to go without if he's not interested in what I make. Its not worth the hassle for me to argue over it. Most of us americans are way overfed anyway. I actually find it easier for us to go ala carte, being just the 2 of us, on most nights. We do quick things like sandwiches. That way we both get a small healthy meal that we enjoy.
    i could not imagine being forced to eat, or even taste food just because my mother said to. I would vomit. My mom made alot of foods that I wasn't too keen on trying until I was older. I ate alot of bread and fruit. And my mom is an excellent cook.

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