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Parenting a Picky Eater

Many children can be very picky eaters, causing concern and frustration for their parents. This is a guide about parenting a picky eater.
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By 11 found this helpful
December 2, 2011

I have taken care of over 200 kids (not all at once). Several of them had brought soda and candy bars for breakfast. I said no to that and made oatmeal. They never had oatmeal and refused to eat it.

I told them it was magic oatmeal. Before I dished the oatmeal into bowls, I put a couple of drops of food coloring in the bottom of bowl. I told them that they had to stir their oatmeal once the milk was poured. One had blue oatmeal and another red, green, and yellow. They got so excited they couldn't wait until they got their next bowl of oatmeal. They learned their colors at the same time!

By cj from Minot, ND

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December 2, 20110 found this helpful

Great idea. You also deserve the vote just for getting the soda and candy bars away from the children. God bless you. We need more people like you in this world.

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By 3 found this helpful
October 23, 2012

I bought a clear glass dinner plate from the $1 store. I set the plate on top of my granddaughter's Strawberry Shortcake placemat. When she eats her food, Strawberry starts to show through. My granddaughter gets all excited about seeing what is underneath.
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By Louella from Billings, MT

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By 0 found this helpful
July 12, 2007

If your child is a poor eater, put their child size portion on a big dinner plate. That way it looks like you're only asking them to eat a little bit. It's amazing how willing they are to eat a 'small dinner'.

By Mums' Page from Ireland

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August 12, 20070 found this helpful

my mother always told me ' one spoonfull for how old you are, you dont want to look like a 3 year old do you?' and i always ate most of my supper :D

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By 0 found this helpful
August 3, 2006

I often have my grandson at my house. Being a toddler, he is a picky eater. I came up with this idea when we were reading a book called "Eating a Rainbow", which was a book to help learn colors.

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When Joshua eats a meal with us, I try to fit in at least three foods with different colors. Breakfast might be red strawberries, yellow eggs, and orange juice. Lunch might have blueberry muffins, red tomato soup, and yellow grilled cheese sandwiches.

We have fun together thinking of ways to make our meals more colorful and eat a rainbow. He is much more willing to try new foods this way and eat healthier.

By Bobbie G from Rockwall, TX

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By guest (Guest Post)
August 4, 20060 found this helpful

You are on the right track! The more "colors" you eat the more healthy nutrients you are getting. This was instilled in my son as he was growing up.

Once as a teenager we had a girlfriend over for dinner. She proved to be a "picky eater" and had very little of anything on her plate. My son spoke up and told her she didn't have enough "colors" on her plate. The look on her face was priceless...one of those "What ARE you talking about". Later as a bachelor he called me one night and told me not to worry because he was still eating his "colors". "Of course" he said, "I'm getting a lot of red right now, you know...Chef Boyardee". Priceless memories!

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June 9, 20170 found this helpful
7 Year Old Picky Eater

Young children can often be picky about certain foods. However, eating a healthy diet is an important lesson to learn even if it means a few tears are shed. This is a guide about 7 year old won't eat healthy food.

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March 18, 2009

Children are greatly affected by "shapes" of their food. The smaller bow tie pasta is great way to encourage them to eat. Get creative and serve food in different sizes and shapes for those picky eaters!

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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

October 26, 20070 found this helpful

My child is a very picky eater. Over the top. He will only eat a certain type of chicken nuggets from a certain store. That was for a few months, now he won't eat them. He is the same with salami. He won't eat really any veggies except the occasional not cooked carrot or canned green beans. He will not eat meat except a certain type of hamburger cooked only on the stove top. He is afraid of the texture and look of food. Last night he cried for 20 minutes because we made him eat 1 piece of broccoli and 1 cooked carrot that were dipped in ketchup.

I know, make him sit until he eats, well he will go for over 2 1/2 hours (he is 7). Any suggestions to help a picky eater with sight and texture phobias? Being cruel and forceful with this child is a waste of time. In every other aspect he is a great caring fun loving child. He is not autistic so I know that is not his problem. Thank you. Lisa

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November 5, 20070 found this helpful

I also have very picky children. If your child will ear catsup or ranch dressing (any type of condiments) place this on his food (usually first bite). I hope this works. I keep alot on hand when I try different recipes.

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May 30, 20080 found this helpful

My 8 year old son is getting pickier and pickier with food. He used to eat Chicken Nuggets, Grilled Cheese, Mac N Cheese, Cottage Cheese, Burgers and Hot dogs. Now all he wants is pizza.

He refuses the Nuggets saying they are not cooked right (but they are the same as always). Hot dogs he says we burned once and now he will not eat. Burgers, can only be cooked on stove and now he is saying he does not like the taste.

I think he has a thing with textures. All he wants is pizza or sometimes cheese tacos and only Granny Smith Apples. Any suggestions? We do try and make him eat other things but it is a long drawn out fight of wills. Is there a doctor I can take the child to and they would explain to him the importance of eating good? Help, I am so frustrated.

mom of 2 from Westland, MI

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June 9, 20080 found this helpful

I read about having the picky eater help make the meals...pick what he/she wants, help make it, and they HAVE to eat what they pick and fix. Heard it works if you stick with it.

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By 0 found this helpful
October 4, 2010

I can't get my 6 year old to eat anything besides junk. I know if I don't buy it she can't eat it, but she won't eat anything then. She's an only child so it's not like she has a big kid to follow. I eat everything healthy you can think of, but she pays no mind to that. I'm constantly fighting a losing battle. Any ideas?

By CraftyMom from Pasco, FL

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October 7, 20100 found this helpful

When our two sons were young and hated all vegetables but loved spaghetti & meatballs, I started chopping up vegetables into very small pieces and adding them to the sauce not only to get more veggies in them but also to stretch the spaghetti sauce to last for several meals for them. They never knew about the veggies and I never told them. As adults, they are no longer picky eaters.

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November 15, 2006

My 3 year old son with autism won't eat anything but McDonald's fries, pancakes, and PB & J sandwiches. I have tried every trick in the book. Any suggestions? (Accepting potty training tips too.)

Robin from Palm Bay, FL

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By guest (Guest Post)
August 22, 20070 found this helpful

My son is also three and will not eat hardly anything either. I use to live in Palm Bay, Fl and now live in Arden, NC. I wish i could give you some helpful advice but i'm in the same boat. Have you had any luck recently. I also am having a horrible time with potty training. I pray everynight for answers.

shannon28704 AT yahoo.com

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By 0 found this helpful
March 2, 2009

I have a 5 year old son who has autism and he is a picky eater. He only eats French fries chicken nuggets and pizza from Lil' Caesar's. Can anyone suggest any tips to get him to eat more foods?

Queede from Detroit, MI

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April 27, 20090 found this helpful

Glad all of you are handling the gifts god gave you so well. I have two wonderful child all healthy, But I too went throught the bouts about not eating things. I even resorted to putting frozen spinach in my brownie mix. My husband and son didn't notice a thing. But now my son 17yrs. and goodness there's nothing he won't eat. But try this book "Deceptively Delicious" by Jessica Seinfeld, it's great for picky eaters. You can get it at your local library to try before you buy. But still have them try good wholesome food' Like mom always said one day you make like it. Yea right liver, beets, turnips yuck.

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By 0 found this helpful
October 2, 2011

We recently moved from the UK to Florida. My son was already a fussy eater but would eat chicken, sausages, fish fingers, pasta shapes in tomato sauce, cereals with milk, bread, and yoghurts. Now here in the US he won't eat anything, except some chips (fries) and a fish stick if we are lucky. If we ask him to try stuff we think he'll like he goes into a panic and makes up his mind he don't like it. How can I get him to try stuff without him going into melt down? It's heart breaking.

By Athers1

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October 5, 20110 found this helpful

Forgot to add the way I know this works is that I tried it when I was visiting them this past spring. I took my grandson to the grocery store so that I could stock the cupboards with foods he would eat while he spent Spring Break at his dad's (My son's notion of a healthy meal consists of chicken nuggets-breakfast, lunch and dinner, lol).

My grandson thought it was very cool to spend two hours in the grocery with his gran, and we managed to both find foods he could eat (that were healthy) and pick out a few new things to try. It worked very well, and he thinks I'm the smartest gran in the world now.

When we found out my son is getting custody and coming over to the UK to do post grad work, my grandson was very excited about planning his 'grocery shop with Gran' as one of the first things he does when they arrive.

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By 0 found this helpful
May 26, 2012

Does anyone have any suggestions for how to get my seven year old son to eat anything but bread and butter? I have tried everything I can thing of, but nothing works. Unless we give him his bread and butter he won't stop crying. I don't know what to do, it is ripping the family apart. Please help.

By Brooke

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May 26, 20120 found this helpful

Brooke I wouldn't worry too much, but it could be a medical problem. So I would get him checked out. But other than that you have to keep saying no. Why not change your diet so all the kids get equal and make sure there is no bread and butter at the table? Load the plate with food before you put them on the table and don't make him eat instead talk about your day and ask the other kids about their day. He will get sick of crying and just start eating.

good luck

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