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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I have a picky eater also. I try and give as much variety as possible that she will eat and supplement it with children's vitamins.
Children's taste buds are way more sensitive than adults. They are much more likely to eat bland foods such as Mac and cheese, chicken, potatoes, eggs or sweet things like fruit.
try letting him get involved in fixing his foods. He is 7 so I know he would be interested in it. For sandwiches use cookie cutters in animal shapes let him cut out his bread even meats like ham bologna cheese etc. with the shapes. buy the soups in the cans with fun characters like Dora, Spiderman, etc, and maybe he will find those of eye appeal to eat. I would not making eating an argument or be forced. At 7 if it's of interest in some way maybe it would look and taste more appealing to him. here are some helpful sites
it sounds like he might be OCD or autistic. check them out. but he will eat when he is hungry. fussing over his not eating will probably make him worse. give him his food and ignore. i would think he would start eating maybe several days but he will eat.
Welp! if he's hungry enough hes going to eat. (may it be what you have cooked or not)
i read somewhere a while back that kids would eat just about anything if it was served in a flour shell (rolled up like a burrito)
It's been a long time since I had a 7 yr old to worry about so maybe the flour shell idea won't suit you or your child - but one can only hope- huh !?
good luck !
Try and look at it from his point of view. How would you react if someone tried to force you to eat something you don't like? Personally, I wouldn't like it if someone treated me like that, so why do it to my child? I think that his 'pickiness' may end or sharply drop off if you end the 'power struggles' and act nonchalant about his food choice.
I would suggest serving the food, and if he eats it, thats fine, but if he doesn't, then that's fine too. Let him walk away hungry from the table. Children his age won't suffer long term consequences if they decide to miss a meal or two.
Don't take him shopping when you buy groceries so he's not overwhelmed by all the choices. At his age, it can cause a lot of stress to offer too many options. Of course, you want to offer him food he likes, but he also needs to learn to explore.
There is a cute book called "Bread and Jam for Frances" by Russel and Lillian Hoben (I think those are the authors correctly spelled) about a little badger that would only eat bread and Jam. If your child is swayed at all by stories, this teaches a nice lesson about trying new foods. But, I think perhaps that the whole meal thing might be a power struggle with you and his dad. Maybe you should just feed him what he likes, as long as it is not too much trouble or bother for you. For example, if he likes salami now, and maybe toast, let him eat just that. You and the rest of the family eat nice meals, and let him eat the same thing over and over. Maybe even have things that he can't have, that are just "grown up" foods -- shrimp, or asparagus, or whatever. Give him a Flinstones vitamin a day, and just let go of the whole thing. My oldest son when through a stage when he ate almost nothing but weiners; I think he was about 5 at that time.I think he ate cereal and maybe pasta, too. Now at 24 he is into all whole grain and organic and eats such healthy stuff I can hardly handle it!!!! Time cures many things.
Louise, Nipawin, SK
My 12 year old grandson doesn't have an appetite because of taking Adderall for ADHD. He will drink Ensure supplements at 350 calories a can. Maybe try this to supplement what he will eat.
My 7 yr old is fairly picky. He likes to smell something before he eats it and seems to want to eat things that he recognizes as something he's had before and likes. He's not a veggie or fruit eater altho loves bananas. The things he likes he will eat a lot of. He is on medication for hyperactivity and in a Spec Ed class. He is not autistic. He was born very premature in Russia and is adopted tho. He has delays. Anyway, we've given him a nutritional drink all along. Maybe you can buy some PediaSure or the Wal-Mart version is called Parent's Choice (it's cheaper) and see if he likes it. Our kids have always liked it. It is complete nutrition and has extra calories. I stopped giving it to our daughter a while back because she eats well and doesn't need to gain weight. I give our son one every day and I feel that really supplements his diet, especially on days when he's not wanting to eat much. His medication messes with his appetite during the day so I try to get as much in him at breakfast and dinner.
I have also found that I shouldn't go by the time of day and just feed my son when he is hungry.
I also have a 7 year old. Friends and family are often amazed that my child will eat almost anything. "How did you get him to do that?" they ask. Well, from the time my son was small, I just put a little bit of everything that we were having for whatever meal on his plate. When my husband and I sat down to eat with him, we would make a big deal over how good the things that he had not tried tasted, and gently encourage him to try a bite.
Sometimes this worked and sometimes it didn't. If he wouldn't try it, no sweat, no fuss. However, I did not give up. The next time we had it, I put it on his plate. Someone told me that it can take up to 20 times of tasting things for a child to decide whether or not s/he likes it.It's the getting them to try it part that is sometimes difficult. So, my advice is to just keep putting new things on that plate. Eventually, kids get curious and try new things.
The ONLY thing that my son does not like and has not liked since he was a baby is PEAS. If that is the only thing he won't eat, I can live with it. His favorite snack is raw broccoli and carrots with ranch dip/dressing. Keep trying and good luck
Seven year olds are notorious for being picky eaters. Don't make it a battle of the wills. Offer food at meal times, and take it away when meal time is over. Don't force them to eat food, it can cause food adversion. Usually at 7 they focus on one or two foods at a time. Macaroni and cheese is big at our house right now--they won't eat chicken nuggets any more! I think the idea of vitamins and Ensure are both good. That way you won't worry so much about what they are not eating!
At the risk of sounding too stern, here is what we did. We had two picky eaters when I married Jim. When they were little, we didn't force them to eat anything. We simply told them that there would be no snacking in between meals. It was their choice whether to eat or not. After a couple of long, hungry afternoons, they cleaned up their plates. They learned to love a lot of new foods. When they reached 11 or so, we made a 3-bite rule. They had to have three bites of everything. After eating the suspicious foods for a few times they found out they really liked them. They don't hold it against us, and they encourage THEIR children in the same manner. Good luck!
I checked out a good book from the library recently titled "Sneaky veggies - Get Vegetables Under the Radar and Into Your Family" by Chris Fisk. It gives some good ideas and recipes. Many of the recipes involve cooking vegetables and then putting them into the food processor to puree them and then adding them to sauces or other things that your family does enjoy. You might want to check it out and see if any of the recipes and ideas would work for your family.
We can all thank the food advertisers on kid TV channels, they sell bad food with such excitement that good food has a tough act to follow. God Bless you and your son.
When I met my husband his son was 5, he's now 9, he ate hotdogs, macaroni and cheese, toasted cheese, apples, bananas and dry cereal, but liked most deserts. He didn't fight with him but made what he wanted, we have them 50% of the week. I refused to make several different dinners and so we tried everything to get him to try new foods. The thing that works the best was choice nights. Everyone has a night to pick dinner and everyone has to eat what that person chooses. If he doesn't at least give it a good try then he looses his night and there is no snack after dinner. I think that has happened 3 times. Some foods he had the choice to try and those he loves the most ie: bacon and pineapple. He looks forward to picking what he wants which is usually toasted cheese or pizza but he now has a much larger list of foods he likes and it keeps growing. Hope this helps.
I have a picky eater, and slowly we're introducing new foods. He hated fish, but loves talapia with cajun seasoning (I think because his dad loves it so much). Then I bought fish coated with potato flakes (tastes like it's covered with french fries). He found he loves that.
If I serve something, he has to try one bite of it (I think his worst was one bite of asparagus - ha!) But I try to not force him to eat it if he hates it.
When I was a child - I hated white milk. I would drink it with chocolate in it, but my dad said no, it had to be white. I could drink it in my cereal, but in my 20s I was adding so much sugar to the cereal to kill the milk taste that one day I noticed it was like eating cereal with Eagle Brand milk, so I stopped using milk. People think it's strange, but orange juice is really great with some cereals - not all. To this day, I still cannot stand the taste of milk and I'm 62. I don't eat ice milk nor shakes (malts are okay, and I can eat gravy - go figure).
Point is, some foods he will learn to like as long as you keep introducing them and do the one-bite thing, but there will be foods he will never like. My least favorite meal would be spinach and liver - ugh!
Another thing to consider is how the food is prepared. I used to think I didn't like broccoli until I had it away from home. My mom grew up in the south and back in the 50s she added bacon grease to everything. Nothing worse than bacon grease on broccoli. But steamed - great!
So, keep trying and good luck!
My son ate almost everything (still won't et fresh or chunky cooked tomato, and doesn't like fish or seafood, but will eat them if we're guests) without complaint - until he started school. Then he decided he "didn't like" certain foods anymore. Surprisingly, all his new "dislikes" were things kids traditionally don't like - only he'd happily had some as favorites, like spinach, asparagus, broccoli, sweet potato. Suddenly most everything we were eating was deemed "yucky". Although he'll eat it, he really doesn't care for peanut butter. I didn't make any big deal of his new eating preferences, but let him know that I wasn't cooking twice - he could eat what I was cooking, or have peanut butter. I also told him we'd still be making his lunch for school - I wasn't paying what they charge for what they serve in the school cafeteria - and he could pack whatever he chose from what we had available. He was always welcome to a peanut butter sandwich. And no between meal snacks! He dug in for a bit, but soon tired of peanut butter, and began asking for other foods. I never forced him to eat anything, but didn't allow him to dictate what food he would have. I think he lasted about 2 weeks refusing to eat with the family, and by the end of the month, he was back to his regular habits.
My sister's 10 year old is a bit picky - always saying he's hungry, but only wants snacks and sweets, wants to decline meals. He's not allowed any between meal snacks, and if he's too full for meals, he surely can't have room for dessert. It's been explained that if he can eat what's being offered, or sit quietly during meals. Once a week, he helps plan dinner - meat, salad, vegetable, starch and dessert - within reasonable guidelines.
Whatever you decide, the child needs to realize he's not the person making the decisions about meals, and needs guidance as to what's appropriate for him. Don't force anything, and allow reasonable choices, but don't allow him to dictate. He'll eat when he's hungry.
Our grandson, now 24, was an extremely picky eater. I can't remember the ages he was but when very little he would eat only mac n cheese for breakfast lunch & dinner, then it was only broccoli for breakfast lunch & dinner, then it was chicken nuggets, hamburger or spaghetti for breakfast lunch & dinner. I let him eat whatever he wanted because I knew kids go thru different stages at different ages. He went thru a stage where his food could not touch each other on the plate or he wouldn't eat it. If the food didn't look or smell good to him he wouldn't eat it. I never forced him to eat anything - either eat or wait till the next meal. Now at 24 yrs old he piles his food one on top of the other and mixes it all up. There's not much food that he doesn't eat except for fish. He hates fish. He's also become a great cook and experiments a lot with different dishes. So I wouldn't worry too much about your 7 yr old - he's just going thru a phase, probably one of many, which he'll out grow sooner or later. My great granddaughter, 10 yrs old, is also an extremely picky eater eating only green salads, chicken nuggets, waffles & popcorn. She too has gone thru different stages of eating only certain foods. They outgrow it.
Feed the child all that you would feed to yourself and rest of the family. If it is not eaten, don't make any fuss, just take the plate away. Do the same thing the next day and the next. Over time you will see your child eat most of what you place in front of him. Don't cater to his/her picky eating habits.
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.
Speaking as a former [and still] picky eater, make sure your son is ok medically and just give him what he likes. He may have a very sensitive stomach. Lots of common foods can make some people sick/nauseated. I am 35 and I was a very picky eater as a child. There are still many foods I can't/won't eat. Try giving him plain foods, with maybe a touch of butter. No condiments, spicy, pickled, vinegary or spicy foods. Bland things without any spice. Try chicken breast, white rice, potatoes, pasta and oatmeal. As long as he is getting enough calories and some variety he will be ok. I learned to cook for myself at a young age because I knew what I could eat without problems. Good luck.
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