S.X. asks from Libertyville, IL on February 25, 2010
4 Yr Old Picky Eater Help!
my son had many many allergies so he grew up eating different food than others, acceptions being made, things like eating the burger but not the bun etc...
he's out grown almost all his allergies HORRAY!
but he's a picky picky eater.
how do you get your kids to eat that are like this? i've said 'this is dinner, you can eat any veggie you want but this is it"
and he'll wait till breakfast and eat 3 bowls of cereal.
you can't eat THIS unless you eat THAT...
N.P. answers from Chicago on February 26, 2010
There is a great book by William G Wilkoff, MD called Coping with a Picky Eater that every parent or provider of kids should read and have a copy of. http://www.amazon.com/Coping-Picky-Eater-Perplexed-Parent...
This book has what I call the Picky Eater Plan. I have used this plan with kids that literally threw up at the sight of food and within 2 weeks they were eating normal amounts of everything and trying every food.
First you need to get everyone who deals with the child on board. If you are a provider it's ok to make this the rule at your house and not have the parents follow through but you wont' see as good results as what I described up above.
The plan is to limit the quantities of food you give the kid. When I first start with a child I give them literally ONE bite worth of each food I am serving. The book suggests that every time you feed the kids (breakfast, morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, dinner) you give all 4 food groups. So, for lunch today I would have given the child one tiny piece of strawberry, one spoonful of applesauce, 3 macaroni noodles with cheese on them, and 2 oz of milk. Only after they ate ALL of what was on their plate would you give them anything else. They can have the same amounts for seconds. If they only want more mac and cheese, they only get 3 noodles then they would have to have more of all the other foods in order to get more than that. If they don't eat, fine. If they don't finish, fine. Don't make a big deal out of it, just make them stay at the table until everyone else is done eating. They don't get more food until they are sat at the next meal and they only get what you serve. When I first do this with a child I don't serve sweets at all. So no animal crackers for snack but rather a carrot for snack. Or one of each of those. I don't make it easy for them to gorge on bad foods in other words. Now if they had a meal where they ate great then I might make the snack be a yummy one cause I know they filled up on good foods.
Even at snacks you have to limit quantities of the good stuff or else they will hold out for snack and just eat those snacky foods. I never give a picky eater the reward of a yummy snack unless they had that great lunch prior to it.
It really is that easy.
K.D. answers from Dallas on February 26, 2010
My son was a picky eater. What worked with him, was get him in the kitchen. Let him help, mixing, peeling, ect... He'll become more eager to want to eat what he created. My son even at cabbage, beleive it or not. There are still things he is not fond of but he doesn't refuse everything now.
Or I had a friend whos kid didn't eat dinner, she would give him it for breakfeast. The kid would eat his dinner after of two mornings, who wants to eat meat loaf for breakfeast yuck!!! LOL
S.U. answers from Chicago on February 26, 2010
Ah welcome to my world LOL
BTW YAY for allergies being gone!!!
OK this is how we (most times) deal with this (I wrote a post here a while back) maybe it will help and give you some ideas that will work with your little one! http://www.mamapedia.com/voices/my-picky-4-year-old-dinne...
If you need ideas on recipes visit my blog anytime :)
A.H. answers from Washington DC on February 25, 2010
Here is something I do with my daughter, I ask her to try everything that is on the plate, if she likes it ok...if not that is ok too, no hard feelings, as long as she tasted it. She was surprised how much she actually likes including Brussle sprouts, meatloaf, cole slaw and beans sprouts.
T.C. answers from Austin on February 25, 2010
My son is 8 now and has always been a picky eater. At least he's willing to try new foods, he thinks it's cool to try weird stuff- but he won't eat a lot of "normal" things. I offer him a simplified version of the meal, not something completely different. If we have spaghetti or lasagna, he gets plain noodles with sauce on the side. If we have fajitas or tacos, he gets a microwaved cheese quesadilla. We have grilled salmon, he has canned tuna. We have hamburgers, he gets a portobello mushroom. We put a spoonful of the regular meal on his plate, and ask him to try one bite.
Here's a link to a similar question I saw on here before, http://www.mamapedia.com/questions/6303892454152142849
D.D. answers from Chicago on February 26, 2010
Try feeding therapy. It works when you give it time. I also think in stead of saying "this then that...you can say, first we are going to eat ham then you can eat strawberries." That way it doesn't sound like a punishment.
Best of luck,
D. (Mom to 4 under 4)