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6 Year Old STILL Does Not Eat Well.

My 6 year old still does not eat well. I wondered if anyone else had struggled with this. He has never, and I mean never, eaten a fruit or a vegetable. He will eat bacon, but no other meats. He used to, but will no longer eat cheese. He will eat cheese pizza and nachos. He eats a variety of carbs, sweets and junk food -- although he has limited access to that. HE is the youngest of 4 kids and the others eat fine. His main source of food is peanut butter (only on a spoon, no sandwich, no jelly) and chocolate milk (made with instant breakfast so that he can get those nutrients). Over the years we have tried everything to get him to eat. If you tell him to eat his dinner or go to bed, he'll go to bed. If you tell him that that is all that's offered and if he doesn't eat that, he goes to bed hungry. He goes to bed hungry. If you by chance get him to try something, he usually throws it up and ends up in tears. I've taken him to the doctor several times. There is nothing digestively wrong with him. He is normal height and weight (thankfully the pbutter is enough). He wants to be able to eat more food too but doesn't know what to do. I continually offer him other food choices, but he has never taken a bite. Has anybody had a child like this that has outgrown this issue?

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I'm reading and trying to absorb all of the advice. Keep sending it my way if you think of something else. I'll keep you posted. THANK YOU for taking the time to write to me. For some follow up information. We have dealt with this from infancy -- he wouldn't eat babyfood. And yes, he brings tubs of peanut butter with a spoon for lunch, but it is starting to embarrass him (which is a good thing, I think). I have been to the pediatrician and ped gastro dr. but not a nutritionist, allergist or occupational therapist. All great recommendations. THANKS Again.

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So what do you pack for his lunch? (I assume he doesn't eat the school meals) Do you pack him a tub of peanutbutter and a spoon?

M., I suggest getting him some good vitamins that will replace what vitamins he is lacking by not eating. All people children and adults alike are not getting the vitamins that we need even when we do eat well. A company that I am affilated with Arbonne International has great vitamins for children and teens. One is a powder that you mix with water to make a cherry drink. One of the ingredients is superfoods. If interested give me a call or ck out web: www.successfromtheheart.myarbonne.com ###-###-#### Thanks, K.

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Hrm... well what we have been doing, and I believe is reason why my 4yr old eats so good, is this... I tell him 'this is brain food' (referring to proteins) and will make him smart, 'this is muscle food' (referring to carbs), 'these carrots help you see in the dark' you get the point. Find out what benefits him ad tell him in excited way and feel his bones when he eats cheese or drinks milk annd say whoa your bones are stronger. May seem silly at first but sure gets them excited to eat things that have results at the same educates them about nutrition. We call cakes, chips, etc 'feel good food to eat cuz we feel good after eating body food' and we eat those in moderation AS A FAMILY. We have one rule, you eat what we eat or just sit at table. If I make something new or exotic, I make him a sandwich (usually peanut butter and bread cuz he doesn't like jelly either)

Sounds like my 8 year old, but yours eats more than mine! He may have texture issues. My son throws up from fear if my daughter eats ravioli/spaghetti in the same room. Jake has ADHD/Asperger's too.

If he likes shakes, I suggest the Shaklee meal shakes. Also our Ocean Wonders multi. Everything is 100% guaranteed.

You can find them here, http://www.wellnessiseasy.com


I hear fear that if you do not give your child the foods he wants, you think he may not eat at all. That is not the case. The only way your child could have been exposed to the unhealthy "junk" foods he eats is through you. If you give him healthy foods only, that is what he will eat. He is manipulating you with guilt and fear to get what he wants which will ultimately hurt him. It is going to be harder not at his age than it would have been when he was a year old, but if you stick it out, and only feed him fruits veggies, whole grains lean meats, and healthy foods, that is what he will eat and he will thank you later when you have prevented many diseases through good nutrition. Be strong and confident and believe that he will not starve!
B. S. RN. CCM.


This is an eating pattern, some call eating disorder. It is most common in boys that have other texture issues. Like children that are very picky about the texture of their clothes, or the tags, or the seams of their socks. I have two friends that have had boys that eat this exact list of foods. THe only one you didn't mention was eggs. they will both occassionaly eat eggs. One is now 16 and eats fairly normally. When he was about 10 the doctor had them to begin having him eat chicken just an ounce or two a couple of times a week with his peanut butter, bacon etc. This was the beginning and of course lots of tears from everyone. THe other guy is 9 and he lives on carnation instant breakfast, peanut butter, cheese, and bacon. oh, he also eats yogurt. You might try it if you haven't it has such a smooth texture, it might be appealing. Is your son tongue tied by chance? Both of these boys where mildly tongue tied. They both have since had surgery and their eating has improved. Neither one was very sever. he would eat a pound of bacon at every meal if his mom would let him . I would make sure you always have what you know he will eat on hand, make sure he has good choices and offer him whatever is knew, I know it is frustrating but he really can't help it. This is not stuborness issue that you can out last. This is a medical issue that has to work itself out over time. It will. Just keep overing him things, make sure he takes a good chewable vitamin every day and give him carnation instant breakfast, whole milk, milkshakes etc for the calcium and vitamin D. Good Luck

I have a 6 year old who has a very similiar problem. she will only eat hamburger pattys from McDonalds(No bun), french fries (McDonalds only), pizza, breadsticks with cheese, sharp cheddar cheese, mozeralla cheese, parmesean cheese(by the spoonful), fried pepperonis with taco seasoning on top, taco meat, hot dog(No bun), Gogurt sometimes, doritoes, Cheese puffs, and a few other unhealthy foods. She will sometimes eat apple bites and drink some milk. She will not try hardly anything, not even new cookies or cakes. She will not eat sandwiches or regular meals. Because she doesnt eat breakfast and very little for lunch at school, her eating and refueling occurs from 2:45 until 9:00 P.M most days. I hate to send her to bed hungary but my husband says she will eat when she get hungary enough. And eat what we tell her to. My concern is if she is getting the vitamins and nutrients she needs to continue to grow healthy both physically and mentally. She also seems to be getting slightly heavy and pudgy, but what do you expect with what she eats and when she eats it. I can watch her and know that her body is craving new foods and tastes. She is searching by eating a little of this and then searching for something else to eat. I beg her to try things and if she finally agrees, she doesnt get enough to even allow her to get a slight indication of what it tastes like. Smells bother her too. Everyone says she will eventually start eating better but I have no idea when. I am running out of things (variety) to feed her. She wont even eat mac & cheese. It's good to know that I'm not the only one with this problem. Any suggestions are appreciated.

M., I suggest getting him some good vitamins that will replace what vitamins he is lacking by not eating. All people children and adults alike are not getting the vitamins that we need even when we do eat well. A company that I am affilated with Arbonne International has great vitamins for children and teens. One is a powder that you mix with water to make a cherry drink. One of the ingredients is superfoods. If interested give me a call or ck out web: www.successfromtheheart.myarbonne.com ###-###-#### Thanks, K.

First, TRY TO RELAX! I know that is the hardest thing to do about anything when it comes to our children... but there are bigger battles to fight that will have longer consequences. Try to focus on how thankfull you are that this isn't something (take you pick) more serious. It is good to see you are noticing this series of events in your child's life... that alone already makes you a great parent!

Quietly observe closer clues. Are there other behaviors that you are noticing? That may help to identify what the underlying cause for the dietary aversions might be. It could be anything from reflux and allergies to sensory integration disorder to growth phases requiring different nutrients. With out close observation you will never know what is really going on. Taking notes will help keep observations in perspective; maybe this isn't as often or as big of a deal as you think. Seeing the bigger picture may show this as a simple manipulation tactic to get more one on one focus from you (posative or negative) and that is simple to repair early on although it gets harder and harder over time if ignored.

Remember also that sometimes it is just a phase and if you don't make a big deal of it, it will resolve itself... however, if you make comments around your child and get upset (kids pick up on the mildest things) these litle quirks can often develop into something more difficult to deal with. If he is very active he may just need all that protein and carbs. Maybe this is a phase where he is building up for a growth spurt... I am always shocked how much people worry about having a "plump" child when the real situation is nothing more than normal hereditary growth patterns.

My child hit a few patches of peanutbutter & chocolate milk. It has come and gone and come back a few times. I'm certain if you looked closely at your own diet there have been points where you have cravings and not for the good stuff. I personally get cravings for strawberry flavored milkshakes... while I dislike strawberries because they have seeds. My 11yo nephew will not eat anything but oatmeal or soggy cold cereal. We are all very healthy people. Mom told me that when she was pregnant her neighbors believed that if she mentioned any food they should give it to her because her body knew what she needed to make a healthy baby. I feel the same about our kids... with all the enriched & vitamin fortified stuff, our children are not hurting as much as we think. If it really bothers you - switch to natural peanut butter & talk to his dr. I'd hazzard to guess the Dr is not worried or he would have said something. You must be doing fine.

I make my 4 year old taste at least one bite of any new food on our plate.even if we are at the table for an hour waiting.and I have found through consistency,she is bent on not tasting it and crying but then after trying one bite sometimes I'm shocked to hear," mom mmmm I like this can we eat this tomorrow again.so new creations and making them try just one bite works even with my very picky eater. Charlotte

Honestly? I'd say he's faking. Don't get me wrong I'm sure he REALLY doesn't want to eat what you are offering, but who would with PB and chocolate milk in the wings? My mom had a terrible time with me as well, but kids won't starve themselves. I grew up tall and thin, but grew out of picky eating. My oldest son is stubborn and can puke at will. He didn't want to eat beans and cornbread one night a few months ago and threw up three times. We just told him to clean up and come back to the table since he had to keep down three bites until he could be excused. He now eats beans and cornbread and actually likes it. Sometimes you just have to put your foot down. Maybe your baby knows he can get away with it?

My son used to do the same thing, it was only grilled cheese for him,but he did grow out of it slowly, he is now 16 and eats better but still not very many vegatables, so just give it time.

I know this is a long shot, but have you talked to anyone about the possibility of anorexia/bulimia affecting your child? It's not unknown for a child as young as this to have this condition. Another thing that occurred to me is the possibility of his digestive system being immature. I have never known of anyone with this, but maybe its worth checking out if it hasn't already been done. Consulting with a qualified Naturopathic Practitioner may be helpful as well. I had a lot of success with a Naturopath whom I consulted for help for my then 9 year old who was still unable to control his bladder. She diagnosed immature nerves controlling the bladder function and permanently cured the condition within a very short time with a simple naturopathic remedy. I'm sure there has to be some reason for your son's condition, and someone in the medical field should be able to help him. I wouldn't think a child would be reacting to food this way without good reason. You have my good wishes and prayers for you and your son. I wish you success in your search for answers.

Hi there. I'm a *seasoned* mom of 9, ages 8 to 33, and a Certified Family Herbalist working on a degree in Holistic Nutrition.

Given the fact that you, too, are a seasoned mom and have older children who eat normally, I would say that your child's eating behavior is a little on the extreme side. I think you are right to be concerned.

The first thing that comes to my mind is the possibility of allergies. Sometimes a food allergen can cause a reaction that includes vomiting or general rejection. Food allergens can also become "addictive allergies" in some cases, where the allergen is craved and eaten to the exclusion of other foods.

Peanuts are very highly suspect as far as allergenic foods go. You also mention that he will eat some bacon (which contains many additives that can be problematic -- nitrites, preservatives, smoke, etc.), and a "variety of carbs, sweets and junk foods" (all of which are very likely to contain high levels of allergens -- including wheat, dairy, dyes, soy isolates, nuts, flavorings and perservatives). You also mention chocolate milk. Both chocolate and cow's milk rank high on the likely allergen scale.

So, first, I would have a consultation and testing with an allergist. In the mean time, I would severely limit the treats and junk food available, i.e., I wouldn't keep ANY in the house, and would not "eat out" for now.

While I was awaiting the appointment with the allergist, I would also find a sample "rotation" or "elimination" diet. One is described at http://www.woodmed.com/DietElimRech.htm
Trying this with your child may give you valuable information about how your child responds/reacts BEFORE you see the allergist. This can save valuable time and money in the assessment/diagnosis process.

I really hope that your child is not as allergic as it sounds to me that he may be. But it is possible. I was about his age when it was discovered through testing and elimination that I was allergic to chocolate, peanuts, tomatoes, wheat, egg yolk, molds yeast and fungi, cigarette smoke, pecan dander, cat and dog dander, and dust (or dust mites)...just to mention the "biggies".

The good news is that he can be de-sensitized over time, if he is allergic, and resume a fairly normal life!

Good luck!
M. B

P.S. Sorry that I didn't mention this earlier. It may seem obvious, but I'll mention it just in case. Keeping a food diary is also very helpful in discovering food related allergy problems. Just write down whatever he consumes every day and note what you observe about his behavior, how he feels, how he reacts. If he attends school make sure to get the help of the teacher in observing what he eats from the menu for lunch and snack.

You have to keep up with trying new foods. A kid can't live on that alone. If he were to get hungry enough you don't think he would eat something else that was put in front of him?

Get the Sneaky chef cookbook by Missy Lapine. Even if he just had cheese pizza you could make an orange puree, carrots and sweet potatoes, and then he would really never no because it is hidden in with the pizza sauce. There are berry juices that you make that you can put into the chocolate milk in the morning so he will recieve other nutrients. You still have to continue giving him other foods and frankly I would still make him eat something new.

Anyway, the cookbook even has dessert recipes if he is a cake/brownie eater.

Hope this helps.

Keep up trying!

some children are just picky...my son is the same way i took him to a nutrionist she said he is healthy... your taste buds change every seven years or so my son is 7 now and just now starting to try new things so don't panic.... just roll with the flow let him eat what he will... soon enough he will change and eat it all....
keep in mind each child is different...

So what do you pack for his lunch? (I assume he doesn't eat the school meals) Do you pack him a tub of peanutbutter and a spoon?

M., since this wasn't mentioned in your request, have you ever asked the Dr. about medicine that will 'give him an appetite?' You would think there would be something out there w/all the meds. we have available. It probably wouldn't hurt to ask...also what about seeing a nutritionist? They may can offer a diff. point of view. I know folks don't want to feel like they have to turn to medicine always for stuff that can't be worked out otherwise but if there was something available to him then it might be worth a try. It could give you, him and your whole family peace of mind at least for a while. It might even be something he'd only have to take for 6 months or so. What about vitamins too? You can always hide them in his peanut butter, start w/only half a vitamin and crush/crunch it up to where he can't see it or doesn't know, ONLY IF this is a problem that you think he wouldn't take it the regular way orally. Also, out of what he does eat right now or that you can get down him, there are TONS of ways to add extra nutrition; one way is to puree fruits into say like, your child's oatmeal. But then again it is depending on the food. Hope this helps!

Get everything out of the house except the foods that you want him to eat. Never let him see you eating junk food - never let him see you eating anything other than the foods you want him to eat.

I think the reason he throws up if he eats something new is, he has been losing the digestive enzymes that he needs to help him deal with new foods, and it's upsetting his stomach. We all need raw foods in order to keep our supply of these enzymes up. Instead of a doctor, make an appointment to see a nutritionist with your son.


Wow! Sounds a lot like my nephew. His diet consists of mac and cheese-only Kraft Original, cheese quesadillas, and cheese pizza. He will eat cold cereal but has to be Hiland milk and only a select few varities of cereal will do. His parents cook seperate meals for him (only child) and will only go to restaurants where they know he can find one of his staples on the menu. If they go somewhere new, he eats at home before they leave and orders a soda at the restaurant. So, here's the point-He's 12 years old! I am 99% sure it is a control issue with most kids and if you do not take back control at an early age it just gets harder. My nephew also throws up on demand, he will cry, he will sit at the table for hours, he will go to bed early with no food, he will go on hunger strike for days. I'm sure you can imagine the advice I'm offering-DO NOT cater to his food wishes. He eats what you give him or he doesn't eat. DO NOT make a big deal out of meals. If he refuses to eat, fine, food goes in trash and he can try again next meal. You could set a regular snack time of peanut butter from the spoon, but only if he eats what you served in the previous meal, and only snack sized portions. I caution you to start small but progress rapidly. Let the other children encourage and cheer him on and stick to your guns! Good Luck!

I was a picky eater as a child, in part because I didn't like a lot of textures and in part because flavors seemed too strong for me. I would eat a peanut butter and honey sandwich with the thinnest scraping of creamy peanut butter and a thin drizzle of honey. Put together, you couldn't tell there was anything between the bread, but anything more was overwhelming. We had apples and oranges in the house, but I never enjoyed eating them because the flavors seemed too strong. I was able to get some vegetables down, like corn, peas, broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots, but I didn't care for anything after peas. I had a limited range of foods I liked to eat, though larger than your son's.

I was fortunate as a young adult that I went to a college with an excellent dining service, basically an all-you-can-eat buffet with a six-week rotating menu. I was very spoiled there, but it gave me the chance to try new foods without wasting large portions if I didn't care for them, or spending extra money. There are still some things I don't care for texture-wise, like whipped cream, sour cream, or mousse, or flavor-wise, like cream cheese or olives; and some fruits still taste too strong for me (like strawberries). But I eat Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Mexican, etc., and have even had snails, sea urchin, and fried baby octopus, so if your son has no physical problems, it is quite likely he will grow out of it in adulthood once some of his taste buds die off. Just let your son know that it's okay to not like all foods, but still to try things from time to time, because he may change his mind.


Is your son anxious about other areas of his life too? My now eight year old worries and frets about things and he started off being rather picky. I can't remember how many times he would go for days (up to three or four) without eating because he refused to eat what I had cooked. But eventually his instinct to live won out and he did eat. I make sure there are no junk foods in the house even now because if there are then that's all he wants to eat. I'm pretty certain that he dumps the nutritious lunches I fix for him every day in favor of candy bars, Coke and whatever else he can beg off of his classmates.

On another thought, my husband is a self diagnosed "super taster" so he finds many foods offensive tasting. (Super tasters have a greater number of taste buds and can detect nuances in flavor that most people don't detect. He can tell you what country of origin coffee is from for example.) If I fix a dish with any type of cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream, cream cheese, Parmesan, tuna, or several other items in it he'll say it tastes bad and refuse to eat it. He does eat a healthy diet overall but it's a bugger to cook for him.

I'd say that if there's no physical problem with your son and if you stand firm in not letting him eat junk, he'll eventually come around. And then again, he may wind up being one of those adults that can't be pleased and will only eat limited dishes. I think we all know a few of those!


My son is 6 and a half and has not eaten solid food ever. He does eat crackers, cookies, junk food, of course, and sometimes apples. He has eaten baby carrots and goes through phases with yogurt. He basically survives off of a mixture of pediasure and milk about 8oz. maybe about 5 times a day. I've tried everything. His doctor recommended not giving him milk up to 3 days saying that it wont hurt him, and only offer him food. But the times I have had the time and courage to try that, he won't eat, his eyes get dark circles and I feel very uncomfortable. I don't know what else to do. He is perfectly healthy. I'm thinking of taking him to a councelor????

Hi M.,
I'm a physical therapist who works with children. What you are describing is very common in kids who have overly hypersensitive mouths. If this is true in your case, it is treatable. Unfortunately, even many pediatricians know little about sensory problems in kids. It is usually occupational or speech therapists who work with this problem. I would recommend you call around and find an OT or SLP who works with feeding and/or sensory integration problems in kids and try to have an evaluation done. You may have to go to a major children's hospital to find one who's good. It can't hurt. A lot of picky eaters are actually hypersensitive...some don't like certain textures (like crunchy or mushy) and some won't eat foods in combination (like rice pudding, or stews). There's a great book you can read for more information on sensory integration troubles. It's called "The Out of Sync Child". There's actually a whole series of these books now and there may be one about foods, I'm not sure. The Out of Sync Child is short and easy to read and you can find it at most major bookstores and at amazon.com. I encourage you to check it out and see if it applies to your child. Good luck.

Okay - I found your post by typing in my search line "6 year old has never had fruits and vegetables" because I am so perplexed and, given the moment, I'm either angry or depressed about it. People who have children who dreamily eat well credit themselves with their clever "I tell him he has to eat this to be strong like superman" or "I gave him healthy options and now he blah, blah, blah". They think they could have done a much better job in early training your child than you and you must be giving your child too much power, etc, etc. But, I'm here to tell you, it is downright SCARY when your strong-willed child will go DAYS without eating because you are only offering "healthy" options, will choose bed over eating, will sit on the stool for FOUR HOURS in a "you cannot get down until you take one bite" (or, after 4 hours - just LICK it!). My son would say "I'm afraid to eat it!" And, I believe, he truly was/is.

My story:

I was determined from the beginning to give my child the healthiest diet I possibly could. I breast-fed for the first two years to ensure a strong immune system for life and healthy eyesight. I started solids at 4 months in addition to breast-feeding. Rice cereal at first and then, my doctor suggested adding fruit. But NO - I had read that starting with vegetables first would develop a taste for veggies later on; so, his first solid after cereal was butternut squash baby food. Then I added baby food carrots and even PEAS before we ever moved on to bananas and peaches. I used the corn souffle baby food as his dessert - never pudding, never sweets, never anything bad. From the very beginning with the cereal, though, he always had a bad gag reflex - this has proven to be one of his biggest eating problem features. At first, when he was ready to try real solids, he would eat almond butter and molasses sandwiches on wheat bread (NEVER white - I was so determined) and the day he started eating open-faced cheese toast and applesauce I thought - YAY! We will make it. Then, a terrible thing happened. He choked on a bite of cheese toast. I mean the real thing. He could NOT breathe in, panicked, turned red - we had to do baby heimlich - really bad and really scary. I reverted back to soupy baby food and drinking food replacement (nutriPals) for over a week. Several months later, he had started eating mac n' cheese; but, he hadn't learned to chew properly and would just swallow instead. I had used regular size shells pasta and two had fused together while cooking, so when he went to swallow it - he choked. This time it took so long to get it out (2 or 3 heimlichs) that I was calling 911 when he gagged and "threw up" the lodged pasta. TERRIfying. He choked one more time about a year later at age 2, and thank God (I really mean that), we haven't had another choking incident since. However, his early propensity for choking kept me from moving into giving him carrots, teething crackers or anything else I perceived as a potential choking hazard. In analyzing "what went wrong", I feel like my fear had at least some affect on his not developing his pallet. But, he has ALWAYS had a texture problem. He can't even take the Juice Plus veggie and fruit replacement jellies because of the tiny SPECS that his little tongue is able to detect in them.

So, we continued this NutraPals route for years. YEARS! I talked with the doctor over and over and they just kept saying "It isn't unusual, especially for boys, for busy little people to have just a few things they will eat" - they suggested going to a speech therapist to address the texture sensitivity; but, since his speech was perfect, it seemed kind of silly. The doctor even admitted that he wasn't sure that would really do any good - although, I know there is a speech therapy-food textures connection.

So, now, in the last year, we have eliminated the NutraPals in hopes he would start wanting other foods. While I never buy/make cookies or candy (except for certain holidays) and very much limit his sweets when we are out and about, I DID add chips and other carb snacks in hopes that he would become a bit more texture tolerant. I never wanted to have a junk food eating child, but you can imagine my JOY when he finally started eating cheese pizza. Although, as of yesterday, he is off pizza. I tend to overdo something once he has finally started eating it because I'm so happy to have something he will eat. But he told me yesterday, "Mommy, I'm off cheese pizza, now." And, as you know, you can NOT force the food down their throat. I have wasted so much money putting healthy choices on the table for him that he flat out refuses.

Here are the things he will eat:
cheddar jack cheese
crackers (sometimes)
yogurt (no texture whatsoever, though - not even the tiny specs in Trader Joe's blueberry yogurt)
jelly toast (at times)
pbj (usually refuses, but will take a bite when forced)
vanilla milk (I make it with milk, Trader Joe's Vanilla Whey Powder, stevia and blue agave for sweetner and vanilla)
Eggo plain waffles with butter and low sugar syrup
Subway mini on wheat, turkey, provolone and mayo (he calls it white ham - this is the ONLY meat he EVER eats - we get this 2 or 3 time a week why? BECAUSE HE WILL EAT IT! Sometimes he tries to get away with just eating one or two bites and then we will stop going for awhile)
fluids - just starting to drink water at soccer or gym class - this has been very frustrating as well
Mac n' Cheese (not the boxed kind - homemade. currently not eating this - I've wasted tons of it)
Buitoni Cheese Tortollini and Alfredo Sauce - NEW THING and he is wanting this everyday. Again - I'm just happy he is getting relatively decent calories.
Smoothies - he will sometimes eat a smoothie if he can't detect the tiny strawberry seeds, but once he gets one of those - it is over. I make it with frozen bananas, frozen strawberries, whey, dash of unsweetened cranberry juice, water, stevia and a squirt of blue agave sweetener.
Applesauce - used to eat this, but stopped about a year ago - will NOT eat it now
Canned peaches - ate these for about a week 2 years ago and refuses every time I offer them, now

There are a few more things - I take my list to the doctor every time we see him and his response is: "looks like he is adding a few things" then refers me to his statistical data (perfect BMI, 56%ile weight, 67%ile height, perfect blood work) and tells me not to worry and just keep trying new things. We add multivitamin (Flintstones with iron since he doesn't eat meat), Gummi Bears Vit D (during winter in Chicago), Vit C, Calcium and they have a product called Fruits & Veggies that we can sometimes find at Trader Joe's.

I know how frustrating, tiring, discouraging, saddening this all is. I've tried to incorporate some of Jessica Seinfeld's techniques for hiding the healthy food in food they will eat - but he won't eat any of her recipes. I love Melissa D'Arabian's (Food Network 10 dollar meals) philosophy and great success in giving her children raw veggies and having them eat them - that was my dream to be just like her, but it just does not work for us. Although, I still sit at her feet for guidance :)

My encouragement is to keep trying to and not give up. There are days where I totally give up - I'll go weeks without offering him anything until he asks for something. With just the 3 of us and my husband not getting home until late every night (7pm or later), family meals are out of the question in helping to train him. I do try to have at least 2 family sit down meals on the weekend and my son is required to sit with us and visit - even if he chooses not to eat or to eat just yogurt or something. I hope this helps you if for no other reason to know that you are not alone.

First problem is junk food. If it is not in the house he can't eat it. My children occasionally eat junk food, but most of what I keep in the house is fruits and veggies, granola bars, and instead of potato chips, we eat pita chips or bagel chips. They eat these freely as snacks and when it is time for a treat like cookies or ice cream, it is indeed a treat for them. Also, we do not eat fast food unless we are traveling.

I had to change eating habits because of high blood pressure, and heart disease that runs in my husband's family so we have switched to all whole grain everything (bread, rice, pasta, etc.) and use Canola and extra virgin olive oil. At first the kids were not very open to this idea, they were 4 and 2 at the time. Now they are 6 and 4 and eat most whatever is put in front of them. I do not cook separate meals for my kids, I am too busy for that. They eat what my husband and I eat, unless it is spicy in which case I will make them some separate with less spiciness.

We also have a reward system if there is something they do not want to try I will ask them to take a bite. If they do without arguing/fussing they get a quarter. We have a piggy bank that counts the change, and they get very excited when they see it adding up.

Sometimes it takes some creative thinking, but he'll come around eventually. Let him try some veggies with Ranch, or some vegetable crackers or "veggie" chips. Give him things like chicken pot pie and see if he likes that. My kids love Chinese food so I make stir fry fairly often. You can try "hiding" the veggies in things that he does normally like to eat like pasta. You can easily shave some carrots into the sauce and they will cook down and practically disappear. What about potato wedges? I make them in the oven and call them big fries, the kids love them.

Cut out the junk food. Nachos are ok, since he is getting some cheese there, but no cookies, candy, etc. Give him juice or milk rather than Kool-Aid or soda.
Using the instant breakfast instead of Quik is a very smart move on your part. You might also try Pediasure. I think it comes in chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry, and it's specifically formulated to be a nutritional supplement as oppposed to simply a beverage. Also, while the instant breakfast has nutrient levels based on an adult's needs, Pediasure is formulated for growing bodies. You can find it inmost stores in the pharmacy department, usually on the same aisle as items such as Slim-Fast. Some stores also carry it on the same aisle as baby formula.
Will he drink juice? If so, fruit juice has the same nutrients as the whole fruit, and much of the fiber as well. If he'll drink V8, he'll get the vegetable nutrients and fiber he needs from that. V8 Splash drinks have several different combinations of fruit and vegetable juices and a variety of flavors.
My 18-year-old daughter's boyfriend likes very few vegetables, but loves V8 Splash drinks.
I wouldn't worry about him not eating meat. Peanut butter has as much protein as steak, and it also has fiber, so he's not going to lose muscle or get constipated as long as he's eating peanut butter.

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