J.K. asks from Tampa, FL on August 28, 2008
My Son Won't Eat! - Tampa,FL
Hi everyone. I would really love some tips on how to get my two-year-old to eat healthy. He literally only likes chips, cookies & french fries. He won't eat anything else, and since I won't give him these things most of the time, he goes hungry and is very cranky. Thank you!
So What Happened?™
Hi everyone! I really appreciate all your tips and great advice! Unfortunately, I've already tried most of them, without success.
He really has a problem with refusing to even try foods. Extremely stubborn child. QAnd bribery and bargaining does not work. There are things I know he'd like - such as peanut butter - but he doesn't like sticky things, or doesn't like the look of alot of other foods. No idea why!
I've tried the V-8 and Juicy Juice fruit blends, and pediasure bars and drinks - refuses all of them. I've also done the homemade smoothies, muffins, etc, trying to disguise. He either refuses to taste or actually picks out the fruit or veggie bits and eats the rest.
I really don't give in on snacks, and make him go without food all day, but he still won't eat. He doesn't watch TV so he doesn't get ideas from that.
He only likes key-lime yogurt, strawberry granola bars, wal-mart bread and sometimes dry cereal. He does drink alot of milk and apple juice though, so he gets calories and is not underweight. He isn't gaining much weight though. He also takes a multi-vitamin everyday. I just worry he will never like vegetables or fruit, because I really don't either. But, I do force myself to have them.
Thank you again! I am still looking for the magic cure. I also did try letting him pick out things in the grocery store or help me make something. He seems interested then, but refuses to eat it later when it's on his plate.
D.S. answers from Tampa on October 10, 2008
Hello my name is D. and I have three boys...11,6 and 5. Two out of the three are picky eaters! My youngest would live on chicken nuggets if I would let him. The only veggie I can get him to eat is corn. I started giving them Monavie original. It is a little pricey but just one ounce in the morning and one at night and they get like 13 fruit and veggies a day. Plus it has all the antioxidants that they get no more colds etc. If you want more information just let me know and I can get it for you. Hang in there, it will get better!
S.D. answers from Lakeland on August 29, 2008
There is a great book out that would help ever so much. It is called Deceptively Delicious and was written by Jerry Seinfeld's wife.
M.K. answers from Tampa on September 02, 2008
Step one is to not buy chips, cookies, and french fries so they aren't in your house. Eventually the desire and battle about things you don't deem proper will end if he repeatedly and consistently doesn't get his way. Especially if they aren't available and not in sight. Maybe designate Friday night dinner to include french fries as a special treat, or eat them only when you go out for a special lunch or dinner. He will eventually eat :) As with so many things with kids, hang in there, stick to your guns, and this too shall pass.....
C.G. answers from Tampa on August 29, 2008
A nutritionist told me to place food in a container, such as an egg carton or ice cube tray, with small portions of things like apple sticks, veggies, crackers, ham, cheese, ect..., out for him to "graze on" during the day. Give him a couple of dips such as caramel or ranch in different sections of the container to experiment with, then leave you child alone to try it. It worked with my kids, and now they eat all kinds of things. We also have a rule that while you don't have to eat everything, you must taste everything on your plate, even if you've had it before and decided you don't like it. They are allowed to leave one thing on their plate, but must eat all else. Don't give in to the junk food. Another thing is that kids look at what their parents eat, so make sure all others in your house are giving him a good example. It's kind of difficult to expect a child to eat veggies and drink water when the adults are munching on cookies and drinking soda.
J.L. answers from Sarasota on August 29, 2008
As my doctor told me don't give in. they will eat eventually. I just kept giving her different things. Even things I didn't like. She now eats an avocado a day. Strange but very good for her. I also got a little creative with food -they say if it looks good they'll eat it. Good luck
C.M. answers from Tampa on August 28, 2008
My pediatrician recommended the PediaSure shakes. Balanced nutrition, yadda yadda yadda. There are several flavors, I bought the chocolate. I think they are nasty, but my 4 year old will drink it. Don't forget a multivitamin for him. Even though the gummy ones aren't supposed to be as good, I'm sure he'll take it, they taste like candy.
B.P. answers from Tampa on August 29, 2008
Try giving him "smoothies", the V8 fusion has 1 serving of fruits and 1 of vegetables i 8 ounces, I also add about an ounce of whole milk for some fat and protein. Keep holding out on not giving him the junk food, because once you give in, it only gets harder. I give my 2 year old a smoothie in the morning and at least start the day off with some good calories in him. Yes, the V8 fusion has sugar, but no added sugar and they get suger when they eat fruits naturally.
H.S. answers from Tampa on August 29, 2008
My son has a lot of sensory issues and one of them is food. He had a very limited diet for years (a little better now but still picky) Try tricking your son with things that look like chips but are made w/veggies. slice up some sweet potatoes really thin and drizzle w/olive oil and salt & pepper and roast in the oven til crispy. Find a recipe for a heathly oatmeal raisen cookie and see if he goes for it? Mine won't eat veggies so I sneak em into stuff like carrot bread. I grate the carrot really fine and he loved it. Above all don't make it a power struggle,that was my mistake and it cost me a few years of him refusing to try anything. I also use pedia sure as our court of last resorts. They have chocolate and strawberry flavors and you can give it to them as a snack any time of day. Does he like juice? V8 makes a drink called Fusion, it's a bit pricey but it has a full serving of fruits and veggies in it. Even my picky guy likes it. There is no funky taste or texture. If he likes Juicy Juice, he should like this. Good luck and try not to stress. I've been there and it does get better.
A.A. answers from Tampa on August 29, 2008
hello! I work in pre K special ed. and have dealt with many kids likes yours! 3, 4 and 5 year olds. The good thing is, no child will starve themselves!!! It may be a VERY stressful few days of no junk but keep offering the healthy choices. I am in class now and discussing this with coworkers, one is a behavior specialist. It takes an average of 15 tries of a new food sometimes for a child to accept it. So dont dispare! he will eat!! Also tricks i have tried with picky eaters here is... one bite of a healthy food equals 1 chip. then 2 bites, over a period of a few days.. GOOD LUCK!!! letme know how you make out!
L.C. answers from Fort Myers on August 29, 2008
Hi J.. My daughter was a great eater until she hit 2 and then all she wanted was junk! So I forced her (and myself!!) to go cold-turkey and remove junk from our house. It took a few days of crying and hunger but eventually she got back to her better eating habits. I slowly introduced the junk back into her diet but only after she ate her meals. It worked but ultimately - if she had a choice she would eat french fries and 'treats' all the time too. Good luck!