5 Year Olds 'None-eating' Habbit!!!!

Updated on February 05, 2011
H.X. asks from Los Angeles, CA
12 answers

sooooo frustrated... Dinners are a battle, i'm so sick and tired of my 5 year olds eating issues... Hates chicken of any kind, hotdogs, grilled cheese, rice, casadillas, fishsticks, sandwiches, yogurt, cheese, eggs... EVERYTHING!!!! all he tolerates eating is pasta, some fruit and a few veggies (carrots, brocolli ( i know, out of all things) and snow peas)!!!! how am i supposed to survive this?? i'm out of ideas, i have no idea what to feed him... whatever i pack for school comes back, mostly, and dinners are a battlefield... HELP ME, i dont wanna give him junk, this kid needs to survive!!!! i cant take it anymore....

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answers from San Diego on

Jessica Seinfeld has some really good ideas for cooking foods for kids to eat that are healthy and good tasting. She sneaks some vegetables in the food and the child is none the wiser. You can also try having him in the kitchen with you helping you make dinner, that might make him more interested in eating more foods. I heard somewhere that you have to introduce a food at least 15 times before a kid will like it. My mom also said that her kitchen was not a diner, we ate one meal that was cooked for everybody. There are no orders being taken, that is also where she said that we had to try everything. We didn't have to like it, but we had to at least try everything. I like the other mom's suggestion of the age bite rule.

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answers from Chicago on

My sister's son is the pickiest eater I've ever heard of. He only eats bacon & bread with butter. Oh & those Gerber Pinwheels (he's 4!). She has tried everything, but he gags so bad if she forces him to taste anything. She has finally had a breakthrough, thanks to a teacher at his preschool & she swears it the best thing she's tried yet. She keeps a chart with two columns. One column is "Things I like", the other is "things I don't like". He has to try a new food every day. If he doesn't like it, The write it on the list & she assures him he never has to try it again. It started small, like red jello & grapes, but now he's up to alot of things. He has suprised himself with the foods he now will eat.
She says that he was so picky that he made up his mind that he doesn't like anything & that his parents will force him to eat stuff he doesn't like. This way, she's giving him the control.
Once he tries 10 new things, she rewards him.
Hope it helps.

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answers from Honolulu on

My son is a picky eater and has been since he was a baby and started solids at about 6 months old.

He is now 4 years old.
We do not battle about food. His palate has naturally broadened.
He knows what he likes, he is healthy and grows like a weed, he does not eat junk, and he is fine.
1) he is a 'grazer' like his Dad.
2) he only eats if hungry. Not out of emotional reasons or out of boredom
3) he only eats until he is full. He knows his body cues.

So, to me, that is healthy eating. He knows his body and his cues and his likes/dislikes.
We don't battle or punish about eating.

No matter what I cook, there will always be something there that he will eat. Even if it is not EVERY single thing I cook, that's fine. He eats or picks, and then when he is full, that's it. He stops.

Instead of thinking "what the hell do I feed my picky son!" I think "I know what my son likes. So its not hard. I know what he likes." I know what to feed him. And, we don't keep junk in the house, so I don't feed him junk.

Recently, my son has 'liked' to eat Artichokes. Who would've thought? But I made that for dinner once. He thought (on his own without prodding) that he'd like to try it. He did. He liked it. He now likes it.

I never battle him about food. We don't punish or scold for it either.
At growth-spurts, my son eats a ton. He eats healthy. He rarely gets sick. And is a tall strapping lean boy.
Just today, HE was asking me for various things to eat... because he's been growing again. He's been actually grazing all darn day. So fine.
Other times, he barely gets hungry.
He knows his body.

To me: your son is not eating "junk."
AND he likes, fruits and vegetables.
Maybe just replace the 'hotdogs' with organic hotdogs. Less chemicals that way.

all the best,

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

He won't starve, trust me. You have to approach this with no emotion and rules. With my daughter she has had the rule since she was 2 that she has to eat atleast as many bites as she is old of everything on her plate. 5years old = 5 bites. She knows this. She knows she won't like everything she eats. She knows I know it and that it won't change anything unless it is something really spicy that wasn't prepared here. As far as bringing things home....He wants a snack or something else, okay, whatever is left (and edible) from your lunch first. If he balks at the 5 bites thing, save it for later when he says he's hungry or even for the next meal. Trust me if you will only have to do this once. Hard, maybe, but some kids definitely fit Dr. Oz's theory of being the ones that would have survived when our ancestors were nomadic and children would have died of poisining before an adult would. They have a lot more taste buds than we do 10,000 or more to our 2,000. Things must taste pretty intense but the way I see it you have to start killing off those taste buds or getting used to the variety so you have healthy eating habits later in life.


answers from Santa Fe on

I am in exactly the same boat as you with my 6 year old son. It's SO frustrating. I hate it. He drives me insane!!!! At least your will eat some veggies. I have no idea what to pack him for lunch and most of the time the food comes home. He does not even like pizza, hot dogs, cheese, or any of the regular kid foods! I just wanted you to know you are not alone. It's completely maddening!!!!!!! Feel free to email me if you ever want to talk :)

I just read the other posts and I think some people don't get it bc their child is not so insanely picky. We started off feeding our son ALL different kinds of foods, veggies, foods from other countries, mild curry, sushi, lentils with kale, everything and anything. I love all foods and I was pleased when he was 1 yr old at all the adult and delicious things he would eat. Then he changed. So, you can introduce your baby/toddler to a million different foods and still end up with a picky eater. We serve our son whatever it is we are eating at dinner time but it does not change anything. Everyone said it would get better with time but it has gotten much much worse. We don't make a battle of it at all. We tell him his taste buds will mature and to keep trying things and he will grow to like them. He will try something but he never ever likes it. He gags. He freaks out and runs to his room. We calmly have him come back down to dinner. I really am completely out of ideas. He will like chicken (roasted, white meat) most of the time but then the next week he hates it. The only things he will consistently eat are rice, plain pasta and mashed potatoes. I just keep introducing foods to him and encouraging him to eat. But it's very disheartening at how little he eats and how few foods he likes. He even hates Carnation Instant Breakfast!!!



answers from Minneapolis on

It doesn't sound like he wants to eat "junk" if he eats pasta, fruit, and vegetables. Just feed him those things along with one or two other things at dinner. He eats what he eats. Just keep putting stuff in front of him and don't make a deal about whether he eats it or not. (Or put a one "no thank you bite" rule in place and that's it.) Don't make dinner a battlefield, because the child will not back down, but nobody wins. Some kids really do have sensitive taste buds and have a problem with different textures.



answers from Dallas on

The non-eating thing is super frustrating! Mine are generally good eaters, but go through crazy stages and they don't have a favorite I can use as backup. Their newest thing-4 year old daughter skips breakfast (eats just a few bites), but has a large dinner and 2 year old son eats a large breakfast but skips dinner (eats just a few bites). I try not to let it get to me and I know that I am doing my part...I'm putting food on the table so it's their job to eat it. I never make a separate meal, either, unless I know for sure it is something they don't like.

Good luck!



answers from Youngstown on

Haha my 5 yr old is the same. he only eats pb&j. sooo i just keep putting what we are eating on his plate and then if he doesn't eat i will make his sandwich after. i would say its an age thing but my 8yr old is a great eater so i guess some kids are just picky! good luck!



answers from Boston on

If you are worried about nutritional intake, you can give him PediaSure ( a drink for kids up to age 10) or Carnation Instant Breakfast, assuming he will drink a milk-based drink. My daughter is 10 and still has one every morning since age 15 months since she was losing weight. She is still extremely picky based on texture (cannot be mushy) and she prefers eating only one thing at a time. She will eat just pasta, or just some slices of cooked turkey, or just some cold green beans with salt, or just a potato, etc. But then about an hour later she is hungry and will eat a little something else: a few strawberries or some grapes, sometimes cheese (but not with crackers) and then later some crackers. It is exhausting for me since it seems I am always in the fridge getting her other things, but it is the way her body works. The pediatrician told me it is my job to put healthy choices in front of her and her job to choose how much to eat. She will always be slender (5-15% of weight) but as long as your son is consistent on his growth charts, then it is just his natural style. The doctor said that the worst thing I could do is make a naturally slender child chunkier because I felt she was not eating enough. This is not a phase, but his body style, but the things my daughter eats did expand in variety. Maybe your son will expand his choices as well when he sees others eat it.



answers from Pittsburgh on

He won't starve. He can also eat anything you are eating - I think this 'kid friendly' thing is an American construct. All foods are 'kid friendly' to some subculture of kids somewhere in the world. You might find if you stop fighting about it, he becomes more open to trying new things.

Research findings - if you reward him for trying a new food, he is less likely to like it. His liking for the food used as a reward will however increase. Many food habits are formed early - it is important to try lots of foods early.

What we do (YMMV). We just make one meal for the three of us. DS just turned 5. He can eat it or not. We eat the same food (ok, more veggies) that we ate before we had him. So dinner might be whole grain pasta w/pesto, broccoli, melon or grapefruit to start, berries for dessert. Today it was linguine with shrimp and peas, avocado to start, pears for dessert. Two days ago it was vegetarian sushi. We don't keep junk in the house so it has simply never been an option. We don't fight about the food - he eats or not (generally he eats, sometimes seconds and thirds, sometimes not much at all).



answers from Columbus on

The only thing on your list that could be "junk" is pasta, and even that is not so bad if you buy whole grain. If that is what he will eat, feed him pasta, some fruit, carrots, brocolli and snow peas for lunch, no big deal, I send a very simular lunch with my child every day, but she eats ravioli or soup. Get a thermos, put pasta in it, pack him fruit and veggies, and send milk to drink. Serve him what you eat for dinner, and eventually, he will eat. If you are really frustrated with the battle, just serve him what he eats, there are worse things. This may be the time to pick your battle. He won't eat this way forever, and I would think that since the bulk of his variety is healthy foods, there is certainly plenty of hope that he will come around. If his pediatrician is not concerned about his weight and health, I would not be too concerned.

One thing is for sure, fighting with him will not make it better, but it sure could make it worse.




answers from Victoria on

I was a picky eater so to speak....I would eat chicken, but had to cover it in apple butter! Yeah I know disgusting! So i try and understand if my kids don't like something, but me & my husband decided before we had kids that we would not make seperate meals, so they eat what we eat. Somedays they eat well others not. i don't make an issue of it, i do however not let them have snacks or anything unhealthy unless they are eating well & healthy. Try not to let it all get to you.....I was picky, but i didn't starve & eventhough I was stick thin, it caught up with me in the end...LOL

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