Am I the Only One Who Doesnt Strive for Perfect Eating Habits in a Toddler!

Updated on May 21, 2011
S.S. asks from Osgood, IN
48 answers

I see alot of questions about what to feed your young kids. I read some of the answers and wonder...are some moms just trying to make it seems like they only feed their kids fruits, veggies, organic meats, whole grains ect. I can't be the only mom who is perfectly fine with my kids eating chicken nuggets and spegetti os (and the nuggets are the cheap kroger brand...not some special organic ones) I think its great if you can get your kids to eat real healthy. Honestly I can't afford it, I tried the "keep giving it to him to try" method and we just wasted so much food! I also read alot of moms give their tots raw veggies and nuts and dried fruits, can I do that? I mean I was told those are big choking hazards for kids under 3, am I just being paranoid? I guess my main question is who else on this site doesn't strive to make sure there kids have perfect eating habits? Also is there anything strange that your kids won't eat? Mine won't eat bread. It doesnt matter what I put on it, if I slice it, or even if I make it into french toast he won't touch it
I do want to make it clear that my son does eat healthy foods too. He loves bananas, egss, yogurt, applesauce, and whole grain cereal bars. and no bad foods don't cause obesity! I was under weight and ate nothing but candy and chips...but I only ate 500 cal a day so like I said before its portion size

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So What Happened?

Amanda G: I wasn't being sarcastic! Sometimes I read the posts on other kids eating habits and it makes me feel bad like I am the only one who doesn't make there kids eat super healthy. I DID MENTION I think its GREAT if you can get your kids to eat that way. Mine won't and no I did not make him a picky eater. He will seriously go 3 days eating Nothing at all untill I cave, so yeah I would rather he eat chicken nuggets and such then starve...shame on me i guess. and I eat healthy because I have battled bulimia for many years so I cant eat to much junk with out bingeing and just going into a downward spiral so its not like the whole house eats unhealthy. I wasn't making fun of anyone, but I pick the battles with my toddler, and this is not one I am going to fight. Oh and by the way my son is in the 11th percentil for weight so not even close to being overweight. It is not the bad food that causes obesisty it is portion size.

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answers from Dallas on

i want my kids to eat. period. They go through stages where they only want meat or wont eat anything white or whatever. I buy organic if it's on deep discount. Otherwise it's store brand generic. I do the best I can to offer a good variety. As time goes by, they suprise me by liking something they hadnt liked before, so i keep offering. But at the end of the day, if I was able to hit on all the major food groups and they ate a good variety, I'm ok with that. Even if that means the occasional corn dog or bowl of cereal for dinner or cold pizza for breakfast.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

I try to eat mostly healthy stuff...but we also have a takeout addiction in my house :) My toddlers loves his chick-fil-a kids meals and buffalo wild wings corn puppies!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

I do feed my kids veggies, fruits, etc., but we also do the McDonald's, pizza, and spag O's. It is all in how you balance their meal. Some day's when they won't eat I just give in and let them eat whatever so they have something in their little bellies.

Spag. O's does have a complete serving of veggies :) or is that Chef?

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Houston on

Are you really going to poke fun at moms who attempt a more healthy lifestyle for their children? With childhood diabetes being basically an epidemic, and kids meals being by and large a terrible option of breaded and fried sugar laden nightmare, is this really the stance you want to have?

I do not look down on people who want to eat what they want to eat and feed their families what they want.

I am proud to say that my toddler loves her avocados, raw broccoli, raw carrots, tomatoes, plain yogurt, tofu, peas, beans, corn.....etc....

these things can be cut so that they are not a choking hazard. I guess i just dont understand why you seem so sarcastic about some of these mothers who want to focus on a balanced, healthy, organic diet for their children.

****sorry if i misunderstood your tone, but i dont think i was the only one. Its not just about portion size it is ABSOLUTELY the types of food eaten as well. Empty carbs are addictive and non filling requiring more of the same to feel full and spike the blood sugar. This is what causes diabetes (no fiber) and this kind of eating leads to the overeating of it. A calorie is not just a calorie. Its the fuel for your body, you need it to come from healthful sources in order to have the energy to in-turn burn off those calories. It may not be be a battle you want to fight, but it is certainly one i will.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I'm wondering ... is your intent to make those mothers who do strive for healthy eaters feel bad just because you don't put as much focus on it -- or are you trying to make yourself feel better? To each their own. I personally do strive to serve healthy food, but I'm not going to lie, I do serve pizza and nuggets, too, but they are "healthier" versions of the conventional products out there.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Obesity isn't the only thing you should be concerned about. There are a lot of skinny people out there who are not healthy at all. Bad foods are hardly recognized as "food" by the body, so they impair normal, healthy function - everything from bowels to behavior. The foods you mentioned as healthy also contain a lot of sugar (almost 17 grams in the whole grain bar!), yet without the fiber necessary to slow its absorption and avoid "sugar rushes" and yes, even the accumulation of fat cells later.

The food children eat can effect them pretty dramatically, yet people always seem to say things like "my kid eats ___ and is fine", but by what /whose measure? By eating processed foods, you can be setting them (and yourself) up for weakened immunity/impaired ability to fight sickness (and people think chronic ear infections,etc are NORMAL in babies/kids?), behavior and learning issues, and, perhaps most importantly, a lifetime of poor eating habits. Preservatives and artificial colors, for example, have been directly linked to allergies, asthma, ADHD and other behavioral issues including depression - even in children! Those things considered, are there many things more important that what you put into your body - or your child's?

There is a nasty cycle that's prevalent today where parents allow their kids to eat junk, wonder why they're being defiant, having trouble in school, or depressed, take them to a therapist and put them on a drug that hopefully will "fix" them. These same people will say that they can't afford to eat better? Even in far less extreme cases, you'll end up spending more in sick days home from work, medicine for persistent sickness and allergies than you would have if you spend a little more, or took a little more time, with real food. The attitude you are demonstrating, I would think, is pretty typical which is why these "food" companies continue to be successful and our kids, health-wise, continue to fail.

We eat "clean", which means we try to keep things as natural as possible - no artificial (chemical) ingredients. This doesn't always mean organic and it doesn't always mean expensive! You just have to spend a bit more effort reading labels and being attentive to what you're putting in your system. We shop mostly at Trader Joes, but even Target and Wal-mart are getting better at carrying more natural foods. We do not deprive ourselves of things we like! We've been able to find versions of everything we enjoy (even snacks) that don't contain the junk.

It IS worth your efforts! My son is 18mos and picky now, too. He used to eat everything and now only eats a few things, but for the things we does eat, I am sure to make them as "nutritionally dense" as possible by adding in fruit/veggies purees, flaxseed meal, and supplementing with a liquid, whole-food vitamin.

Kids only know what they're exposed to. If you take care to not expose them to the wrong things early on, it's much easier to "train" their palates to like the good stuff.

If your son loves "chicken" nuggets (that are usually random parts of chickens processed beyond recognition and held together by scary ingredients like petroleum products and even formaldehyde, then flash fried so they can be "baked" later) start to lead him toward a more healthy option by making your own! It doesn't take long at all - you can bread and bake them - and while he may notice a difference, if you're persistent it will become his normal.

I'm sorry for the novel - I'm pretty passionate about this and wish more people knew how food really affects us! Just trying to pass on the info. When I first learned about a lot of this it made me so mad ("Why didn't anyone tell me? Why are they still selling this garbage and calling it food? Why are they keeping kids sick and unhealthy?!) Knowledge is power!

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I am 100% with you. I totally agree! To be fair, we absolutely do not buy junk food (stuff like grocery store cookies, potato chips, etc.), but when my kids were toddlers, I fed them what they would eat! Hot dogs & mac-n-cheese, ramen noodles... lol

Now that they are a little older, we have a healthier diet for them but let's be realistic, my four-year-old doesn't eat grilled chicken and steamed broccoli for dinner. She picks at the chicken or dips it in ranch, and puts shredded cheese on her veggies. I'm totally fine with that.

And healthier food is SO MUCH MORE EXPENSIVE than junk food! When I wasn't working, I had no choice but to feed my kids boxed mac-n-cheese and spaghettios. You do what you have to do.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Between my family and my husband's immediate family, we have a medical history that includes: Type 1 Diabetes, Type 2 Diabetes, Heart Disease, High Cholesterol, and Morbid Obesity (to name just the majors.)

So, for me, it is absolutely worth the effort and the extra money to teach my children to enjoy veggies (no cheese or butter sauces) and fruits as the main portions of their meals along side of whole grains, etc. I don't preach or judge anyone else. This is just something I try to do the majority of the time. (Plus, I can't help but wonder if I'm the one saving money since I don't have to cook separate meals for the children. They eat exactly what we eat.)

Even if the kids go through stages about what they want to eat (and they do!!), I think I have taught them to enjoy fresh, non-processed foods. Who knows what the future holds...but I'm hoping this will stay with them throughout their lives. Our families have already stacked the deck against them from the health perspective.

When we dine-out (restaurants, friend's house, etc.) nothing is off limits. And when they visit their Grandparents, I know they are being fed Mac & Cheese and Spaghettios. No big deal.

BTW...Science has proven over and over that organic foods are not healthier than non-organic from the nutritional values. An apple is an apple!! I do not waste my money on organic.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

Horrible Mother!!

I am totally kidding.

I am a fan of balance, and everything in moderation. I do feed my family organic meats, eggs and dairy. I get organic produce when I can. But real life happens, and so do budgets. We also have MCD chicken nuggets every once in a while too! Live a little!

Your "good" foods should outweigh your "bad".

I think the key is to offer a wide variety of foods and often. It will make your kids better eaters in the long run. I did this with my children and they are wonderful eaters. So, no, there is nothing strange they won't eat. One won't touch peas, but I don't blame her!!

Best wishes!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I think the "key" to establishing healthy eating habits is to have a BALANCED diet. Spaghettios and chicken nuggets are fine, in moderation. I understand perfectly about money, but you can buy frozen veggies in a steam bag for a fraction of the cost. And they're just as good as fresh.

Keep in mind organic does not equal healthy. You can have organic cookies, and they're still cookies...

As far as choking hazards, cut things up that you question its safety (ex: grapes, hot dogs, etc.). As for nuts, I give them in oatmeal and other foods, but they're diced very small. Same can be said for raw veggies...I peel the skins off apples for my little one because he has choked on it before.

If you still think eating junk food on a regular basis is fine, look at all the obese/unhealthy kids and ask yourself what those kids are eating. My heart breaks at the thought their parents are taking years off of their life by not giving them healthy eating options.

Good luck!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

My daughter is 16 and she is a very healthy eater because we introduced good foods to her early on and stuck with it.

I do not buy Organic, etc. Yes, we do eat out a lot, we like spagettio's and chicken nuggets.

The deal is moderation. Find a good balance of the good and not so good foods.

My daughter does not eat much junk at all. Offer her a candy bar or apple and she'll take apple anyday. We don't drink a lot of sodas just because we don't really care for them. We drink a LOT of bottled water, she drinks a lot of milk and Simply Orange juice is our favorite.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Evansville on

You said, "He loves bananas, egss, yogurt, applesauce, and whole grain cereal bars". So why the need for canned "food" or processed foods? How did you introduce and get him to eat those foods? I'm sure there are plenty of other things that he will eat. The method of offering new foods repeatedly is not to be done all in one day. It means over a period of time when you have that particular item of food again that you should offer your child some to see if they will accept it. Don't make a whole lot of whatever it is so won't be wasted. When we strive to make sure our kids have healthy eating habits they will benefit from it in the long run. Obesity is not the only concern whereas eating habits are concerned. There's also high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, etc to be concerned about.

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answers from Chicago on

Everything in moderation is my belief! We try to give our 3 year 3 balanced meals everyday. She is a pretty good eater in general so there is not too much she will not eat.
We do not do organic, too expensive. We also do McDonalds, pizza, ice cream, candy, etc. Heck she is a kid and what kid does not deserve it once in a while.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Your not the only one woman, promise!

My kids all ate plenty of chicken nuggets, mac n cheese, spaghetti o's and such. Don't worry about it.

We do not have the $funds$ to do all organic all the time...we do the best we can with what we've got.

I do try to make sure my kids are exposed to lots of fruits and veggies and I do what I can to limit their intake on sugar...other than that, when they were really little I was just happy they were eating!

~My 7 year old won't eat beans of any kind! He says they feel like skin in his mouth. Yuk, I wouldn't eat them either if I associated them with skin and after you think about it, you can see where he might feel that way!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Cincinnati on

I'm not super strict on what my kids eat. We do have the ocassional ice cream or chip. However, I agree with what many others are saying. It's cheaper to eat more healthy. Sure, it takes a bit more cook time. 20 minutes to make rice instead of 5. But it's so much better for you.

Yes, portion control is essential. However, if you're ONLY eating junk you are not getting a balanced diet. Your body is not getting the nutrients and vitamins it needs to create a healthy immune system, operate properly and keep you healthy. Food is not just fuel to keep you going through the day, it's fuel to keep your BODY functioning. And you want your body to function optimally.... if it doesn't.... that's when you get sick. Have a poor functioning system for a long period of time and then you are more susceptible to more dangerous diseases like cancer and what not.

I figure, I'm teaching my kids how to take care of themselves, and that includes what goes into their body. Do you have to buy organic everything? NO! Of course not. Pick and choose. Do a little research and figure out what products would concern you most. For me, it's dairy. All those chemicals get stored in the fat... so I try to buy organic dairy.

We aren't perfect, but we don't make the "junk" food the rule. It's the exception. I use very few boxed or canned foods. Pasta and pasta sauce pretty much. Everything else I cook the old fashion way.

And I agree 500 calories a day is not healthy for anyone, doesn't matter if you're eating 500 calories of raw veggies... you need more.

It's all about balance. A good mix of carbs, veg, protein, and grains. We're all just doing our best because we want our kids to have more then we did. I want my kids to outlive me... so I'm trying to give them the best chance I can.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

We are 90/10 - 90 being healthy/10 other. I don't think we Americans are doing well teaching our children how to be healthy considering the increase of obesity in children, teens and adults.

Also, my parents didn't teach me about eating healthy or exercising and I feel like I missed out on good information for my adult health. You don't think about it but to me it's like eating healthy/exercising is an investment for their long-term health - not just today.

Regarding the choking hazards - I believe it is the responsibility of every parent to keep an eye on their LOs when they eat no matter what it is - ANYTHING is a choking hazard. Thus, one of the many reasons why I took an CPR and First Aid class for adults and infants. Just saying.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

You are not alone!! When my twins were at this stage I was happy with anything that they ate and now that we are dealing with food allergies I make the meals as simple as I can, meat, veggie, milk and sometimes fruit (we got to costco to get it and with the big bundle of strawberries with a family of 5 it doesn't take that long to go through). When hubby and I are in the mood (more in the winter time since he is a construction worker and it gets really hot reroofing a house) I will make pasta for 3 of us and then whatever my twins want to eat.

I choose what battles I want to deal with and eating just isn't one of them.

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answers from Seattle on

My kids have survived this long on chicken fingers, fish sticks and french fries...Mac and cheese for days I am feeling saucy. I only in the last year or so have had to change their habits because I found out I could not eat Wheat, soy or anything with white sugar..refined or not. so, it has been easier for me to change the whole house rather then make two shopping trips...My kids still get to eat Macdonalds twice a month....on paydays normally. They also get pop and stuff like it is not just you :) and even us crazy health nuts tend to take a break every now and then with it!!

As for stuff they wont eat...My oldest will not put milk on anything...cereal, mac and cheese i now dilute with water instead of milk. Anything the milk has to be added too and he can see it is a no go for me. He LOVES the horizon boxed milks though!?! I could scream some days it can get soooo annoying. My middle guy will not eat meat...doesnt matter how it is perpared, if it is meat he is he is my kiddo at heart for youngest will eat anything...but only take two or three bites. anything more then that gets tossed on the floor. so i set his dinner plate up like a appetizer plate, he gets to sample everything and I know i wont have a mess to clean up after dinner!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Toledo on

Believe me, I think if you can get your kids to eat anything.....and maybe half way healthy you're doing a good kids eat chicken nuggets, spegettios, grilled cheese, pizza...etc......i grew up on these foods and I'm not overweight. But they also do like yogurt, frozen peas and salad....fruit too. So I don't think you are super mom if all you feed them is organic healthy food. Especially for full time working moms...I don't have time or the money to try and get them to eat everything healthy!!! And for gods sakes they are kids.....everyone's on a health craze these days!

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answers from Fort Wayne on

I'm the same way as you!! I"m far form perfect & I don't claim to be. While I try to make sure they get (or at least offer) fruit & veggies during the day most times I have my kids eat whatever I make for the whole family, especially at dinner. Lunch is normally chicken nuggets, a sandwich, or leftovers from dinner. Right now, my 4 yr old's favorite lunch is a granola bar & bread w/ ketchup (no meat or anything else inside). According to our doctor both the kids are healthy, so I'm doing something ok.

BTW: my 4 year old will say to me if she sees me eating a candy bar or cookies or something of that nature that I shouldn't eat alot of sugar because it isn't good for us. She at least has the basics down.

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answers from Milwaukee on

I'm in your camp. I have a 3 yr old son and a 1 yr old daughter. My son is a very picky eater-it's a challenge to get him to eat anything other then wheat toast, crackers, yougurt, applesauce, cheese pizza and chicken nuggets and cheese-in a circle shape not square. It's not that we haven't introduced other items, it's just he's picky AND THREE. On the other hand my daughter eats anything you put in front of her. We talk about junk food vs healthy food all the time with my son and he's starting to catch on.

To your point -all kids are different and boys especially are usually pickier at 2-3 then girls.

You're not alone and mom's who thought you were making fun...I know this will be an unpopular statement, but come on-lighten up.

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answers from San Diego on

There's no such thing as perfect when it comes to eating habits. I strive for balance. I know there will be days when they have more sweets, cheese, fruit, crackers, whatever than others. As long as they have a balanced diet over a week, I'm happy.

That being said, I do try to buy organic and stay away from processed junk when I can. But we've always done that, even before kids. It was a choice we made for our own health and the environment.

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answers from Chicago on

We are not perfect but we are 70 % good and 30% not so good, the only thing is that gma takes up most of the 30% not so good, so we do not get to do treat time too often because he is only allowed so much a day/week.

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answers from Biloxi on

Dang, S., chicken fingers - for shame. LOL

My son lived on those things when he was a toddler. That and canned mandarin oranges and canned green beans. Since I could not eat that menu every night, I cooked separately for me. I always offered him a taste of my food and he mostly declined a taste. Then one day he decided to try Mommy's food and starting eating more things. But, those are still his three favorite foods and I keep around for those nights he just doesn't want to eat what I fix.

He is now 14, and it is still a challenge to get him to eat all the "right foods". We eat frozen or canned veggies more than fresh. Scandalous, I know. The occasional fresh cantaloupe, and sometimes grapes. He gave up apples when he got braces this year, and he doesn't like much other fruit - nor do I, honestly.

He drinks milk when I pour it for him. He eats cheese and that's about his limit for dairy products. No yogurt, cottage cheese etc. He has tried them, doesn't like them, and I refuse to force it.

He recently decided he doesn't like fish anymore - only shrimp and crawfish - He loves frozen meatballs - so I crock pot them about twice a month for him.

He does know what a balanced diet is, he knows that, in the long run, we actually eat healthier than most of his friends. I have always limited fried foods, high fat foods, and fast foods. I try to always serve a protein and a veggie, but some nights, like tonight is taco night, the only veggie he will get is the lettuce in the taco.

His pediatrician pronounced him healthy last month so I don't worry about it.

Oh, mine will not eat mushrooms. Ever, never, not at all. When he was about 4 he tried one off my plate at a Chinese restaurant, bite into it, then just spit it out. I was soo embarrassed - the people at the next table thought it was hilarious.

God Bless

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answers from Muncie on

We are by far perfect in our family and I agree it is all about moderation. We have rules like good food before sweets and things like that. I control the bad food and offer a wide choice of good food (not all natural, organic or anything) but a well ballanced meal. I make one meal and we all eat it unless it is something spicy.

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answers from Cleveland on

I try to feed our two-year-old a variety of things, but all of a sudden he won't eat anything "spicy". I have yet to understand exactly what his definition of spicy is, which is a little tricky (he'll eat guacamole with onions and garlic and herbs, but not chicken with taco seasoning). And of course, on occasion he will refuse to eat even things he likes best in all the world (last week he decided no bread and cheese and wanted only raw baby spinach for dinner, go figure!)
I have taken to hiding veggies in his food (like mixing shredded/pureed carrots in with anything that has orange cheese in it) and such.
But all in all, I don't exactly "worry" about it. He is far from overweight and we don't offer much in the way of "unhealthy" options. Also, I am a vegetarian, so I eat a large proportion of veggies with each meal, and I think eventually he's going to want to try what I'm eating.

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answers from Houston on

i think as long as mine is eating I don't care about organic and stuff like that. now if he has allergies to the insecticides or what ever my attitude would change. he does eat fruit (bananas and canteloupe only) no juice, he eats most veggies( ihad a mom bout fall over when he was about 16 m old and eating brocolli and loving it) I feed him lots of bologna as a snack. He gets chicken nuggest, spagetti os, and stuff like that also. I don't allow sugar.He gets yeast infections real bad so sugar is strictly limited on him. This is also the reason for limited fruits and no juice.

I don't buy sugary food to keep in the house. It is not fair to him everyone gets to eat them but him so I don't buy them. The adults can have sugar outside of the house but not infront of the baby. He can eat fruit bars and granola bars without getting a yeast infection so I get some fruit in him that way. Both of those have some sugar in them but it is outwieghed by the good in the food. like the granola or fruit. I will let mine eat pecans but no other nuts. no grapes for 2 reasons choking and sugar in them. I don't allow hot dogs either unless they are cut into tiny pieces.

I would shy away from celery because of the strings on it. Dried fruits in most cases is ok but not in my sons case. So I don't worry about what they eat as long as they eat but i have my rules and my reasons for my rules that won't apply to most kids. If these were not an issue I would let him have them. I am also starting to limit dairy to just eatible dairy no milk due to ear infections.

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answers from Phoenix on

ARe you eating spaghetti O's and chicken nuggets too? Our kids have always eaten the same things we do. We don't make a "special" meal for the kids. When kids are old enough to eat solid foods, they should be eating the same as you. I think this is a big problem that parents cause for their kids. My aunt did this with my cousin, I swear she lived off buttered rice and grilled cheese because "that was the only thing she would eat". Really? When she was with me she ate other things! So just have your kids eat the same thing as you do. Good luck.

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answers from Washington DC on

Nope, you are not the only one....

I gave (still give) my kids choices...i have never made anything "taboo" because for me as a kid, when someone told me I couldn't have it - I wanted it all that much more....kinda like boyfriends when I was a teenager...if my parents loved him ....well...he wasn't soo hot when it comes to things like food - I give them choices...

my SOON TO BE 9 year old (HE STRESSES THIS) loves ketchup on his mac and cheese but will NOT eat eggs - scrambled, boiled, etc... the only way he will eat eggs is if they are deviled eggs.

I don't buy organic.
I don't restrict McDonald's and other fast food chains...but I don't rush out to get them either.....

my boys love carrots, spinach (yes, spinach), artichokes, asparagus, sugar snap peas, celery (with cheese or peanut butter), broccoli, cauliflower, bell peppers, black olives, green olives, onions, garlic....and they love ice cream, drum sticks, peanuts, cashews, etc.....

my 11 year old doesn't eat the crust of the bread. he will eat up to the crust and that's it. Loves JUST peanut butter on his waffles squashed together like a sandwich with mini chocolate chips for breakfast....

so i guess I'm a horrible mom....but oh kids are happy, healthy and growing with good morals, integrity and a knowledge that you can't make everyone happy....

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answers from Lincoln on

I don't just because every day is different with her. Some days she eats more some days she drinks more. some days she'll tons of spaghetti the next time won't touch it - same goes with yogurt, beets, beans, cheese, cereal, fruits, veggies, potatoes..... I serve her small portions and when she's done and i try to feed it to her.

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answers from Dallas on

Im with you mama! If I could afford to but all organic and grow my own veggies and fruit and home make granola, I would. But there is nothing wrong with feeding your kids nuggets or even (gasp) fast food. I happen to like mcdonalds. We don't eat out alot because of budget but I too read posts sometimes and think the same thing. My kids are healthy and growing just fine! And I even have dr pepper in my fridge!

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answers from Atlanta on

I don't stres but I try. I really give an effort but I don't fight. There dad is simple so I keep it simple for them. I bribe with healthy snacks they like. I like to look at websites like Kraft or Kraft Foods. They also have a facebook page.

Lol, I can't imagine a perfect eating habit for a toddler. Well, I can but I can't imagine being a reality.

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answers from Los Angeles on

The problem is that even for those of us who strive, we fall short. so if you don't even try, what then? But no, you are not the only one. Our countrie's childhood obesity epidemic can tell you that. The $ thing I get. But for some mom's, its about not wanting to put forth the effort (and it does take a lot of effort). My kids gets too much sugar, not in the form of soda, but in yogurt, granola bars, graham crackers or other pseudo healthy foods. Sometimes she gets half of her calories in processed flour from bread and goldfish. I fall short most days, but I can tell you my effort is huge to get her to eat fresh whole foods. I think you are right on one thing, mom's love to overplay how healthy their kids eat.


answers from Jacksonville on

I get what you're saying, my sister is the same way. She also struggles so much with her weight and her kids are always getting sick. 500 calories isn't healthy for anyone, it doesn't matter what you're eating, you're starving, so that is not a valid argument (IMO). I agree that portion size matters, but 500 calories is unrealistic.

It is actually cheaper to buy the better stuff. You can buy tyson all natural frozen nuggets for $5 a bag. You can make your own oven fries with potatoes for $3 a bag. You can buy frozen veggies and cook them in all natural chicken stock for flavor. Nature's own makes cookies that taste just like nutter butters for $3, and annies makes all kinds of crackers and snacks. Even if you want to cut corners (and who doesn't sometimes) there are healthier choices. Its called junk food for a reason.


answers from Richmond on

LOL! I was picky with my first, moderately picky with my 2nd... I could care less with my 3rd. We eat really healthy anyway, so if someone gives my son a piece of chocolate cake... whatever, have fun kid!!



answers from New York on

I try to feed them healthy and pretty much do but I do not make my self
nuts over it. If they want mac and cheese, McD's once every other week
or something on the "omg so not healthy list, I let them have it. Good
God they are not going to drop due to a few extra so called "junk" meals.
Are you ready, they even have cookies!!!! OMG am I a terrible mother.
They are kids and should have some of the fun treats of childhood!!!!



answers from Norfolk on

Yep only organic, snacks are fruits and all that mess. NOT! lol. They get their fair share of treats. I am happy they love fruits and veggies. They nibble on them all day (I got really lucky on that). As long as they eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner that I fix, I don't fuss too much over what they snack on. I just watch how much they take in. My husband isn't a big veggie guy, but loves his fruit all the same. Plus he loves his chocolate! So they get alot of that from him. Which is fine by me. I think if you are too strict on what they eat now, it might come back to bite you later. I have started buying meat from our local market instead in stores though. I just think it tastes better. I really don't think its what you eat, but how much of it.



answers from Cleveland on

my kids are no longer toddlers, and the baby isn't ready for food yet. But I try. Even at 12, 10 and 8, they don't drink pop, one glass of juice (100%) a day and milk with meals. 1 junk food snack a day and since I buy the snacks I try to keep it to healthier options and not chips. But really I don't worry about it. If we are out or with friends they eat whatever. We'll order pizza a couple times a month, and if we HAVE to get takeout. It's about balance.

As for strange things my kids won't eat. My daughter hates potato, in any form.



answers from Phoenix on almost 4 year old ate corn dogs for every meal for a month......well maybe not every meal. i got tired of fighting with him to eat so at least i know he was eating something. :)


answers from Dayton on

Hmmm. Well, when I read the headline I thought: ME!!! But then I do try to provide my kiddo's w/ the best selection available.
That is to say...I do not stress over what my kids eat day to day, but I am trying really hard to keep GMO and junk meat out of my children's bodies.

My DD will not eat cheese. I think that is pretty weird. But then I lived off mac 'n cheese...
She loves spicy food.
DS is pretty versatile so far...he's 1. Praying it lasts. ;)



answers from Dayton on

I'm guessing that when you were eating 500 calories of candy and chips you were not getting the vitamins, minerals, fiber, etc. that go into a healthy diet. Which probably didn't affect your long term health, but is still not a comfortable thought when it comes to my child's eating.

Personally, I let my son have nuggets and french fries when we go to McDonalds, but I try not to go there very often because neither he nor I need the greasy fatty calories and salt. Sometimes I make mac and cheese for dinner. But I still do try to have balanced meals and give my son fruits and veggies every day. I guess what you're probably seeing are the good meals that people don't mind posting about, but nobody needs to ask where to buy fast food burgers or how to get their kid to eat them - and it can be embarrassing to feel like you're that bad mom who isn't taking care of her child's nutrition. And as the sole provider of meals for him at this point, it really does come down to my information and what I offer him for every one of his dietary requirements (something I try not to dwell on because that's a kind of scary amount of responsibility).

As moms, we love our kids and want the best for them. Sometimes, we focus on the things we CAN give them because there are things we CAN'T. So we focus on putting healthy things into their stomachs or on getting them into good preschools or on making sure that they have (or don't have) all the vaccinations available out there. And we hope we do enough because we cannot do the "right" thing in every single circumstance. Even if there were a "right" thing to do.



answers from New York on

This is a great question! So many moms like to toot their own horns about how healthy and wonderful their kids are. Definetly a superiority vibe in a lot of posts. My son loves fruit. So many people comment on how great that is and what a great mom I am and I tell them honestly, I gave it to him and he likes it! Just like I have given him pasta and rice and he hates them! It wasn't until he went to school that he would even eat chicken nuggets actually. My son does not love to eat. My friend's son does. That is just the way it is. Only you know if you are doing the best for your child. I personally think that pesticides and other chemical are hurting our children so we go organic with my son most of the time. But he also love fast food fries and he gets them 2-3 times a week. SO WHAT.


answers from Chicago on

Wow - I think some people got a little 'sensitive' about this - goodness. Anyway - I have to say I am the same way. I have a rule in my house: either eat what we are having for dinner or you get peanut butter and jelly. I also say, before the peanut butter and jelly you have to at least try what we are having. Most of the time it's decided they like what they tried. My kids love fruit and yogurt too so if that's the only part of the meal they eat (other than the 'tried' part of our meal) I realize they are getting good food.



answers from Kansas City on

I would like to think that all us Mom's would love it if our Kiddos ate great at each setting but I think the reality is ALL kids are different, all families are different so therefore kids are going to grow up differently. I have very picky eaters and getting veggies in them is about impossible. I am down to Edamame and sometimes carrots. Fruits are big in our house and my kids drinks lots of milk and water. Unfortunately juice makes my youngest have horrible poops so no citrus juice. We have tried dozens of new menus, new foods, even chicken nuggets but my kids are stuck on about 4-6 different staples right now. I don't stress about it too much. They are young, under the age of 5, and I hope they grow out of it. We all live different lives so to me you can't compare our families and what our kids eat to a T. Don't stress about it, try to get them to eat as healthy as you can and hope in time they will be better eaters :)


answers from Santa Fe on

I don't really stress about it too much. But I usually feed my toddler what I am eating or easy things like pasta, chopped up cheese, fruit, leftovers. I can't eat canned soup or boxed foods or processed meats or almost EVERY pre-prepared food bc I have an extreme sensitivity to them and I get these huge migraines and will end up very nauseated, achy, stuffed up and generally feeling like death. So...I don't buy a lot of the easy stuff. My older son loves frozen chicken nuggets so we have those on hand but my toddler will not eat them so far. Anyway, you are right, it's more expensive to eat healthy. But it's not really an option for me bc I cannot function and feel so horrible and sick. Our toddler LOVES peas, raisins, bananas, avocados, cream cheese on bread, turkey sandwiches (just turkey, mayo and butter on bread). But she also seems to like lots of other things so she's pretty easy so far (knock on wood). She will happily eat whole grains like brown rice if I have yummy stuff mixed in and it tastes good. She also will happily eat white rice. I make muffins a lot with different fruits in them and she loves those as a snack. She hates pancakes which is weird. She's not really into meat but if I chop it up really tiny and mix it with rice or pasta she will eat a little. I do buy goldfish crackers and cheese puffs bc our older son loves them and my toddler daughter of course will eat whatever she sees her brother eating, so it's not like she's eating super healthy all the time. :)



answers from Pittsburgh on

I do organic with some things and try to do as healthy as possible when our budget allows, with my daughter it is easy. If it will go in her mouth she will eat it....doesn't mean it is food. With my son I am happy if he eats period. I offer him healthy (or what I deem healthy), but man some days I am thrilled if he eats. I do give my daughter (age 1) things that I did not give my son (age 5) when he was that age, but that is due to a lot of different reasons. My son does not like meat, but loves veggie hot dogs. I pick my battles and some days my battle is just to get him to eat something and for my daughter not to eat everything...



answers from Kansas City on

I don't think it is that hard to balance good/bad foods. I do give my kids raw veggies and nuts too. I started at about 2 with my daughter and my son is 19 months and I've recently started giving him nuts and raw carrots. I always supervise him b/c these things are a much higher choking hazard but so far he hasn't had a problem. Both of them have had popcorn as well. For the little one I try and break it up a bit and take out the hulls if I see them. My kids eat a lot of fruits and veggies, but the problem I have is variety. They don't like to change things up which can get tiresome and annoying but they are eating them so it's good. I'm certainly not against fast food and frozen nuggets, but it's not the norm and if I know they are going to eat junk for a meal then I make sure they eat healthier during other times of the day. You are not alone, but I also don't think it has to be as daunting as it seems...find stuff they like and go with it.



answers from Indianapolis on

Hi S.,
You are not alone. My daughter eats pretty healthy but there are unhealthy things she eats too. For example every friday she gets a McDonald's happy meal. Some people will frown on this but oh well. My daughter will not eat nuggets unless they come from McDonalds. i have tried Tyson and store brands but she knows the difference.

My daughter is very picky. She will not eat mac n cheese, mashed potatoes, bananas you know most things kids like, but she likes green beans, brocolli and corn. Most of the meats she will eat has to have barbeque sauce. I put barbeque sauce on her plate and she will dip the meat in it. She loves sphaghitti O's. She hates hamburger but loves meatballs. i can not convince her that its the same thing.

My advice is to give him what he wants so that he wont starve. There are foods that my daughter would not eat as a toddler that she loves now so just keep trying to give it to him. If you have to add barbeque sauce or ketchup to food to make him eat do it. Only you know whats good for your son. Good luck!!

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