Extremely Fussy Eater

Updated on January 19, 2007
H.S. asks from Spring Hill, FL
12 answers

My 5 year old child, Isaac, is an extremely fussy eater. I can basically get him to eat Mac & Cheese, chicken nuggets and Apple Jacks. Snack time is the only time he actually eats relatively healthy. He chooses yogurt and applesauce over cookies and candy. But for meal time, it's basically one of his three favorites and I can't get him to branch out. I can on occasion get him to try certain things, depending on how they look, but he'll take the smallest bite and say he doesn't like it. I remember being a kid and hating when my guardian made me eat food that I absolutley hated, so I don't want to push food he actually doesn't like on him.

I do worry about nutrition. He does love milk and juice, so I know he gets some calcium and vitamins from that, but I think he should be eating vegtables.

Any advice would be appreciated greatly. If anyone has an 'tricks' on getting their kids to eat a more variety of foods and healthier foods, I would love to hear them.

Thanks so much -H.-

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C.P.

answers from Gainesville on

My aunt had this problem with her son. His doctor said as long as he's gaining weight and seems healthy not to worry about it.
For myself, I find that I don't make special food for my 3 and 1 year old (unless I make chili or something spicy that I know will be too hot) and if they don't eat it, they must not have been that hungry. I try to always make something I know they like (like corn or noodles) but put some of everything on their plate.

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A.S.

answers from Tampa on

I am a mother of four so I truly understand,each child is different when it comes to eating habits. What I can suggest based on my experience is if he drinking more than what he is eating you might want to slow it down. Another thing apperance is everything u might want to visually change the way some foods look .colors textures of the food could be another by that I mean mash up foods more or try making it look pretty. to a childs eye. Or even small introductions to different foods like more finger frienly food like peanut butter an carrots or celery ,pretzels with diping sauce it could be jelly or cheese even veg with ranch. Lastly skips some snacks so he would be hungier at dinner time. Try to be stren without feeling guilty you know what is best in your heart. If you want to exchange numbers just email me [email protected]____.com

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R.M.

answers from Sarasota on

Hello H.. Let me first say be thankful he chooses healthy snacks as most kids don't :). As far as veggies, you could try making them fun, like making faces or something with them. Kids also like dipping, you could try dipping celery in PB, or carrots in ranch, or something like that. Other than that, I agree with having him taste things. My mom use to do that to me, take just one bite. Good luck

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M.S.

answers from Sarasota on

My pediatrician told me to give my 2yo whatever we were eating cut up in smaller bites, of course. The dr. said that if she's hungry, she'll eat.

For a long time both my kids wanted mac and cheese for lunch every day, and I was worried about giving it to them so much. I bought a bag of frozen peas and carrots, and after making the mac and cheese (I started using the Fast Mac microwave variety) I would throw in a big handful of frozen veggies. The veggies defrosted quickly in the hot mac and cheese, and in just a minute, it was cool enough to eat. So, using frozen veggies kinda kills two birds with one stone.

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M.N.

answers from Bloomington on

H., I can so relate to what you are saying. My 5-year-old daughter is an extremely picky eater. She does not like milk, will not eat cheese, not real particular about yogurt. Meat wise she will eat chicken and steak and that is it. She will eat corn but that is the only vegatable she will eat. She does however like fruit so that helps.

Anyway, my daughter just had her well child check up and I asked my pediatrician. My pediatrician said that she is very healthy and growing well. She is within her percentages and that is a good sign. He also said that if I was worried about her nutrition to put her on a daily vitamin and that Flinstones were great. She is now on a daily flinstone vitamin every day and when I forget she reminds me because her Doctor said she needed to take it...those are her words.

Anyway, I just keep offering things and letting her know that she could be missing out on something really good if she doesn't at least try it. She seems to be getting a little more willing to try and I don't shove and hopefully one day we will come to a mutual understanding.

Hope this helps a little
M.

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F.R.

answers from Pensacola on

I agree with the women who say don't make a huge fuss over his eating habits. Almost every child has some "quirk" Try switching his regular chicken nuggets to the veggie kind every once in a while. He won't know he's eating something that's relatively good for him. Mac n Cheese isn't that bad. Try to do some add-ins but don't push it if he doesn't like it.
In my home, everyone gets a plate with whatever I have cooked for dinner on it. They don't always eat it, but they will not be allowed to get anything else until they've at least tried it.
Definitely get him some vitamins to supplement like the other women suggested. That'll at least ease your mind a bit.
Also, there are some great kids cookbooks with some neat ideas on how to make child-friendly foods that look pretty cool to a kid. Faces and bugs and things of that nature out of food. And they're more likely to try and eat something they've made themselves. Get him in the kitchen and have him "cook" with you when making something he's never eaten before. It's worth a shot and worst case scenario he won't eat it, but you'll get more bonding time.
Good Luck and Don't Sweat It!

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D.A.

answers from Tampa on

i have 3 that are like that there names are jessica brooke and autumn. there ages are 15, 9, 7 what i also try to do is make them try it. my youngest is espilly picky shes 7 she has adhd and only eats in small spurts but like your son is a healthy snack person. what i would reccomend is that you let him eatwhatever and dont stress over it like itend to do its there likeness not ares. just keep on pushing those vegs mine basically like some vegs and fruits it does get better. try to get the cold carrots with ranch dip and the cold vegs they usally liker that.

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P.W.

answers from Ocala on

Try giving him pedisure(it's like milk w/nutients). It has vitamins and minerals that picky kids need. It is expensive so you might need to try to store brand first to see if he likes it. They put my daughter on it when she was 6 because she was underweight and was a very picky eater(she would only eat mac & cheese, hot dogs, & raman noodles so I can relate. If he likes cheese try putting cheese over some veggies to get him to eat them. That sometimes works. But only try a small amout so there is less waste. Good luck! GOD BLESS!!!

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H.M.

answers from Pensacola on

Hey H.,
I am a mother of 4 right now with a new one on the way. I have a 3 year old that is the same way. Doesn't want to eat unless it's something he wants. He'll eat a little bit and say he don't want his food. So, I know what your going through. I took him for a 3 year old check up and the dr. told me not to worry. They will eat when they want. Not to force them to eat cause then they will just make there self sick and throw it back up. If he likes mac and cheese you can try what I did with all my kids. I made some mac and cheese, added some hamburger meat and some green early peas sometimes called baby peas. They love that and don't even know the peas are there. All 4 of my kids are really picky eaters. Hope this helps you out. H.

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E.R.

answers from Tampa on

Hey H. ... as with everything else, I am sure this too will pass. One of the things I do with my 4 yr old is give her ranch dip for her veggies ... mostly carrots and celery and she dips them in. A friend of mine still gives her toddler baby food for that same reason, can't get him to eat veggies any other way.

Good luck!

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C.K.

answers from Jacksonville on

try covering veggies with cheese! just get some cheese sauce and see if he will like it that well. tell him that it tastes just like mac n cheese, and see if that works. you could also try just mixing a few peas or carrots in wiht his mac n cheese, see if he'll eat it that way....and like others have said, try dipping. carrots, cherrry tomatoes, cucumbers, celery, all taste yummy in ranch!! celery and apples are good in peanut butter too!!!
and if all else fails, and you really don't want to force him, look into some kind of supplements, flintstone vitamins, pediasure or seomthing
good luck!

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V.

answers from Sarasota on

I have 2 boys, one 11 and one 4. My 4 year old is also a fussy eater. I struggled with getting him to eat and I finally got tired of makeing two dinners every night, so I stopped. I always make sure I make a vegetable he likes. I make him a plate of what ever I make for dinner. I tell him if he dosen't like it don't eat it, but I'm not going to make him somthing else. At first he would wait until everyone was done with dinner and when he realized I wasn't going to make him anything eles he would either try the food and realize he liked it and eat it or he would not eat. Now he knows that at dinner time if he dosen't like something on his plate he dosen't have to eat it. In those cases he will only eat the vegetables. Keep in mind that a child usually has to see a new food on there plate quite a few times before thay are ready to try it, but eventually they do.

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