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Thread: Article: How to Expand on a Picky Eater's Diet

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    Default Article: How to Expand on a Picky Eater's Diet

    I was a picky eater myself and the idea of coping with that in a child terrifies me. Thought someone might be interested in this.
    Me (40) DH (47) & furbabies * m/c 7/08 4/12 11/12

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    Thanks for the info! Dealing with a picky eater is very frustrating, for sure. We often resort to treat bribery to get our picky one to try new things. The idea of offering a new food multiple (15+) times is just nerve wracking to me because I don't want to waste the food.
    Dorcas (35) DH (36) 3/13



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    Quote Originally Posted by khadijavye View Post
    Thanks for the info! Dealing with a picky eater is very frustrating, for sure. We often resort to treat bribery to get our picky one to try new things. The idea of offering a new food multiple (15+) times is just nerve wracking to me because I don't want to waste the food.
    I agree with this I hate tossing out stuff as it is I don't want make things more complicated for me or the children by adding several things. Food is already h*** enough as it is. Somethings in the article are helpful though I'll look more into later.
    *** Lindsay ***



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    I have one picky eater...who is just like me. Hates all vegetables and most fruit. Even after forcing myself (as an adult) to eat all those things for YEARS, I still really don't like them. I so wish that I could do something about it. My DD loves certain food, though, and we do have a rule that she must try everything on her plate before she can have anything more. However, there has been no improvement for her either. I am constantly reminding her of my tricks (mix it up, take a bite of something you don't like and then a bite of something you do like, add something to dip it in, try this dressing, etc) but it still is a constant battle. This is especially problematic as we are intentionally going high nutrient (hello veggies and some fruit!) for my health and for DS1 who likely also has MCAD.

    I also despise tossing food. I will be starting to compost soon, I hope!
    Jessica (33) and Ryan (33). Madelyn born August 5, 2009; Malachi born December 23, 2010 and Nathaniel born July 19, 2013. Lost a loved baby 02/29/12, 05/14/12 and 07/05/12 all due a serious allergic reaction to fabric softener.
    My Ovulation Chart , My blog about MCAD

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    i have found that my kids will eat a new food if its covered with a favorite condiment, dd refused to eat eggs but if i mix up salsa and sour cream and cover the egg with that she will eat it and ask for more... with potatoes i put steak sauce on them and both kids will eat it that way, they will not eat grilled cheese unless its soaked in tomato soup, they will eat chicken nuggets, french fries and fried zucchini if covered in ranch dip.
    when i try a new food with my kids i don't make too much of it, i don't offer it to my kids unless they ask to taste it. (they see it as forbidden and instantly want some) we let them try it and have more if they want it. i do that 2-3 times before adding that food to the meal rotation. once its added to the rotation they are expected to eat it just like their favorite foods. it seems to work pretty well for us.
    since i started doing it this way we have gotten both kids to eat numerous more foods. and i am nearly to the point where i don't have to make pb & j for the kids dinner.

    while the article had good ideas, that method didn't work for us and it didn't help my cousin with autism either. he almost always refuses the new food although my son did get him to try (and like) yogurt melts...



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    I think one really helpful thing is what the kids see their parents doing. I grew up super picky. Huge surprise since my dad is really picky. I mean REALLY picky. My parents are going to France in the spring and she's already told him hes going to have to eat things and not make faces and wrinkle his nose.
    I got with my DH and found I like a lot more foods than I thought. I still have a list of stuff I don't really do but thankfully a lot of it is things that aren't healthy anyway. My sister lived at home longer than I did but she moved out and likes way more things too. I'm still surprised when she mentions stuff she eats now.
    I pretty much blame it all on our dad. We watched him and his reactions to things....I'm not going to try something if my dad is like, but that is green yuck. Or wrinkles his nose at something even if he doesn't say anything about it. And just the fact that he's not eating it...why should we try that.

    Jennifer, 35, DH 36

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    Quote Originally Posted by froggie83 View Post
    i have found that my kids will eat a new food if its covered with a favorite condiment, dd refused to eat eggs but if i mix up salsa and sour cream and cover the egg with that she will eat it and ask for more... with potatoes i put steak sauce on them and both kids will eat it that way, they will not eat grilled cheese unless its soaked in tomato soup, they will eat chicken nuggets, french fries and fried zucchini if covered in ranch dip.
    when i try a new food with my kids i don't make too much of it, i don't offer it to my kids unless they ask to taste it. (they see it as forbidden and instantly want some) we let them try it and have more if they want it. i do that 2-3 times before adding that food to the meal rotation. once its added to the rotation they are expected to eat it just like their favorite foods. it seems to work pretty well for us.
    since i started doing it this way we have gotten both kids to eat numerous more foods. and i am nearly to the point where i don't have to make pb & j for the kids dinner.

    while the article had good ideas, that method didn't work for us and it didn't help my cousin with autism either. he almost always refuses the new food although my son did get him to try (and like) yogurt melts...
    That is absolutely brilliant.
    Me (40) DH (47) & furbabies * m/c 7/08 4/12 11/12

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    Quote Originally Posted by froggie83 View Post
    when i try a new food with my kids i don't make too much of it, i don't offer it to my kids unless they ask to taste it. (they see it as forbidden and instantly want some) we let them try it and have more if they want it.
    I wish that would work with my DD! It never would have worked for me, either.
    Jessica (33) and Ryan (33). Madelyn born August 5, 2009; Malachi born December 23, 2010 and Nathaniel born July 19, 2013. Lost a loved baby 02/29/12, 05/14/12 and 07/05/12 all due a serious allergic reaction to fabric softener.
    My Ovulation Chart , My blog about MCAD

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    I don't know whether that would have worked for me or not, but I feel nothing could be worse than my parents' approach, which was to attempt to coerce me to eat food that I just couldn't stand (and I feel so validated that my DH, who is a foodie and an excellent cook, doesn't like my parents' cooking). I remember one night my father made this flavorless turkey soup and I was told I was going to sit at the table until I ate it. I sat there all night and never touched it - by that point, it was just a battle of wills that I was determined to win.

    I still have very strong preferences about food, but I've expanded my palate a lot since I met DH and saw how excited he was about food. Still, there are some things he loves that I just won't try.
    Me (40) DH (47) & furbabies * m/c 7/08 4/12 11/12

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    I also recently read that it's pretty common for kids to go through a picky phase from 2-6, in general. That seems to be true so far. DS2 has always been a pretty good eater and around 2.5 he started to express opinions about his food. I don't know if it's just DS1's negative influence on DS2, or if it's just a natural thing.
    Dorcas (35) DH (36) 3/13



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    Quote Originally Posted by Gwenn View Post
    I don't know whether that would have worked for me or not, but I feel nothing could be worse than my parents' approach, which was to attempt to coerce me to eat food that I just couldn't stand (and I feel so validated that my DH, who is a foodie and an excellent cook, doesn't like my parents' cooking). I remember one night my father made this flavorless turkey soup and I was told I was going to sit at the table until I ate it. I sat there all night and never touched it - by that point, it was just a battle of wills that I was determined to win.

    I still have very strong preferences about food, but I've expanded my palate a lot since I met DH and saw how excited he was about food. Still, there are some things he loves that I just won't try.
    My mom never really did that most likely because my food aversions were so strong that if I even managed to swallow it I'd throw everything up. I was also (and still am) extremely scent sensitive (before I entirely loss my sense of smell for more than a decade) and also very texture sensitive. But when you can't smell, nearly all food loses it's appeal. My poor mom! Ugh. At least my DD doesn't seem to have scent and texture sensitivities.
    Jessica (33) and Ryan (33). Madelyn born August 5, 2009; Malachi born December 23, 2010 and Nathaniel born July 19, 2013. Lost a loved baby 02/29/12, 05/14/12 and 07/05/12 all due a serious allergic reaction to fabric softener.
    My Ovulation Chart , My blog about MCAD

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    That sounds awful. I'm so sorry.

    I do have very definite texture preferences, so I'm sure my picky eating was a sensory thing as mentioned in the article. I have been known to gag from certain foods/textures, but it is rare.

    I think to a large degree, respecting that children have likes and dislikes that are very real to them is key. Both of my parents were born during the depression, and coming from that world they just ate what they were given, no discussion. They simply couldn't understand that I found certain things unbearable and I was always treated as though I was just acting out, rather than respecting my experiences.
    Last edited by Gwenn; 07-24-2014 at 02:32 PM.
    Me (40) DH (47) & furbabies * m/c 7/08 4/12 11/12

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    I was always a very picky eater as a child, so I am not surprised that DD is as well. It's funny though, because the foods she likes are very different from what I liked as child. My mom always gave me the option of a bowl of cereal if I wouldn't eat what was for dinner. I have my very short list of things that DD eats, and I just serve her those things over and over. We offer her everything, but if she says, "no thank you" we don't push it. Recently she has been asking to try some new things, and I jump all over it any time she wants to try something. Not too many things have stuck, but I am proud of her that she is at least trying.

    For me, I had an "aha" moment in high school when I was skiing with my dad. I wanted to try a black diamond run, and we somehow got on the wrong part of the mountain and I had to come down a double black (I was NOT a strong enough skier for this!). My dad was awesome. He didn't tell me what happened because he knew I would freak out, and he talked me down to the bottom. Once we got down and he showed me what I had just accomplished, I had an awakening and I became much more willing to try new things, including food. It was funny, because as picky as I was as a little girl, I became the one who would try anything in the dining hall in college - toothpaste mint pie, anyone?? I am hopeful that DD will figure this stuff out a little sooner than I did.


    Anne (37) DH (37) Olivia (4) Harrison (1)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gwenn View Post
    I think to a large degree, respecting that children have likes and dislikes that are very real to them is key. Both of my parents were born during the depression, and coming from that world they just ate what they were given, no discussion. They simply couldn't understand that I found certain things unbearable and I was always treated as though I was just acting out, rather than respecting my experiences.
    I think this is important and yet difficult for a lot of parents who were raised by the "clean plate police" generation. ;) I try to remember to back off about it. When I'm doing a good job I don't force the issue and just let them know that this is what's for dinner, if you don't eat there's no other food and if you don't eat there aren't any treats. Usually the "treat" word gets them to choke stuff down. Don't know how healthy that is, but it works.
    Dorcas (35) DH (36) 3/13



  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by khadijavye View Post
    I think this is important and yet difficult for a lot of parents who were raised by the "clean plate police" generation. ;) I try to remember to back off about it. When I'm doing a good job I don't force the issue and just let them know that this is what's for dinner, if you don't eat there's no other food and if you don't eat there aren't any treats. Usually the "treat" word gets them to choke stuff down. Don't know how healthy that is, but it works.
    My DD will forego the treats and will just not eat. She eats so little as it is, so I feel like I have no other option than to cater to her food preferences. It is working for us for now. I will give her options among the things she likes, and we put together her meals based on what she is in the mood for and what we have in the house. I really hope that one day I will be able to make just one meal that our whole family eats!


    Anne (37) DH (37) Olivia (4) Harrison (1)

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    I think what is the most frustrating is at least for me if one child does not eat especially Cody being the big sibling Sophia will not eat. The other thing is both kids were great eaters until age 2. As a child I was not a picky eater I just didn't eat a lot. I would eat broccoli and cheese as one of my favorite side dishes twice a week. The only thing I remember protesting was tuna, peas, and peanut butter unless it was on a celery stick but, I didn't like PB & J for a while. James' parents are by far the worst eaters I've ever met. They eat meat and potatoes and now that they don't have have kids at home who care about even the most basic vegetables of corn and green beans. Its awful and especially with FIL being a type 1 diabetic they just don't get it. They don't care. My dad on the other hand was a picky child but, has grown to like some foods. Grandma told me how my dad would eat cereal, PB & J, butter, and bacon (all of that separate not on sandwich) for the longest time would not try anything else until one night they had steak and he loved it ever since he has become use to most vegetables over time and even eats salad with bleu cheese dressing almost nightly. So I have 3 grandparents to blame for picky behavior. At least they are good sleepers. In all serious yes they are good sleepers and I do wonder if this sort of behavior/ tendency is genetic and skipped pass me? My biological mom loves food of all sorts overall and so did my late Grandpa on her side.
    Last edited by mom2CodySophia0811; 07-24-2014 at 06:01 PM.
    *** Lindsay ***



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    Quote Originally Posted by mom2CodySophia0811 View Post
    I think what is the most frustrating is at least for me if one child does not eat especially Cody being the big sibling Sophia will not eat. The other thing is both kids were great eaters until age 2. As a child I was not a picky eater I just didn't eat a lot. I would eat broccoli and cheese as one of my favorite side dishes twice a week. The only thing I remember protesting was tuna, peas, and peanut butter unless it was on a celery stick but, I didn't like PB & J for a while. James' parents are by far the worst eaters I've ever met. They eat meat and potatoes and now that they don't have have kids at home who care about even the most basic vegetables of corn and green beans. Its awful and especially with FIL being a type 1 diabetic they just don't get it. They don't care. My dad on the other hand was a picky child but, has grown to like some foods. Grandma told me how my dad would eat cereal, PB & J, butter, and bacon (all of that separate not on sandwich) for the longest time would not try anything else until one night they had steak and he loved it ever since he has become use to most vegetables over time and even eats salad with bleu cheese dressing almost nightly. So I have 3 grandparents to blame for picky behavior. At least they are good sleepers. In all serious yes they are good sleepers and I do wonder if this sort of behavior/ tendency is genetic and skipped pass me? My biological mom loves food of all sorts overall and so did my late Grandpa on her side.
    Funny story - when I was in 3rd grade, the only thing I would eat for lunch was egg salad sandwiches. I took egg salad to school every single day for the entire school year. My mom was really frustrated, but she figured if I ate other things at home, it would be okay. Sometime over the summer, I decided I liked tuna and my mom was thinking, Oh, wow! TWO foods she will eat! No, I took tuna every single day in 4th grade. And guess what? My dad did the exact same thing, with the exact same foods, at the exact same ages. I didn't know that, and neither did my mom, until he told us later! If that isn't genetic, I don't know what is!
    Me (40) DH (47) & furbabies * m/c 7/08 4/12 11/12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gwenn View Post
    Funny story - when I was in 3rd grade, the only thing I would eat for lunch was egg salad sandwiches. I took egg salad to school every single day for the entire school year. My mom was really frustrated, but she figured if I ate other things at home, it would be okay. Sometime over the summer, I decided I liked tuna and my mom was thinking, Oh, wow! TWO foods she will eat! No, I took tuna every single day in 4th grade. And guess what? My dad did the exact same thing, with the exact same foods, at the exact same ages. I didn't know that, and neither did my mom, until he told us later! If that isn't genetic, I don't know what is!
    That is interesting yeah definitely something to that for sure.
    *** Lindsay ***



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