Picky Eater

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from KT75. Show KT75's posts

    Picky Eater

    DD is 11 months and has become very choosy over what she will and will not eat.  I started her on table food around 9 months and she would eat just about anything and really enjoy it.  Over the past almost two months she has refused to eat a lot of the foods that she used to enjoy at meals - she will happily eat goldfish or crackers all day but I would like to avoid that. 

    She is growing well and I know she will not let herself go really really hungry so I am not concerned about growth.  I was looking to see if anyone has experienced this before or could reccomend a good book for reference.  So far I found the book Just Two More Bites Please which looks like it may be good - any other suggestions?
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from Notanewbie. Show Notanewbie's posts

    Re: Picky Eater

    I think you may got a lot of different advice on this topic, but I'll throw in my two cents.  To me, it comes down to "Don't sweat it".  As long as your DD is growing normally and isn't going hungry she will get by.  All the advice that I have read says that the most important thing is to avoid power struggles around food.  I also think that this behavior is normal for your DDs age.

    My son is just over 1 yr and we are going through the same thing.  Ever since we started finger/table food he can be very picky.  Something he loved yesterday and was shovelling into his mouth with both hands can easily be thrown to the dog today.  My DS is the same way about crackers, goldfish and bread of any type (must take after mama).  He'll eat those anytime, anywhere.  He also loves fruit, but we have a hard time with veggies and protein.  I just do my best to offer a healthy mix of options and let him eat what he will.  At this point since he is good with fruit, I am trying to offer a wide variety of colors and types of fruit so that he can get a variety of nutrients and vitamins.

    Finally, if you haven't been seasoning your DD's food, you might consider adding some flavor to her meals.  My son loves cinnamon on his sweet potatoes and squash and (low sodium) soy/teriyaki on his carrots.
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from beentherebefore. Show beentherebefore's posts

    Re: Picky Eater

    Sometimes at this age it is about texture.  My daughter actually starting using a fork/spoon herself early on because she didn't like how the food felt on her fingers. 

    I went with the classic advice - just keep offering healthy (meaning nutrition packed) foods.  Sometimes it takes seeing a new food many times before the food is accepted.  We also went with mashing our own table food longer than we needed too, because it is what our daughter liked!  

    Stay the course, don't give into lots of crackers!! 

    PS - some older eater advice.  We embraced food jags.  When our son only wanted peanut butter and jelly - we varied healthy fillings and healthy breads - we used various mashed fruits, various butters (peanut/soy/almond), and various bread types - all whole wheat/flax/etc. 
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from KT75. Show KT75's posts

    Re: Picky Eater

    Yes, I agree that I am going to get a lot of opinions - I have hesitated posting this for a while because of that.

    I do offer a lot of healthy foods and I keep trying to introduce new things.  If I am cooking or making something new I always give her a taste so she doesn't get used to just one flavor.  Normally she is good with breakfast, decent at lunch, dinner is the main problem. 

    DD is also very independent and strong willed, she only wants to feed herself, which can limit the foods that I offer.  I had been thinking about introducing the fork and spoon, maybe I will do that sooner rather than later.  I will also try the seasoning, that can't hurt!

    Notanewbie - DD sounds exactly like your son!  She loves (or loved) grilled cheese until this weekend when she would not eat a single bite.  She also loves fruit which is a saving grace at this point - She would eat avocado until she turned green! 
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from Notanewbie. Show Notanewbie's posts

    Re: Picky Eater

    KT:  So funny!  My son has the same pattern:  great breakfast, okay lunch, horrible at dinner.  Must be normal. :-)

    We often joke that like Tolkien's Hobbits, our son needs a second breakfast. On the weekend we'll often give him a homemade, frozen fruit pancake as his first breakfast while we cook an omelette or similar for DH and I.  For second breakfast, he'll often join us eating eggs and toast. Weekend lunch is usually fruit and yogurt, and dinner is just picky stuff from whatever we're having for dinner.  We had good luck with dinner last night: carrots and a Morningstar Farms veggie burger.
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from KT75. Show KT75's posts

    Re: Picky Eater

    That is funny and it also makes me feel better!

    If he does not eat dinner or just barely eats do you supplement with something you know that he likes? 
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from MM379. Show MM379's posts

    Re: Picky Eater

    Just a thought on the crackers/bread piece -
    My son is a pretty good eater in terms of variety, but will have a picky day here and there.  One thing that works well for us is playing up his favorites but enhancing them with his less-than-favorites.  A big hit: whole wheat crackers or toast with avocado spread on them.  I can not get the kid to eat chunks of avocado.  Yet, I can glop on loads of avocado onto bread and toast and he devours it.  Sometimes he licks off the avocado, leaving the carb behind, but plain avocado without the cracker, won't do it. You can also use other purees of veggies and fruits as spreads on waffles, toast, crackers, etc.  Hummus works.  Melted or soft cheeses, too.  He loves whole wheat pancakes with a little bit of cream cheese.  Or, I'll melt cheese onto an English muffin in the toaster oven.  I would bet a homemade low-or-no mayo chicken salad would even work.  I'm obviously not suggesting replacing straight veggies or straight proteins by turning them into spreads, but as you work on the straight ones, using them as spreads is a good way to work them into your LOs diet, and may help LO get more accustomed to the flavors to then turn and eat them straight up.
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from KAM2007. Show KAM2007's posts

    Re: Picky Eater

    My DS isn't a picky eater, but he picks up on moods, and if DH and I are stressed/not feeling well, DS doesn't eat. So, when we realize we're in such a situation we sing. DS will immediately start clapping and having fun and will eat.

    Perhaps a mood change, giving them a spoon, they have bowls that suction cup to the high chair/table to help in self feeding (though DS gets frustrated that he can't pick the bowl up that it proves more of a distraction than helpful).  Allowing your LO to be in control, and increase the fun may help.

    Just a different thought/suggestion.
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from Notanewbie. Show Notanewbie's posts

    Re: Picky Eater

    KT: To answer your specific question of what we do if he won't eat dinner...I'm still doing a little bit of nursing so if he eats sparsely at dinner, I generally don't worry about it and try to BF him a little longer before bed.  Not sure if that's helpful for your situation or not.

    I think the suggestion to try a spread on stuff he likes is a good one.  I have been dipping his goldfish in hummus so that he gets a little protein with his snack.
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from Lostgrouse. Show Lostgrouse's posts

    Re: Picky Eater

    Our pediatrician told us that we can provide the what, the where and the when, but not how much.  Your child will decide how much.  We found that our daughter really enjoyed anything that she could dip, so then she became a fan of thinly sliced cucumbers and carrots when she was able to dip them.  Also crackers and hummus or even squash was a hit when she could dip something in it.  

    Good luck!
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from rysmom. Show rysmom's posts

    Re: Picky Eater

    I agree with Lostgrouse.  My kids love anything they can dip!  They also love anything on a stick or toothpick.  Of course that would depend on the age of your child.  I know both of my kids would eat more during the day and less at dinner.  There are a lot of places where your largest meal is at noon.  I try not to worry about a small dinner.  As long as the kids eat something so they don't wake up hungry I am happy.  Also, my daughter is more of a grazer.  She'll eat little things throughout the day over 3 meals and a couple of snacks.  Every child is different and it is certainly frustrating!  As others have said as long as she is growing you are fine.
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from misslily. Show misslily's posts

    Re: Picky Eater

    The book that got me down off the ledge with my picky eater is
    Child of Mine by Ellen Satter.  My kids are only 8 months now and starting to eat much better, she really helped me get a grip and stop stressing about it.
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from KT75. Show KT75's posts

    Re: Picky Eater

    Thanks Misslily - I ordered the other book but I will keep this on in mind as well!
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from CT-DC. Show CT-DC's posts

    Re: Picky Eater

    I second and third MissLilly's suggestion of Child of Mine by Ellyn Satter.  also, go on her website ellynsatter.com (It's Ellyn with a y) - the website is very interesting.  I ordered her training DVDs to use for training our staff in food issues. 

    Someone else's pediatrician was channelling Ellyn Satter when s/he said "you control the what, the when, child controls the how much.

    Ellyn wouldn't say CONTROL, though - she talks about the "responsibilities" of each:
    parent has the responsibility of offering enough healthy food, at intervals throughout the day, that it be healthy and offered.

    the child's responsibility is to eat it. 

    period. nobody else has the responsibility of getting the child to eat - and if you take on that responsibility you will end up getting into a battle of wills with your child, setting up feeding issues for years and years. and end up with a kid who "only eats white foods" at freakin' 12 years old still!

    Seriously... the 20 yr old college sophomore daughter of friends still ONLY eats "WHITE" foods... um, that's bread, pasta, white pizza (no red sauce for her), cheese, cheese sticks, and cereal.

    SERIOUSLY????????????? 

    She's 20 - and so MUCH fun at family get togethers!
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from KT75. Show KT75's posts

    Re: Picky Eater

    Thanks Ladies -
    I have tried a variety of your suggestions and some seem to be working.  DD has been having enormous breakfasts and that alone makes me feel better in her getting good nutrition. Dinners have also improved although there are obviously hot and cold days.

    I have started reading Just Two More Bites Please and it seems like texture and her strong will may be the issues.  So for now I am sticking with the food I know that she likes and during the meal I am trying to introduce other foods and textures.

    Thanks for all the advise!
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from ModeratorJen. Show ModeratorJen's posts

    Re: Picky Eater

    This is not entirely on topic, but I was just reading through these posts after lunch with my 3 & 4 year old daughters, and had a chuckle...now all my kids are pretty good eaters (took us some time to get here, though), but the other night I made chicken with marinara baked in the oven (like parm, but without the breading). Noses were turned up -- even though they all like chicken, marinara, cheese and pasta.

    Today, I sat down with leftovers.  Girls had PB &J.  They took one look at my plate, asked for some.  They ate it all and I got the sandwich.

    The point?  Well, I guess you never know when a child is going to "like" something or even try it.  And it just continues until they're old enough to buy groceries and cook for themselves!  As was mentioned throughout, you just keep serving healthy, varied choices and it will work.   Smile
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from IPWBride. Show IPWBride's posts

    Re: Picky Eater

    Hope it's ok if I bring this up since I found it in the search. My DS, now 18 mths, has gotten so picky at home for almost two months now. And I'm totally cool with letting him decide how much etc. and not making it a big deal as much as I can. BUT what is killing me is how much food I'm wasting. Our schedule doesn't allow us to eat dinner together. He eats about 20 minutes after we get home around 5:15. My DH and I aren't eating until 7 sometimes, after DS bedtime. So I'm making him his own stuff. Mac and cheese, sandwich, chicken, eggplant Parm bites, etc...tons of things he has devoured in the past but then turns up nose. I've made waffles that he loves only to have him not take a single bite. So many things just don't save well. We took home pancakes from a restaurant this past weekend that he didn't eat....gross. He uses utensils and likes to do it himself. Tonight he had one mandarin orange out of little fruit cup and not one bit of Mac and cheese. Threw those away....ugh. I could just give him graham crackers...which is probably the only thing he will consistently eat anytime of day. But the again, sometimes not. Any ideas?
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from misslily. Show misslily's posts

    Re: Picky Eater

    You have to get over the "wasting food" thing. You're not wasting food, you're offering food. It's a phase. You won't be throwing it away forever.
     Make small portions - or make lots and portion it out so you freeze some for another meal.
    I don't make myself breakfast anymore. I just eat what my kids leave - which is often a lot since they don't seem to be hungry in the morning.
    Sometimes they eat great, sometimes they don't. You can't make them eat...and you shouldn't even try.
    Hang in there!!
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from ml26202. Show ml26202's posts

    Re: Picky Eater

    I justify the waste by composting. It's finding the mostly full sippy of milk that's been out a tad too long that I really hate dumping down the sink.

    I wouldn't say DD is picky, but lately she's a very distracted eater. We do our best to put the most important food on her plate first (usually the protein), then the veg, then the carb/starch, and the fruit is her dessert. If she sees she has other options ahead, (like if I put the other items on the table or in view in the kitchen) she will not eat what is on her plate even if she likes it.

    I've stopped short-order cooking, no handful of cereal if she won't eat other things. And like others have said, I don't sweat it.
     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from IPWBride. Show IPWBride's posts

    Re: Picky Eater

    Thanks for these two reassuring comments.  I just feel like I could feed a village with the food I'm tossing out.  I just wish I could duplicate what he does in restaurants.  He ALWAYS wants to try stuff in restaurants.  He grabbed a piece of my lettuce in my caesar the other day.  Didn't like it... but he tried it.  And I am trying to subscribe to the theory if he's not eating, he's not hungry.  As in last night... one mandarin orange slice for dinner.  One.  Two sips of milk.  That's it.  Oh well.. still slept ok so I guess he wasn't hungry.

    Thanks... so wish the eating thing was easier.
     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Picky Eater

    I often would only eat a bite for dinner and asked to be excused because I literally went from feeling hungry to full in that amount (maybe something was wrong?), but I was older, probably 3 - 5 years old.  However, as confounded as she was, my mom never forced it, and I grew and thrived since I ate what I needed, apparently.  I do remember her arguing with me and saying there was no way on God's green earth I was FULL, but it ended up in a battle of wills with me crying and her exasperated because I FELT full, I remember, and I also remember not appreciating her telling me I didn't know how I felt.

    CT-DC, about the white food at 20.  I know of a similar situation, but that 17 year old had only eaten (for years) and would only eat hotdogs.  Decades of hotdogs, day after day, meal after meal.
     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from medfordcc. Show medfordcc's posts

    Re: Picky Eater

    we're right there with you!  like you, I've accepted that she eats what she eats, but I do hate to see food go to waste.
    We've taken to giving her really small portions (like, a couple of bites) and then more only if she finishes that.  It looks preposterous on the plate, but at least it's not a lot wasted if she doesn't eat it.  You're right that some things don't save well, but some (like pancakes!) aren't as bad as you think.  Our LO actually gets leftover pancakes for breakfast pretty often and she usually eats them.

    I do find in general she eats better if I semi-ignore her and just eat my own food.  I know that's hard to do when they still eat dinner so early.  It'll get better!!
     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from IPWBride. Show IPWBride's posts

    Re: Picky Eater

    Medford... you bring up a good point.  When I "ignore" him... sometimes he does really well.  I'm torn... I keep hearing that you should sit together and even though I'm not also eating, it sorta simulates the "family meal."  But when I stare at him I'm guessing it is easier for him to act out (i.e. dump the mac and cheese in his lap thereby making it very challenging to save).  

    I also like the idea of smaller portions.  I've made these great little cocktail meatballs that he has loved before.  They take about 15 mins in the toaster over.  I usually make 3.  He used to eat them all.  Now, maybe he'll have 1/2 to 1.  But I still make 3 because if he wants more than 1... there is no way he's waiting another 15 minutes for them to cook.  Maybe I should cook a bunch of stuff ahead of time and utilize my microwave more for speedy heat.
     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Picky Eater

    omg, IPW, definitely cook once, microwave a bunch.  What a pita to cook things like that fresh every time!  I totally agree with med; things taste essentially the same, usually.  I make extra pancakes every time I make them for the sole purpose of reheating them over the next couple of mornings.
     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from misslily. Show misslily's posts

    Re: Picky Eater

    IPW - a ton of my kids meals come out of the microwave. I buy frozen meatballs at the store (I applaud you for making your own) and they cook in about 2 minutes. My twins like Dr. Praegers spinach littles and even though it says to cook in an oven, they like them just fine from the microwave. They also love the Jones cooked sausages.
    I even cook up Barilla Plus Macaroni (the one with the fiber and protein) and put it in the fridge. If I want to serve mac & cheese I put some in a bowl with a slice of Velveeta and microwave for about 30 seconds or so. I'm sure everyone is saying "Velveeta? yuck." but my twins like it and it gets the high protein macaroni into them. I do a "from scratch" mac & cheese for dinner sometimes, but the Velveeta version is quick and easy when it's just the kids.
    They love the peas & carrots mixed veggies from the frozen foods section. And the LOVE the frozen corn which I serve instead of a starch sometimes.
    And sometimes my DS won't eat. So I offer a yogurt or something for dessert. It's amazing how sometimes after the yogurt he doubles back and does eat some protein or veggies. I've learned not to clear his plate too quickly. I've also started serving the fruit with the meal for him. He loves cantalope and watermelon and grapes etc. so I put it on the plate (sometimes instead of a veggie) and he seems to eat more of everything. I figure it's best to go with whatever works.
    Good luck!
     
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