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What can I do to get my very picky 4 year old to eat what everyone else eats?

He does not like cheese at all, unless it is on pizza. He has been picky since he was a baby and starting out on foods. I am at my wits end on how to get him to eat, I always end up having to make something else just for him, and now it is rubbing off on his lil brother. When he says he don't like it and won't eat it, my DS2 says it is eww too, I need to stop before it rubs off on DD. Thank you

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Asked by mommyof2lilmen at 1:19 PM on Oct. 21, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (8)
  • First off, stop making him separate meals. If you made cheeseburgers for dinner, then he needs to eat cheeseburgers, and not macaroni. If he chooses not to eat what you made, tell him "That's all I'm making. If you don't eat it, I'm not making you anything else." He'll probably scream, cry, and throw some fits, but don't give in. It might take some time, but he'll start to understand that you mean what you say.

    Oh, and he's not going to starve if he skips dinner.

    Answer by makelineerror at 1:33 PM on Oct. 21, 2009

  • I agree with makelineerror. Dont give him any other options. Say you eat what we eat or you dont eat at all. He wont starve, trust me is he gets hungry enough he will eat. Try making it fun for him, like letting him help cook it. somthing like that. Hope it works!

    Answer by Amanda7891 at 1:40 PM on Oct. 21, 2009

  • I agree with PP. My son would LOVE to be picky but he either eats what we are eating or he simply doesn't eat. Believe me, he chooses to eat, lol. If we are having a food that he doesn't really like (green beans for example), I serve that to him first and he has to eat all of it before he gets the other food. He usually crys for awhile but eventually stops and eats his food as he knows that we are very serious when we tell him that it's that or nothing.

    Answer by YzmaRocks at 1:45 PM on Oct. 21, 2009

  • In agreement here too.

    He knows you are going to give in and that is why he is being picky. As long as you cater to him and keep making him different stuff he is going to keep trying to be picky.

    Make him eat what you are eating or he doesn't eat. Kids won't starve themselves.

    Answer by Acid at 3:39 PM on Oct. 21, 2009

  • I agree with all the other moms. The only thing I would add is, if he doesn't like a sauce/topping then leave it off his portion. DS doesn't like sauces or condiments, so he gets plain food. Some stuff doesn't matter, but he doesn't like tomato sauces, so when we have spaghetti he gets noodles w/out sauce. Some foods can be altered just a little bit without having to make something totally different. If it is something that can't be made that way (soup), they just have to eat or not, they don't get anything else.

    Answer by CaLizzyMom at 6:26 PM on Oct. 21, 2009

  • When I cook, and it is something I know for a fact he don't like, then I will usually fix him a sandwich, and that is the only other choice he gets. When I make something like a casserole that has cheese on it, I make sure to not put cheese on his part of it, but then he still refuses to eat it, he even goes to the extreme of gagging and making himself sick, when he is told he has to taste it, or he is not getting up! We just have so many issues with him, it is unreal, but we are managing to work them all out! Thank you for all of your advice, I am open to all I can get!!!

    Answer by mommyof2lilmen at 6:34 PM on Oct. 21, 2009

  • Something that i seen on suppernanny was when u fix dinner only fix what everyone else is eating and nothing else. If they refuse to eat dont force it just tell them thats fine let them go about their way but make sure they know that they will not get anything else to eat. Also if they come back later she says not to let them have dinner bc they had their chance. I tried this on my son and seems like its starting to work. He was horrible picky i mean rediculous and i was making him different dinners as well. He does fuss but its something they have to learn and get over. Also theyr not gonna starve to death for not eating one meal something ive been told over and over lol bc i was afraid if they didnt eat it was a bad thing.

    Answer by mandy2004 at 6:35 PM on Oct. 21, 2009

  • I know what the other moms are all saying is the "correct" answer but I am someone who is in your shoes right now and I know it is not easy. My son has sensory integration disorder and has a thing with textures. We have been battling with him on eating for a very long time. He is in a special class right now and his teacher is getting him to try new foods by slowly introducing them. First he smells it and the next step on another day is to touch it. My son loves crackers so she puts it on a cracker and he has to lick it. After all of this my son actually ate a cracker with tuna fish on it two days ago! This is a child that doesn't eat pizza, mac and cheese, chix nuggets and the list goes on! I know I know we are suppossed to "force" them to eat what is being served but I feel your pain and I know what it is like to be in your shoes. This is just another tool you can use.

    Answer by heidilane at 1:06 AM on Oct. 22, 2009

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