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Picky eater part 2....

Okay....the good news is, standing my ground tonight actually WORKED! I refused to offer him anything other than what I already offered him, and he finally came to me and asked for the mac n cheese. Then he ate most of it, too! YAY!

My next question(s), if he is simply refusing something, do I store it overnight and offer it again the next day? As I'm sure we all know, some items don't reheat well. I won't offer him something that even I wouldn't touch after the microwave has destroyed it. Also, like most of us my money doesn't grow on a tree, and I'm not in the habit of spending/wasting it on foods he refuses to eat (ie: anything green). I want to give him healthy choices, but I don't want to throw them (and consequently, my hard-earned money) away when he refuses to eat them. Once I try something with him and it doesn't work, I don't tend to buy it again unless I'm going to eat it myself. Any suggestions?

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Asked by TristensMama06 at 10:36 PM on Dec. 28, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (8)
  • PS: Please keep in mind that I'm a first-time mom trying to do what's best for my child. Some of the answers I've been getting have sort of a condescending "DUH" tone as if I should have already known these things. Obviously if I knew the answers, I wouldn't be asking. Please try to remember what it was like back when you weren't an expert mom and were at your wits' end, too. Thanks! :-)

    Answer by TristensMama06 at 10:38 PM on Dec. 28, 2009

  • I wouldn't reheat the meal for the next day... start the new day fresh with new food choices to try.
    If it's something that does reheat well and you have a lot of left overs then you could offer it again in another day if you would like
    When I make meals for my son (17 months) I just make him whatever we are having... but I try to make sure he has either a vege or a fruit on his plate (or both) even if it doesn't happen to be part of the meal we are having.
    I don't think you need to "force" food... like giving the same foods over and over until he eats it... but stay away from "easy" foods just so he will eat and making special meals. Make 1 meal and he gets what he gets and can choose to eat it or not.
    We also don't provide much for snacks during the day because he tends to eat well when he's not filled up with junk. My niece and nephew have "snacks" all day long it seems and are terrible eaters

    Answer by AmiJanell at 12:11 AM on Dec. 29, 2009

  • We use the 3 bite rule. You must try 3 bites of what is on your plate; if you don't like it, you fix yourself peanut butter and honey on whole grain toast with a kiwi or apple. Even my husband is expected to follow the rule.
    If you cave now, you will forever have a picky monster on your hands. I promise that your child will not starve. Moms who cave are part of the reason why by the end of next year one half of American children will be both undernourished and overweight. One third of children born in this century will develop type 2 diabetes.
    Keep offering a variety of healthy foods; stop buying junk foods until the picky phase has passed

    Answer by rkoloms at 8:22 AM on Dec. 29, 2009

  • I had a child who ate nothing for 3 months except tomato soup and cheese sandwiches. Yes three meals a day. I know what your going through. I say if it's something that can be reheated then save it. I agree I hate microwaved foods and won't eat it either. We also do the three bites rule. But I also don't let my kids starve so after that a snadwich will be fine. I guess if you find something that he likes serve it more frequently. At this point him eating something is better than nothing and if it's only mac and cheese for several meals thats fine.To break my child I served her her meal but than started offering other things......well you can have your soup but first you need to eat some peaches (3 bites). A phase will pass.

    Answer by pagirl71 at 10:54 AM on Dec. 29, 2009

  • Kudos to you for trying to find solutions! I have a picky eater and I know it can be difficult. My picky guy is now 7. He's better than he had been at 3 but not nearly as open to various things as some are. I'm not sure what answers you got before but I can tell you what has worked for us. First, no. I wouldn't save it and try it again. If it doesn't reheat well, it's counter-productive to push it night after night. If the item becomes seemingly gross in the reheat (eww! I know what you're talking about!) the child finds it less appealing ANY other time. BTDT. I'd not rule out a once-refused food completely though. Remember that sometimes new foods can take several exposures to become a favored (or tolerated) food. Talk to your son about how different recipes make food taste different. Just because he didn't like, for example, cooked broccoli, doesn't mean he won't like raw broccoli in dip. You know what I mean? (continued...

    Answer by ldmrmom at 10:55 AM on Dec. 29, 2009

  • My picky eater helps me pick out recipes for the week. He helps me prepare it. He's more willing to try something once he's part of the process. There are some foods I know he really just doesn't like. I don't make him even attempt those. I respect that we all have some things we just can't stand. ;) I'd be really PO'd if someone kept trying to force peppers on me. I hate them. I can respect that my child hates beef. Make at least one meal a week that's a favorite. Share it with him. And above all else, know that your persistence will pay off. My brother was one of the world's pickiest eaters as a kid. Today he's a chef and he'll try almost anything - even the world's most bizarre food combos. LOL! Personally, I hated the idea of food being a battle ground. I wasn't always good about making it NOT a debate...but the reality is my son worked out his issues on his own time. He has room to still improve, but he's getting there.

    Answer by ldmrmom at 10:58 AM on Dec. 29, 2009

  • I keep & reheat the next meal. Didn't eat supper, I will reheat for breakfast. It usually only takes one or two times of this before the threat of it gets them to eat. As far as green vegetables, have you tried cooked with cheese? Or chop them up small & mix in with something that he will eat and tell him it's seasoning.

    Answer by motherofhope98 at 11:29 AM on Dec. 29, 2009

  • If its something you would eat and are willing to eat, save it, heat it for lunch and if your child still won't eat it then you eat it. I too understand not throwing away food because its like throwing away money. I'd offer it at least once more just to see if he will eat it. If not, no biggie it will be offered as a dinner again sometime in his life. I'm an extremely picky eater because groing up I was never told eat or don't eat. It was always you don't like this here let me get you something else. I'm now forcing myself to at least try different things. If we go to dh house (his family LOVES seafood and I can't stand it) they make me a special plate which I appreciate but I still try to take a few bites of dh seafood both to show ds that trying new food is good but also to try to be a less picky eater.

    Answer by mom06and09 at 11:44 AM on Dec. 29, 2009

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