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Need lunch ideas for a picky 3 year old

I need to come up with some simple & quick lunch ideas that DH can prepare for our son (that won't take too much effort, LOL). I have to pull him out of daycare (they gave me no choice since he won't be in their pre-k class--he'll be going half days to Head Start instead--unfortunately it will be in the afternoon). He did real good with eating his meals there, but I can make the same things at home and he won't touch (I'll keep trying however).

Like I said, he's picky. He loves chicken (mainly if it's breaded, but he'll eat grilled sometimes too), and he likes chicken fried steak and pizza and peanut butter & jelly. He'll eat regular steak, pork chops, cheese sandwiches, burritos. Sometimes he'll dig into mashed potatoes. Veggies forget about it. Even disguising it doesn't help. Have tried introducing new and healthier foods to him, sometimes I get lucky, most often not. I don't know how to make anything appealing to him.


Asked by thatgirl70 at 3:43 PM on Aug. 8, 2010 in General Parenting

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Answers (11)
  • p-nut butter/ Nutella and banana sandwhiches, or the same and fluff!

    Answer by JoLee12345 at 10:28 AM on Aug. 9, 2010

  • IT may take awhile to get him to change but continue giving him those things that are good for him. My kids like string cheese, fruit, applesauce, yogurt, lunchmeat with crackers. Hard boiled egg whites, one juice box a day. My son drinks almond milk, and regular milk but my daughter only drinks regular milk. They like soy chocolate milk too.

    Answer by LeeLeeCandleGrl at 3:48 PM on Aug. 8, 2010

  • try mac n cheese, pb and j, there are some recipes online for like chicken parmesan, spaghetti, homemade chicken nuggets ( even with my failed attempt, my oldest loved em) try those juices that have the veggies in em. i really dont know how to tackle picky eaters, my oldest never gave me any trouble and he's almost 4. he loves his veggies. GL

    Answer by Fushithedruid at 3:46 PM on Aug. 8, 2010

  • I put peas, spinach, corn any veggies I can in their mac n cheese.

    Answer by LeeLeeCandleGrl at 3:48 PM on Aug. 8, 2010

  • I agree with Lelee and spammy. Don't let your kids dictate to you what he will or will not eat. Keep offering him what's healthy, and pretty soon he'll figure out that eating that is better than having an empty tummy. He won't starve himself. I think sometimes kids do this not because they're really that picky, but because it gives them power.

    Answer by Adelicious at 3:52 PM on Aug. 8, 2010

  • One thing I do when I make mac & cheese is I put stage 1 baby carrots or squash in it and sometimes some cut up ham and my son does not realize that there is anything 'hidden' in it. With my oldest I mixed ovaltine or carnation instant breakfast into his milk for additional vitamins/minerals-- he thought he was just drinking chocolate milk and did not realize it had 'extras' in it. My sil got my niece to eat veggies by putting cheese sauce (or melted cheez wiz) over the veg or on the side for dunking in. If you make home made pizza, grate up some carrots or add some finely diced veg to the sauce (or put on over the sauce and cover with cheese). The V-8 splash has some good flavors and has fruit/veg in each serving
    Just keep offering healthy and different foods, sometimes it takes a while before kids will actually like some of them. My oldest was a picky eater, and now he is not, and now he willingly will try new foods.

    Answer by MizLee at 4:05 PM on Aug. 8, 2010

  • Isn't he constipated?

    Answer by Gailll at 3:58 PM on Aug. 8, 2010

  • Even putting peanut butter on a celery stick didn't do the trick. Oh he loves yogurt as well and there's no problem getting him to drink milk. As for the veggies, I've had to give him V8-Fusion and V8 vegetable juice to get his veggies in. I keep meaning to puree some and mix it in with something else he likes, but I admit, I forget to do it.

    Comment by thatgirl70 (original poster) at 3:45 PM on Aug. 8, 2010

  • I offer it until my ears bleed, ya know? But I won't pin him down and force feed veggies into him. Just not going to happen. If he sees the slightest bit of green (or yellow or red), he's picking it off. That's why he gets the veggie juices. Like I said, he doesn't fall for disguises.

    He will eat spaghetti, but only if he's in the mood. I make my own chicken nuggets sometimes, but when I can't we get the Tyson which I hear aren't bad. I do make our pizza and that's a good idea about grating carrots and whatever over it, I will definitely try that! Oh man mac & cheese...see if I didn't know 100% that he was my son, I'd have a DNA test done on him...he doesn't like mac & cheese, LOL. Seriously what child doesn't like that? But I'm gonna keep trying with him, and of course I do still try to push the veggies on him.

    Comment by thatgirl70 (original poster) at 4:39 PM on Aug. 8, 2010

  • Keep your fingers crossed ladies, I just gave him a cream cheese sandwich with shredded broccoli "coleslaw" on it. Added American cheese, cut the crusts and pinched them together so he wouldn't see the green, LOL.

    Comment by thatgirl70 (original poster) at 5:13 PM on Aug. 8, 2010