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3 Bumps

How do you get a 4 year old PICKY EATER to eat food?

I USE to be one of those moms that caters to everyone in the house with whatever meal they wanted. Now, I'm making ONE meal and having everyone eat it...unfortunately, my 4 yr old refuses to eat what I make. I bought the V8 Fusion so he can get his nutritional value of whatever, but I want him to EAT. He is not big on meat unless its in nugget or taquito stick form. He'll eat pizza, but has to be a certain type.

Even my 2nd child is picky, she'll eat what I make with complaints. If it looks yucky, she won't touch it...but HOW can I get my picky eaters to eat what I make without making several separate meals...without them skipping days worth of meals??

Answer Question

Asked by Imortlmommy at 10:03 PM on Jan. 10, 2011 in Health

Level 19 (7,592 Credits)
Answers (9)
  • make it look good... i do it to my son all the time... sometimes it works though... but you just have to just keep trying.

    Answer by Lynnsae at 10:05 PM on Jan. 10, 2011

  • Me, I put ranch dressing on it. My kids would probably eat a shoe if I put ranch on it haha!

    Answer by Nanixh at 10:07 PM on Jan. 10, 2011

  • You don't make them eat anything... they will eat it when they are good and ready.  You know what it's like to eat something you don't like... makes you gag right... with little ones it's often a texture thing, that's why they prefer the nuggets over "real" meat. You can offer it, but don't expect them to eat anything they are comfortable with.


    Answer by Crafty26 at 10:09 PM on Jan. 10, 2011

  • Puree veggies and put them in cake mix. then make cup cakes! Jerry Seinfeld wife did when they couldn't get their child to eat either. Go on line and check for recipes. My husband does it with me! He said find a recipe that takes applesauce. Instead of using the applesauce, use pureed veggies. They'll never taste it. Especially spinach! LOL Have fun!



    Answer by WalknWithGod at 10:12 PM on Jan. 10, 2011

  • Relax.

    And take everything that is not, in your opinion, sufficiently nutritious food out of the house.

    The 4yo is not grocery shopping, so what the 4yo has available to choose from is YOUR responsibility, not his.

    Allow him to be hungry if he doesn't choose to eat what is available. Don't argue about it, don't be condescending (he already knows why he's hungry, and you already know that you're being mean, so the less said the better), and don't cave in. He will not die of thirst (which takes at least 3 days) or hunger (which takes 5 or 6 WEEKS). With as little emotional engagement as you can, while he's wailing and moaning and dying of whatever, gently tell him that he can eat his dinner or stay hungry.

    Mean what you say. Do what you said you'd do.

    Have faith in yourself and your child's innate intelligence --he really will not choose to die.

    Answer by LindaClement at 10:14 PM on Jan. 10, 2011

  • Pretty much what Linda said. I never tolerated pickiness. The kids ate what was at the table. If not, it went in the fridge for when they decided they were hungry enough to eat it. 4 kids - not one picky eater in our house.

    Answer by specialwingz at 10:26 PM on Jan. 10, 2011

  • Just dont give in, my nephew was exactly like that & used to get his way all the time until my mom started using cookie cutters, the ones with the different shapes & shape the food or cut it, depends what your having (wont work on everything) but he loved! it. Also you could try using some of their favorite characters(spider man etc..). Use reverse phsycology. For instance act like spiderman calls you on the phone & make sure he hears, be creative! its actually funny watching how kids can change their minds because they want to be like their favorite hero =p haha. Good Luck *:)

    Answer by Milani_Hunni at 10:27 PM on Jan. 10, 2011

  • Funny I get voted down for my opinion. All 4 of my kids are now grown & able to make choices for themselves. And, not a single one of them have a single thing they won't eat. My 8 yr old granddaughter wasn't allowed to be picky either. And now she LOVES things most kids get away with NOT eating. I find it comical how newer generation moms just give in to their kids & then have the nerve to ask "WHY" & "how do I get my child to eat?" LMAO.

    Answer by specialwingz at 11:22 PM on Jan. 10, 2011

  • I agree with Linda and specialwingz. Its just like the bottles, pacifiers, and potty are the parent, if you want your child to do something then YOU have to make it happen. If you don't want them to have it, then take it away or don't buy it. Its that simple. No you cannot force children to eat, but you can force them to not eat junk. I work in a developmental center for children, and they are taught to put their own food on their plates at mealtimes. If they refuse to eat it at lunch time then it is put in the refrigerator and they get their lunch plate back at snack time instead of getting the granola bar or whatever everyone else is having for snack. They aren't allowed to skip the healthy meal and eat a snack instead. Like someone else said, they will not choose to starve.

    One thing that helps my kids eat what I make is everyone sitting down to eat together. Setting an example is huge.

    Answer by Mama2twins05 at 12:37 AM on Jan. 11, 2011

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