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Do people look at your picky eater and judge your parenting?

I tried to be the good mom and make homeade baby food, my kid wouldn't eat it if it wasn't in the jar. I tried to stick to the healthy list and for a little while my child did eat whole grains and hummus, my husband and I aren't health freaks but we always buy good quality foods and eat well balanced family dinners.
My kid will only eat hot dogs, hamburgers, french fries, rarely yogurt, gold fish, peas and corn and if we try to get him to try something new he induces his own vomit. He will indeed go hungry longer than its healthy to if given a healthy choice or no choice. For a while he would eat meat balls (not pasta or pizza) so I woke up at 6 am to make them and he told me he didn't like them any more.

Anyhow over the past several months people have told me all sorts of things and pointing out so and so's kid who eats tofu and granola and I really do feel badly every time I put chicken fingers and alphabet fries and peas on the plate but I can't let the kid starve. I have had him cook healthy foods with me, pick things out on the grocery store.

I would love some constructive ideas and to see if anyone else feels like they have the bad mommy stamp on their forehead for their child's eating habits


Asked by hotelmom123 at 3:58 PM on Apr. 13, 2011 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (8)
  • I have a child who was very limited in what he would eat. He's been in feeding therapy for a couple of years now. His palette has expanded, but in new situations and restaurants he wants his regular. I allow him to have these things because I don't want to clean up vomit and he will go days without eating. I get upset when people say he'll eat when he's hungry. Not my child. So you do what you have to do to nourish your child. It's great others children have a varied diet, thanks for sharing lol. (What are you supposed to say to that any way? You're right, I'm a bad parent because my child gags at the sight of food?!). Ignore them, they truly have no clue what you go through.

    Answer by Austinsmom35 at 12:27 AM on Apr. 14, 2011

  • He's a toddler, if you don't buy/give the foods to him, then he can't eat them. BUT, if he truly will not eat to the point of letting himself get sick or making himself throw up, then you may need professional help. For some kids it's a behavioral thing, but for other kids it's a medical thing, and you may need to have your son evaluated to determine which is so that you can initiate the appropriate interventions. My son had severe reflux & a swallowing disorder caused by an undiagnosed neuromuscular disorder, but to everyone else, including us, he just lookd like a typically picky & controlling toddler. Because his medical issues went undiagnosed for a time, he developed a behavioral issue around food. I'm not saying your child has a horrible disease, but if he's making himself throw up, it sounds like he's well on his way to developing a behavioral problem that may require professional help.

    Answer by mom2aspclboy at 4:06 PM on Apr. 13, 2011

  • People judge all the time. I just let it roll off my shoulders. Their opinions don't matter much. I know how I raised my kids and I know that while they can be picky, it's surely better than over-indulging in garbage.

    Answer by Renee3K at 3:59 PM on Apr. 13, 2011

  • If increasing his reflux med helped, then I would be questioning the GI about doing further evaluations into the reflux. For example, has he had a swallow test to see if he's aspirating some of his reflux? Does he have any bowel issues (constipation, diarrhea, DGE, etc.)? If it's not a mechanical/medical issue, then I would request a feeding evaluation to see if it is behavioral. If he qualifies for services, then you don't necessarily have to be the "bad guy" forcing him to eat what he doesn't want, which can itself create a negative attitude toward food and make him even more resistant than he already is.

    Answer by mom2aspclboy at 4:30 PM on Apr. 13, 2011

  • I've been judged for that. My son all but refused to sit and eat once he started walking so it was a daily battle for a long time. Then he got to where he would only eat certain things no matter what I put in front of him. The doctor told me just keep offering a variety, let him help prepare it, blah, blah, blah. None of it worked. I've had a certain relative all but accuse me of starving him. Then it was that he must be so slender because the last few months of my pregnancy I had to watch my diet because I couldn't tolerate fats as my gallbladder was failing. He eats better now that he is older. But he is extremely energetic and rarely sits down even now. My daughter on the other hand is a little chunk and she eats the same things I put in front of my son. I think it's personality and genetics.

    Hang in there. People who know nothing of the situation love to sit back and tell you what you're doing wrong.

    Answer by wildflowers25 at 4:13 PM on Apr. 13, 2011

  • I don't think people with picky eaters are bad parents but I do wonder how they got locked into the role of short order chef. My kids have gone through some super picky phases but they never allowed them selves to starve. They are great eaters now. there are ways to increase the amount of foods you child will try without them starving. It's not really bad parenting.

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:01 PM on Apr. 13, 2011

  • He's been inducing his own vomiting since 3 months old when given food he does not like (not kidding) and has been tested for much. I always put healthy food options on the plate and he won't eat them. He does have reflux and after increasing his dose he will eat homeade pizza. At one time there were about two dozen other items he would eat but he has eliminated all of them but the worst. I tried the my way or the highway act with items that he at one point ate that were healthy and after him skipping 4 meals I gave up. Should I really let him go longer and try to break him?

    Comment by hotelmom123 (original poster) at 4:15 PM on Apr. 13, 2011

  • Thanks Mom2.

    Comment by hotelmom123 (original poster) at 4:38 PM on Apr. 13, 2011