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Do you make special meals to fit your child's/children's taste or do they have to eat what you are eating or nothing at all?

My daughter Hannah is by far the pickiest child I have ever seen/ heard of/ met when it comes to food. She will not eat anything with cheese, including pizza, anything with a white sauce, any meat that is not white (luckily I only use turkey and chicken for most dishes anyway), foods with visible seasonings, and the list goes on and on. It is so strange that she is like this because as a baby she would eat anything except meats and cheeses. All fruits, vegetables even peas or squash, she loved. Anyway, I am very worried about her nutrition and I am being told that I need to stop making special meals for her and tell her to eat what everyone else is eating or nothing. That seems completely wrong to me and I don't think that will break her picky eating habits. Right now, she is on a multivitamin , but I do not want her to be like this for the rest of her life. So have any of you experienced this and what did you do that proved successful?

Note: Just in case someone is tempted to say it, I will NOT spank my child over food, so if that is your only solution- thanks but no thanks.


Asked by BriHan06 at 12:57 PM on Apr. 15, 2011 in General Parenting

Level 19 (7,166 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (24)
  • The funny thing is (and VERY ironic) is that my daughter would eat most things when she was little and now that she is grown is the pickiest person known to man - this frustrates me to no end. When she was little she wouldn't eat broccoli (understandable) I started saying "we are having tiny trees for dinner!" and she started eating broccoli and loved it. I'd come up with funny names, I'd put food coloring in it (if appropriate) to make food fun, I'd hide food in other food. Pediatricians will say if they don't eat - even for multiple days it won't hurt them - I remember having this conversation with her pediatrician years ago just in general. He said kids will eat when they get hungry - if they won't eat what you cook, then don't make a big fuss over it. They WILL come around. So I guess my advice is try to make up some fun names or silly story about introducing new foods and see if that helps.

    Answer by 8Tinkerboo8 at 1:19 PM on Apr. 15, 2011

  • I try to please everyone, but it is hard for a family of five. So I make something special for everyone on different days. If someone doesn't like it, they all know how to fix a sandwich. I don't make them go hungry.

    Answer by arenad at 1:01 PM on Apr. 15, 2011

  • Anyone who would tell you to spank your child in regards to food needs to be spanked themselves! It is my opinion that you stop catering to her specific tastes - you are creating a monster of gigantic proportions with this act. She either eats what the family eats or she can have a PB&J - you are NOT a short order cook. Don't you see that you are positively reinforcing negative behavior? You cater to her food pickiness, what will it be next? I know many a mom who did exactly what you are doing and if you speak to them 10 years later they would have a very very different take on cooking to order. Think long and hard about what you are setting yourself and most importantly your daughter for.

    Answer by 8Tinkerboo8 at 1:02 PM on Apr. 15, 2011

  • I guess I am a different kind of parent. I can understand your frustration with a picky eater, but I make meals that everyone will enjoy. My husband won't eat spinach or asparagus, but my daughter and I will, so on nights when I fix those vegetables for us, I fix a different one for my husband. My daughter will try anything if I ask her to, but I don't force her to eat it if she has tried it and doesn't like it. I must have it easy, lol, because whatever I fix gets eaten (hense me cooking something that everyone will enjoy.)

    Answer by Kari727 at 1:37 PM on Apr. 15, 2011

  • My rule is you eat what I cook or nothing at all. I'm not a short order cook.

    Answer by luvmygrlz at 1:01 PM on Apr. 15, 2011

  • usually my one year old eats what everyone else eats, but there are certain things he can't eat yet because he doesn't have enough teeth and so on. So when that happens I give him the stuff he is able to eat and then add whatever else to the mix to make sure he's getting the nutrients he needs.

    Answer by febmom007 at 1:01 PM on Apr. 15, 2011

  • My DS is a very picky eater also.He has a sensory disorder and has a problem with textures of food so I usually have to cook my DS and DD something differant .It is very frustrating though but it is not his fault so what can you do ?

    Answer by Brandy928 at 1:01 PM on Apr. 15, 2011

  • The only thing my son won't eat is eggs, so when we have eggs for breakfast, he has cereal. If my kids don't like what I cook, they can have cereal or a pb&j. I won't cook anything different. Luckily, I haven't had that problem often. If they are saying they don't want to eat, I tell them fine, but once supper is over, the kitchen is closed and they won't be eating at 9 when it is time for bed. They usually end up eating with us.

    Answer by nmmama09 at 1:01 PM on Apr. 15, 2011

  • For breakfast and lunch they can have what I know they'll eat. For dinner, they eat what I make or go hungry. I feel that it's important to move them out of their comfort zone with food so they will try new things.

    Answer by Renee3K at 1:02 PM on Apr. 15, 2011

  • in the end your instincts are right, stick to your guns, do what you can to try to make it fun and realize that in the end regardless of how they start they may still end up a picky eater.

    Answer by 8Tinkerboo8 at 1:20 PM on Apr. 15, 2011