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how can i get my picky eater to eat?

my son joden just wont eat !! i am worried about him! he really doesn't pick on anything either i have to literally force him to have a bite or two i have talked to the doctor about it but all he says is everyone is different ?? what ?? is there something out there i can give him to help give him an appetite?

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Asked by crystal361_03 at 1:24 AM on Dec. 17, 2008 in Kids' Health

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Answers (9)
  • He won't starve! I'd serve only whatever you've decided to serve to everyone and if he eats, good. If not, good. When the meal is over discard the food or save it in the fridge in case he's hungry later. I would never prepare special food to satisfy him or to try to get him to eat. That gives way too much attention to him over the situation and will likely only encourage it. As long as he isn't on any meds that decrease appetite (ADHD type meds for instance) then I wouldn't worry about it. As long as the dr says he's growing well then just serve healthy food - a variety of it - and don't make a big deal of it. He'll eat sooner or later.

    Answer by GrowingMama at 1:28 AM on Dec. 17, 2008

  • i agrre with growing mama, also if you try to serve colorful foods, like maybe a little corn with peas and carrots, it will look nice and maybe help him want to eat it, or also try shaped foods, or arange the plate with a smiling face : )

    Answer by Trinity32188 at 1:35 AM on Dec. 17, 2008

  • Yep, he won't starve. This is a power struggle and he is winning. What do you do about it? Stop fighting. It takes two to fight and as you've found unless you hold him down and force the food into his mouth, you can't make him eat.
    Make one thing at each meal that you know he has eaten in the past - not a special meal for him, just one dish for everyone that you know he will eat. Mashed potatoes, rolls, corn, whatever works with the meal that he has eaten at some point in the past.
    Then let him choose to eat or not. Do not offer to make something else. Do not comment if he doesn't eat at all. Do not comment if he does eat. Do not ask him if he likes whatever it is he just ate. Do not comment that he will be going hungry until the next snack or meal time. Just eat your meal and clean up the dishes when everyone is "done".

    Answer by kaycee14 at 12:43 PM on Dec. 17, 2008

  • Make sure all meals and snacks are healthy. If he comes crying to you that he is hungry an hour after the meal, remind him that snack time is coming. At snack time, offer him an apple or some other healthy food.
    Have dessert no more than once a week - and everyone gets dessert regardless of how much or how little dinner they ate. Dessert can be taken away as punishment for a non-food related thing but not for refusing to eat.

    Answer by kaycee14 at 12:43 PM on Dec. 17, 2008

  • DON'T FORCE IT. I had a friend that would yell and shove food into her kids mouth. It was painful for me to watch. A kid won't starve themselves. My little brother use to eat like a bird and was skinny as a bean pole but over all healthy. Some days my kids eat really good.... other days they pick at their food. I say don't worry about it. If your that concerned though I'd take him to the doctor. I wouldn't drug your kid trying to force him to eat. If the doctor says he's fine he's fine. And remember a kids stomach is the size of their fist so they're not going to eat as much as we do.

    Answer by jennifer8585 at 8:44 PM on Dec. 17, 2008

  • As long as you have a healthy normal child, your only job is to put a variety of healthy food in front of your child for meals and snacks. The rest of the job is up to them. They can choose what they eat, and how much. They will not starve themselves. Forcing them to eat certain foods or a certain number of bites does not help any one.

    Answer by maggiemom2000 at 10:19 PM on Dec. 17, 2008

  • I agree with GrowingMama too. That's what I do with my 3 yr old. He doesn't have to eat, but he has to sit at the table until we're all done, like everyone else. And usually I'll stick his plate in the fridge if he has a lot left and when he whines about being hungry an hour later, I'll give him that. There are certain things I know he's tried and doesn't like (mushrooms for one) and that's fine. He can pick stuff like that out if he doesn't want it. Fighting with him is useless and just gives you a headache and upsets them and makes it worse, imo. He won't starve himself, so just let it be!

    Answer by mom2XandZ at 12:20 PM on Dec. 18, 2008

  • try colorfull foods like carrots or grapes. and if he still wont eat, then he will eat when he is hungry. try to give him drinks that have a good source of vitamnes. vitamines are crucial in my oppinion.

    Answer by k10ann7 at 5:16 PM on Dec. 18, 2008

  • Provide him with fresh fruits and let him eat when he wants to. Kids know when they want to eat or not.

    Don't MAKE him eat or have to eat something he doesnt want to - you wouldnt like that.

    Be patient..he will eat when he wants :)

    Answer by keyaziz at 5:52 PM on Dec. 21, 2008

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