How can I get my 5-year-old to eat healthy?

My 5 yr old son only wants to eat:cereal, sausage bis., Hamburgers from Mickey D's, Chicken Nuggets, bologna sandwhiches, BBQ chips, & once in awhile a frozen fr. chicken meal. Sometimes I can get him 2 eat eggs & things like that but not 2 often. He thinks EVERYTHING else is nasty. but he wont TRY it to see. Do I make him eat what I cook or dont eat at all or just give in so he will wont miss a meal? Its also hard b/c when he goes 2 his dads, him & his grandma let him eat whatever he wants. They dont help with any rules I set for my son at home. Its like a competion with them when its comes 2 anything to do with my son. Even when they know Im right about something. They want 2 be liked more. Im more concerned w/ my sons health & doing whats right then trying to the one he likes best!! Any help would be greatly appreciated!! Thanx


Asked by RaelynsMom82703 at 11:32 AM on Jan. 7, 2009 in Food & Drink

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Answers (12)
  • In my house you eat what is served or you go hungry. My kids have never starved to death.

    Answer by RainingHeart at 12:18 PM on Jan. 7, 2009

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  • Don't worry about what he eats at his Dads & Grandmas house. You can't control that so it's best to just focus on what you can control. And that's what you feed him at home. He's probably with you the majority of the time anyway right? So he won't be eating unhealthy all the time. I have a picky eater also so I know what you’re going through. Like you at first I gave in and fed him what he would eat just to make sure he wouldn't miss a meal. I later realized that I wasn't doing either of us a favor and I wasn't controlling the situation when I need to take control of it. I started giving him a couple of choices before meal time. I'd let him choose between Mac & Cheese w/ a fruit and veggie or Chicken w/ a fruit and veggie. I'm using those as an example but you know what I mean. I gave him healthy choices and if he chose not to choose either, then he didn't eat.

    Answer by happy2bme7 at 12:21 PM on Jan. 7, 2009

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  • cont...And before anyone gets upset ; ) I didn't starve him. Kids will eat when they're hungry...they won't starve. He may have missed lunch time but he would "choose" within a couple of hours at the latest. That didn't happen but a couple of times because he knew I meant business. He’s still a picky eater and years ago I started pureeing fruits and vegetables and hiding them the food. I do this for the entire family but I was busted about 5 years ago when he asked what I was doing with all those veggies. The cat was out of the bag…LOL! He doesn’t want to know what I put in his food but he eats everything I cook. He’s a 6ft 2” 235 lb healthy 16 year old now. Best of luck : )

    Answer by happy2bme7 at 12:22 PM on Jan. 7, 2009

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  • Take him shopping with you and have him help pick out fruits he wants to try (have him pick at least three), the "fun" yogurts", etc

    Have him try canned fruit in heavy syrup (it's sweet, he may like it better)
    Apples with caramel dip/ strawberries with whipped cream
    Fruit "chips" or dried fruit - most kids like raisins at least
    Veggies with ranch dip
    Juices with veggies and fruits

    Include a fruit/and or veggie at every meal
    Make him try a bit of everything at dinner - if he doesn't eat all of it, nothing else until breakfast)

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:54 PM on Jan. 7, 2009

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  • PS. If you don't make the unhealthy foods available too much, he'll have no choice but to eat the healthy stuff.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:54 PM on Jan. 7, 2009

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  • I am also a "eat it or go hungry" kinda mom. They won't let themselves starve. If I make something I know they really don't like-like chili or fish, I let them make a sandwich or have cereal. But they always have to add a fruit/veggie and dairy to the meal. Most nights, they eat what is cooked. If they don't eat a good amount of whats on their plate, they don't get a snack.

    Answer by TanyaR1024 at 1:11 PM on Jan. 7, 2009

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  • YOU are the PARENT not your child!! regardless as to what he's able to do when he's with his father, when that child steps through your door, you are in charge. You can start by not buying Mcdonald's and other junk unless it's a treat. Maybe that can be an incentive to him eating healthy,although when I was coming up, you had to eat what was put before you or go to bed. My how times have changed.

    Answer by need2rest71 at 1:19 PM on Jan. 7, 2009

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  • Stop buying junk food and ask your son to take two bites of something new.  What I do it prepare a meal serve my kids what ever I cooked.  If they eat their meal they will get a treat.


    Answer by mommiedear at 1:46 PM on Jan. 7, 2009

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  • I make only healthy food for my children, don't take my children out at all, and as it's all they have around them and human survival kicks in they eat. I have a saying,"You get what you get, don't throw a fit", and they don't. For you I'd get rid of all unhealthy and junk food in your home, make sure everybody in the home eats healthy and has healthy habits or you've lost the battle already because your children mimic you. Don't go out to eat, instead pack sandwiches, apples and healthy crackers/chips, with a jug of water for drinks. As for dads and grandmas, that's their house and although you may not like it, you can merely tell them your healthy plans for your son and try to get them on the same page, but cannot hope for much more, home and with you is where healthy habits start and I'd start there.


    Answer by Knightquester at 2:44 PM on Jan. 7, 2009

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  • baby carrots or apple slices with peanut butter
    peanut butter and bannana slice sandwiches

    Answer by autodidact at 6:41 PM on Jan. 7, 2009

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