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The Picky Eater: How do you Deal?

The Picky Eater: How do you Deal?

By Alice Bradley

People often ask me what Henry’s eating these days, and in response I typically let out a series of high-pitched shrieks. Because oh, my friends. Oh, dear. It’s not good.

This is a topic I have avoided bringing up because it tends to elicit strong opinions. Either I’m a helicopter parent for fretting overly about my son’s dairy-only diet, or I’m guilty of near-criminal neglect for not shoveling more nutrients into him, or I’m too indulgent for failing to take away the few foods he will eat and force him to consume the foods he won’t.

In other words, too often judgment is heaped on the parent whose child will eat only three foods. (Okay, probably more like six. And yes, that’s fewer than what he used to eat, back when I first publicly bemoaned his teeny-tiny food repertoire.) Many many people who have never lived with the child who presents these food challenges seem to know exactly what’s best for the child, and they’re sure that if they had been the one in charge, they would have fixed that kid right up.

So in other words, advice isn’t what we need. We’ve tried everything there is to try. We tried to buckle down and only feed him what we were all eating, but that resulted in one screaming match after another, and after a while all the pleasure of dinnertime was destroyed. Then we brought him to a feeding clinic ,where they determined that he was, well, a picky eater (duh). They provided us with a routine to follow every day—a “game” in which we would gradually get him accustomed to new foods, little by little. They insisted it would work, so even though he hated it, we played on—every night, week after week, month after dreadful month, I lured him to the dining room table and “played” this “game” with him. Then came the day when the game progressed to actually eating the new food—and he put his head to the table and pretended to sleep. Next night, it was the same thing. And the next, and the next. What could I do? He had figured out the power of civil disobedience. I packed the awful game away and never called the feeding clinic again.

After that, I read every book by nutritionist Ellyn Satter there is to read, and then I actually spoke with Ellyn—who is lovely, by the way, and if she came here to live with me I am sure she would solve all our problems like that. She agreed that Henry was a difficult case, but in the end, she essentially told me to stay the course. Keep offering him new foods, keep watching him turn them down. Eventually he would outgrow this.

A story in last year’s New York Times backed up Ellyn Satter’s assertions. Picky eating is a genetic trait, according to the story. If you or your husband were picky, there’s a good chance your kid will be, as well. (For the record, neither Scott nor I were picky in the least. And yet.) And it’s a phase, says the Times. A phase. Oh, how I want to believe that.

Still, though, I wonder. I wonder if these habits don’t become ingrained for life. At the feeding clinic they seemed to think so, but then, they’re sort of supposed to say that. If everyone outgrew pickiness, there would be no reason for the clinic’s sadistic games. And I do know plenty of grown-ups who outgrew their limited palates; on the other hand, I know several adults who didn’t, including one young woman whose diet is almost as disturbing as her grayish pallor and listlessness. Her face haunts my dreams.

Our pediatrician insists that we leave it alone—Henry’s not losing weight, after all, and what he eats is in fact fairly nutritious. But we’re not comforted by this. We don’t want our son to greet the idea of new food with terror and anguish. His new-food aversion seems to have reached the level of a phobia, and I’m not so sure that fear like this can simply go away.

Your turn, my readers. Do you have a picky eater in your house? A seriously resistant eater, such as my own? Do you give them their favorites, to keep the peace—or do you forge ahead with new and strange foods, peace be damned?

Alice Bradley
About the Author

Alice Bradley

Alice Bradley was a regular contributor to Alpha Mom, writing about current events as they related to parenting. You can read about her daily life at her personal blog, Finslippy.

...

Alice Bradley was a regular contributor to Alpha Mom, writing about current events as they related to parenting. You can read about her daily life at her personal blog, Finslippy.

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suburbancorrespondent
Guest

This is where having lots of kids makes things easier on the parent. I don’t have time/mental capacity to remember who likes what and which food makes which child cry. We just serve what we serve and someone (always) cries about it. And we ignore it. Eat, don’t eat, whatever. They’re all still alive. It’s not worth focusing overmuch on – just perpetuates the problem. And no matter what, when they grow up, they’ll blame you.

Amy in StL
Guest
Amy in StL

Suburban’s comment reminds me of how my mom grew up. She was a picky eater who grew up in a family of 6 kids. Everyone had to clean their plate or face that same food for the next meal. I have to say that despite the trauma I’m sure she thought it caused, she’s the least picky eater I know.
Oh and my boyfriend has a nephew who only eats sugary cereal and pizza. And he’s 8.

Stacey
Guest

I was a picky eater & even though you will never get them to admit it, my parents are picky eaters too. The only veggies they agree on are canned green beans and corn on the cob. I can’t stand canned green beans. I’ve always assumed my kids’ pickiness was just my food karma, but if it is genetic then I can blame my parents! 🙂 I just keep offering different foods & insisting on just one bite. What I make for dinner is what is for dinner, or nothing. But I take their tastes into account. I’ll make spaghetti,… Read more »

molly
Guest
molly

Oh, yes. Yes and yes. M is almost 6 and has gone from mac and cheese and PBJ to actually eating scrambled eggs, tofu (although she doesn’t like it much) and pretty much any veggie as long as it’s plain or steamed. But she still has a panic attack at the mention of maybe trying any kind of bean. And she now has an excuse for no meat ever passing her lips – she’s a vegetarian. I can’t complain too much. She eats very healthy, balanced meals. No white bread, junky snacks, or straight juice. It’s just kind of boring… Read more »

Marnie
Guest
Marnie

As a kid, I once went weeks insisting that I would only eat PB sandwiches (no jelly – i hated jelly). My mom freaked and actually took me to the doctor who, once mom confirmed that I was indeed eating each and every PB, said “Let it go. She’ll get tired of it eventually.” Fast-forward 30 years, I now have a 7-yo selective eater. She would try anything until she was 2 1/2, and then it was like a switch was flipped. To answer the most frequent comments from those who don’t actally know my child: !) We do encourage… Read more »

RookieMom Whitney
Guest

I have one picky eater and one brave and endless eater. I empathize with my picky boy. I can tell that he is upset by certain textures and the thought of two foods being mixed together. I was very picky myself and I outgrew it. I think peer pressure is a key piece of this and as he starts going to other people’s houses for meals, or maybe when he gets to the dining hall in college, he will figure it out. Agree with Molly that I don’t want food to be a battle zone. When I ask him to… Read more »

Anne
Guest

We just keep trying – I don’t make something new/extreme every day, but when I do make it I want her to at least try it (the “rule” I heard to lay on kids was three bites; one for their stomach to try, one for their mouth to try, and one for the brain to decide if they like it 🙂 ) She’s pretty good about it, and I do try to respect the things that she seriously hates – I figure if I’m allowed to have opinions about what I like or not, so is she. So I don’t… Read more »

Issa
Guest

I have a cousin who was a picky eater. She’d be eating cheese sandwiches at Thanksgiving. She literally ate 5 foods for years. My aunt and uncle tried everything to no avail.
When she went to college, she was willing to try certain new things and last year she actually had a plate full of Thanksgiving food on thanksgiving.
I say, let it go. He’ll live and you’ll all be happier if you just accept how he is and know that one day he’ll maybe want to try what everyone else enjoys.

monica
Guest
monica

My mother was a VERY picky eater. She remembers eating bread and butter, potatoes, and milk for most dinners. She grew up on a farm and since there were always bread and potatoes and milk from the cow–well, she didn’t starve. She was never forced to eat other foods (my gram probably didn’t have the energy since she was milking cows and all) and did eventually ‘grow’ out of it. Somewhere in her mid-twenties to thirties she decided pasta sauce was yummy (hello pizza!) and could eat grilled cheese and a slew of vegetables that were previously off limits. So,… Read more »

Becky
Guest

We made a decision when our first child was a toddler that we simply didn’t want to fight about food–that having the dinner table be a battleground or just a tense experience would undo all the good of having dinner together.
So now that kid is 7, and she’ll eat most anything that isn’t just unapologetically a brussel sprout. And our toddler loves his dairy and bananas. I keep putting food in front of him. Sometimes he accidentally tries it. But at least he’ll have strong bones!

Jonah Lisa
Guest

I was picky, husband was not. I grew out of it and so did my sister. My son is so-so. I find best success when I put the new thing in front of him and then just ignore it. I don’t ask him to eat it but he watches us eat it and will often break down and try a bite by the end of the meal. This is with new stuff that I actually KNOW he will like the taste of. Of course, there are certain things I just know he won’t like, like broccoli rabe and I don’t… Read more »

julia
Guest
julia

Not a parent but I have a brother who is 24 and has been a very picky eater for 21 years. There are a handful of foods he will eat, and only two that have been added since he began college. My parents took him in once when he was around eight and the doctor said he was fine when compared to malnutritioned children, but I still worry about his long-term health. He’s definitely the skinniest/shortest of the brothers in the family, often cold/tired and prone to bloody noses. I think my parents continue to believe what they wish to… Read more »

Holly
Guest
Holly

My son was pickiest around age two, and every year since (he’s almost 6) it’s gotten a little bit better. There are now about 12 or 15 regular meals that he’ll eat, plus snack foods. Recently he’s been trying more things. Just one bite, usually, but it’s something. For us, what is least stressful is best. I’m still a short order cook, but our lives are easier if he eats. I’d rather that he gets the calories that he needs and frankly, he’s more pleasant when he’s not incredibly hungry. I give him a multi vitamin every day and hope… Read more »

kim
Guest

So apparently, the consensus is that he might grow out of it, or he might not. I can agree with that. To Alice and to Julia of the picky brother, I have a younger brother who ate pb&j or cereal for dinner almost every night through middle school, unless we were having pizza, in which case he would lift the cheese, wipe off all traces of offending sauce, and replace the cheese. I didn’t care, I got his crusts 🙂 Sometime during high school, he added chicken patty sandwiches with lettuce, mayo, and cheese. When he was college-aged, he lived… Read more »

Bethany Zabrosky
Guest

My son is picky. And he is a professional whiner. But he’s also an “eat to live” kind of kid. (My daughter? “Live to eat.”) So on the advice of a friend we went the same direction many of the other parents mentioned. What he gets is what he gets. I will sometimes modify what I am making to his likes (noodles and butter only, no sauce on his spaghetti.) If we have something and he tries it and likes it, he does not get a “free pass” if/when we have it again. And if he doesn’t try the food… Read more »

Alice Bradley
Guest

If my son said, “Oh, I’ll just have the spinach,” I think I would actually die.
The point so many of you have made about not making dinner a battleground is exactly what I think. Some kids can be induced to just try a bite, but Henry can’t. I literally think he cannot. I have seen him *want* to try, and then lose it from the stress. Are we being “indulgent” because we don’t want him to panic at the thought of dinner?

Ashley
Guest
Ashley

So often I find myself worried that my daughter is not getting enough vitamins and nutreants…. She is 5y and 4m old and she is 46″ tall and 60lbs solid muscle so how much can I complain really??? But she just started school this week and I find myself worried because when she has lunch at school she doesn’t like what they are having most days and the things she will eat I can’t heat up in the a.m. and expect it to still be edible by lunch time…. Kinda stuck between a rock and a hard place on this… Read more »

Fairly Odd Mother
Guest

Not sure if this’ll make you feel better but I didn’t eat a vegetable other than corn for the first 18 years of my life. Nor would I touch cheese unless it was in Mac-n-cheese or grilled cheese (and even that was iffy). Often, breakfast in high school was a large slice of chocolate cake. Several (many, many) years later, I type this as a (somewhat) vegetarian who belongs to a CSA for vegetables and someone who loves, loves, loves cheese, the stinkier the better. And, I no longer eat chocolate cake for breakfast. He may still turn out to… Read more »

veronica
Guest

My DD is 3 1/2 has some severe sensory issues when it comes to eating, she has had a surgical feeding tube for medical reasons since 2005 for nutrition and med’s–she too is in a feeding clinic, but the approach is much different than what you described with the game. It’s a modified Kay Toomey Program SOS. I’ve read Ellen’s book, but unfortunately since my DD’s considered a medically fragile case we can’t follow her principles and strategies for eating. But that being said we struggle daily, she’s drawn to the dairy foods and crunchy foods–no others. Now they’ve determined… Read more »

kate
Guest

I was a picky eater and in some ways, I still am, especially at home. But traveling to and then living in France and being with people who weren’t picky and didn’t understand my pickiness and me being embarrassed about it all the time finally suckered me into being more open to new foods. My daughter is increasingly picky which I find increasingly disturbing though she will still eat almost any fruit you put in front of her, thank goodness. I guess what I’m really saying (because this is a topic I’ve thought about a lot) embarrassment works. I certainly… Read more »

Sharon
Guest

I made one thing for dinner when my kids were younger, and my youngest is now 20. If they didn’t want to eat, fine. There was always PB&J or a bowl of cereal later. My middle child was the pickiest eater of the three, and now at age 26 he is a wonderful cook and will try anything. The early tendancy was not hereditary – my husband and I eat a varied diet and are not picky eaters. If Henry is not losing weight and there are foods he will eat, I don’t think you are being indulgent to want… Read more »

Holly
Guest
Holly

Sharon, you put that beautifully. Social sustenance is just as important as nutritional at mealtime. I can’t help but hope that seeing dinnertime as pleasant, and watching others enjoy a variety of foods at the table, might help my son open up to more foods later in life. And I agree that it’s not indulgent to want to create that kind of foundation.

Sheryl
Guest

I have a picky eater (although one food that he likes is broccoli, go figure). When I serve dinner he already doesn’t like it the minute I put it in front of him. But to tell you the truth, it doesn’t really bother me that much. I wish he would try things before he decides he doesn’t like them, but that’s not something I have any control over. I encourage him (sometimes beg and cajole) him to try a bite or two, and once in a blue moon he tastes something one of his un-picky sisters recommend. It’s not worth… Read more »

Deardre
Guest
Deardre

My son ate like a foodie until he turned 3, and then he just decided that he didn’t like anything! So frusterating! He is 6 now, and the rule at our house is that he try something new each day (spice, fruit, drink, dinner item, etc.), take 3 bites of that item, and then try it on 3 separate occasions before he can decide that he doesn’t like it. We keep a foods we like/foods we don’t like chart, and he makes a little mark each time he tries something. That way, he feels like he is in control of… Read more »

Danielle
Guest

I am now the proud mommy of 4 picky eaters. But there is hope! I have a new tactic that seems to be working. It’s called, “Give Them What They Want and Eventually They’ll Get Sick Of It”. 🙂 My oldest for the longest time lived on a diet of peanut butter toast and chicken nuggets. He’s now 7, and yesterday ASKED for jam on his toast! And today as he watched me pack his peanut butter sandwiches in his lunch, and spaghetti in Daddy’s lunch, and ASKED me if he could have spaghetti in his lunch sometime too! I… Read more »

kym b
Guest

Pretty much ditto what SuburbanCorrespondent said. If you have multiple kids, you just don’t worry about it so much. I have 3 ages 7, 5 and 3. The 7yo is mildly picky by my standards, but considering she will eat any meat, fruit or veggie out there is not picky by most “kid” standards. My 5yo, he is just like his dad and will eat anything I put in front of him declaring what a good cooker I am. Love that boy. Then my 3yo is probably the most picky and would prefer PB&J for all three meals. She tries… Read more »

Emily
Guest

I don’t have children, but I’ll tell you how my parents got my brother and I to eat. They loaded up our plates, and then we HAD to eat it. No discussion, no negotiation. We seriously had to sit at the dining table until we finished. Period. The only problem I had with that system is that they always gave me more than I could eat, so it was sort of stressful. Around 8:00 each night, my mother would announce that the kitchen was closed, and we weren’t allowed to open the fridge. (Wow, that makes my parents sound like… Read more »

Astrogirl
Guest

Oh, dearie me. We too have a picky eater. He eats, probably, a bit more than most of the picky kids mentioned by the commenters. My biggest complaints with him are that 1: he eats only 4-5 veggies, and 2: he won’t try ANYTHING new. Meal planning gets a bit dull ’round here after a while. Our tactics are thus: He does not have to eat at dinner, but he has to stay at the dinner table until we are done. He has to take one bite of a new food, but can spit it out if he doesn’t like… Read more »

Tammy
Guest
Tammy

Don’t fret. I was an insanely picky eater. My mom didn’t make a big deal out of it (probably because I was kid #3 and the only finicky one, so she knew my pickiness was nothing she was doing wrong). I outgrew it in stages, and now I’m actually a pretty adventurous food lover.
Henry’s food issues will pass. Or they won’t, and he’ll just be one of those picky grown-ups. Either way, it won’t be the end of the world.

Mrs F with 4
Guest
Mrs F with 4

Number 2 son was born picky, and stayed picky… and, a little like Henry could NOT be induced to try new foods, not even one bite. He would turn white, panic and gag – and I certainly didn’t force him. I’ve always continued to casually offer him new, or old foods. Sometimes he’d take a bite, mostly not. He would usually try it if we grew it…. but only once. Recently though (he’s nearly five), I thought I’d try something new, and with the (advance) co-operation of the greengrocer at the market, she asked him if he’d like to pick… Read more »

Carrie
Guest
Carrie

I have 4 children and they have all been picky eaters. The oldest two started to grow out of it when they were introduced to school lunches. There are still some meals that they won’t eat and my rule is that if you don’t want we’re having for dinner, then have some cereal. My #3 eats cereal, cheese pizza, mac & cheese and toast. Most of the time when he asks “What’s for dinner?” and I tell him, he then says, “But what am I having for dinner?” I make sure he has his vitamins and then I really try… Read more »

Feather Nester
Guest

I was picky and grew out of it. Now I’ll eat anything except fish/seafood, and I have tried that over and over and over through years and years and WANT to like it and just don’t, so there you go. My husband was picky and has not grown out of it. His pickiness has improved, but it’s still what I think is severe, especially for an adult. He’ll eat salad greens and raw spinach, but no other vegetable. He’ll eat bananas and kiwis, but no other fruit. He’ll eat any meat, any cheese. Any bread products must be white. I… Read more »

dayna
Guest
dayna

We have 4 kids so honestly, it’s just different. The best advice I’ve ever taken was that you have to measure what your child eats in a week versus what he eats in a day. There are meal where one or three children decide they hate what we’re having so they eat the plain rice and a glass of milk, or the bread and applesauce. We have one kid who abhors anything hot or spicy and one who thrives on both… some days appeal to one, some to the other. I honestly think the trick is not fretting too much… Read more »

BethanyWD
Guest

I agree with the general “I don’t want fight about food” group. For us, that doesn’t mean they get whatever they want, whenever the want; we are just sensitive to what my 5 year old son (the more picky) likes. I don’t confess to that he is very picky, but not very adventurous. We don’t play the “clean plate club”, and they don’t have to have 3 bites of something, one piece of that, etc. I prepare a meal for the four of us (I also have a 3 year old who will eat most anything), prepare the plates (usually… Read more »

Liz
Guest
Liz

Mine isn’t terribly picky by kid standards, which is to say she prefers her food mildly bland and without any kind of sauce (unless ketchup counts – the more the better, there!) but at least she’s willing to try things, and sometimes she likes them. We don’t make a big deal of it. I fill the plates in the kitchen with what I think are reasonable portions for each person, and she can either clean her plate and then have dessert, or she can pick and choose what she wants and not have dessert. We encourage her to try at… Read more »

Robin
Guest

My husband and I were both very picky eaters as children and we both had parents that made a moderately big deal of this pickyness. You know how as a child you SWEAR you will never do to your children at least one or two things that your parents did to you? Well, making me eat things I didn’t like was one of those things I swore I wouldn’t do. I will not claim to have been unwavering in this vow, but I do remember just how awful it is to come to the table, night after night and be… Read more »

Snappymom
Guest

Oh, my. I have a very picky eater, and it’s driving me insane. If we are having something he doesn’t like, he will insist he isn’t hungry. I KNOW he has to be. His refusal to eat makes me nervous, it makes me WORRY. Why won’t he eat anything? won’t he STARVE?? What should I DO? I’m at a loss. We have a two-bite rule. Two bites of everything, hungry or not. And when taking those two bites, he acts like I’ve prepared something VERY VERY disgusting, or maybe even poisonous. I have been assured by everyone that he will… Read more »

Sophie
Guest

I have an 8 year old who ate darn near everything until he was about 3, and then became picky to the point of really only wanting cheese or toast or eggs or milk. (At least breakfast was easy!) But I have come to think of him as particular rather than picky. He thinks it is a crime against humanity to mix foods up, so something like a lasagna is absolutely out…but over time he has come to eat most of the components of lasagna on their own. He hates condiments of all sorts, ketchup included…but I don’t think he’ll… Read more »

Sophie, Inzaburbs
Guest

I was a terribly picky eater. Once, aged 4, I survived for two weeks on nothing but canned beans and bananas (or so the story goes). I just grew out of it, and by my 20s I could eat anything. I do ask my picky eater to *try* what is on his plate. I am convinced that just having the exposure to the new foods is the key to broadening the range of things you can eat. However I will never *force* him to eat something he doesn’t like – this is because I remember the horror of being a… Read more »

tamara
Guest
tamara

I’ll probably just echoing others here in saying…he’ll grow out of it, and even if he doesn’t he’ll can still figure out a way to eat healthy etc. Peer modeling/pressure at school can really help. My child’s ability to try new foods skyrocketed (figuratively) after a year of kindergarten and eating with his peers at lunch. My personal add is that folks who say they don’t bend to their kid’s wills…don’t have extremely picky eaters. Personal experience: I’m mom of a VERY picky eater (yes, he really did starve himself, yes we’ve been to many feeding clinics, and yes, he… Read more »

carrien (she laughs at the days)
Guest

Eat it or go to bed. That’s how it works in our house. They have to try one bite of everything when they first start turning up their nose at strange things, around the 2-3 age group. But after they have tasted it, if they don’t like it they can go to bed hungry. Simple. And is you feel the need to scream and carry on about the injustices you are forced to suffer, you can do it in you bed room where the rest of us enjoying our dinner don’t have to listen to you. And, if we happen… Read more »

canadacole
Guest

I have a super picky eater. She was great until she was about 2 and then she just stopped trying new things and refused to eat many of the things she previously enjoyed. We, too have tried everything. She doesn’t eat any fruits or vegetables, and that worries us. At one point, on the advise of my mother, we told her she couldn’t eat anything until she ate some fruit or a vegetable. She lasted 3 1/2 days and then I broke and let her have a sandwich. Yes, she will gladly starve rather than eat something she doesn’t want… Read more »

Ariella
Guest
Ariella

I don’t have kids and was not a picky eater, so this comment isn’t exactly topical to the discussion. But I did (and will) eat anything you put in front of me. My husband will not eat: tomatoes, mushrooms, tofu, asparagus, beets, raw onions, prunes, stinky cheeses, ANY fish (including sushi), and a multitude of other things. Unsurprisingly, all of his food dislikes are exactly the same dislikes as his mother’s. This drives me out of my mind insane… before we were together, I ate salmon 2-3x week, now I barely eat it at all because I refuse to cook… Read more »

Dana
Guest
Dana

I was and am a picky eater. My son, who is now 18 was also a picky eater. No veggies, nothing red, no pasta, noe red meat. no hamburgerunless it was in a taco blah blah..you get the drift. I too, took him to the doctor over and over and was told not to worry about it. He was growing, thriving even! And now, NOW just when I have resigned myself that this child will never eat anything but the same three meals over and over again, he decides he’s going to branch out! He’s tried new things here and… Read more »

Caroline
Guest
Caroline

I have one picky eater, one not-as-picky-but-if-my-picky-older-sister-turns-up-her-nose-at-it-so-will-I eater. My picky eater was the baby that ate everything. My friends were always comparing their babies to her, saying “why doesn’t MY baby eat like yours?” and I was so proud and sure that I knew how to raise a “good eater”. Then she turned 6, and suddenly nothing was good anymore. Her previous favorites were no longer appealing. I’m still confused as to what happened, but I do my darnedest not to get worked up about it. My younger son was a very odd eater. He was mostly agreeable, and would… Read more »

Jennifer
Guest
Jennifer

No picky eater here but so many of my girlfriends have them and I do not know what I’d do. It stresses ME out when they are over for a meal. Just wanted to send my sympathy.

Marcie
Guest
Marcie

I remember my five year old nephew eating bread and ketchup at christmas dinner. He’s now 20 and eats everything. Henry will outgrow it, as hard as I’m sure it is to deal with.

Anonymous
Guest

As a former picky eater (nothing but PB&J for one entire year, blessings upon my mother, for I was #5 of 8 kids. Now I eat anchovies and the stinkiest of cheeses.) I say unto you: stress not. I’m a biologist, and I believe down to my toes that this stuff is two parts biology, and one part power struggle. Does it strike anyone but me that the age at which pickiness kicks in is really consistent? Right around two or three. Just about the time that, were we still living out on the savanna and foraging, literally living hand… Read more »

Fream
Guest

My daughter, Kara, is only eight months, so we’re not having food battles yet, but I was an extremely picky eater as a kid and still am as an adult, though I will branch out on occasion. I can remember sitting at the dinner table for hours after dinner because I wasn’t allowed to leave without finishing my plate. Once my mother forced me to eat a spoonful of eggs and I threw them right up. She stopped forcing me after that. Because I know first-hand just how stressful it can be to have new foods forced upon you (even… Read more »

~annie
Guest
~annie

If the limited food he’s eating is nutritious and he’s healthy don’t sweat it. My mother swears I “never” ate. But here I am – almost 46 old and pretty healthy! My daughter started out eating everything BUT the most popular “kid-fare.” Now at 17 it’s the reverse. I think she’ll survive.

erni
Guest
erni

I haven’t read anyone yet mentioning getting the children involved with food preparation or talking about where it all comes from. Kids need to help out making dinner, with hands on experience touching the foods and watching how they are cooked, even if it’s just running a tomato under water for very young kids. Get them to grow some vegetables, in a pot if you don’t have garden, take them out to farms, join one of those small organic hippie farms where they take the kids around and show them where it all comes from. Even if they still refuse… Read more »