1 (edited by Flowergirl 2013-05-04 09:32:42)

Topic: "Creating" a picky eater?

A few recent posts mentioning children who are very picky eaters got me thinking again about something I've often wondered about.  How much of a picky eater is learned, "taught" by parents' cooking habits and/or leniency when their child doesn't want to try new things, and how much is simply the child's makeup. I know there is no way to know for sure, as no two children are the same and no child can be taken back and raised a different way to see the difference. So, I'm simply wondering what others' thoughts/opinions/personal experiences are on this.

As a child, my Mom made 1 meal and everyone ate it. I was/am a generally non picky eater, but there were a couple things (obviously) that I didn't like - squash, sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts, fish and homemade pizza were my most unliked items. Whenever we had these foods, I was required to eat a small amount and then was allowed to eat more of the other meal items for that meal. Once I was a little older, my Mom would bake a regular potato for me in lieu of sweet potatoes or squash, but I was still required to eat a small amount of the offending veggie. Since being an adult, I've found I actually do like most of the items, finding that many of them was simply they way they were prepared that I still don't care for, with the exception of squash, which I still don't care for in any form. For reference sake, I found I like sweet potatoes with brown sugar and marshmallows melted as a sauce instead of with butter, S&P, fish I didn't like the bones and cornmeal breading my mom used (I LOVE fish today), homemade pizza I didn't like the thick layer of mozzarella cheese that was hard to chew as a child, and Brussel sprouts I now sauté with bacon and a touch of lemon juice and I love them, as opposed to simply boiled and served with butter as a child.

With my son, my LC lent me a book and DVD on baby led weaning and I LOVED it and highly recommend it!! Even if you don't really wish to follow the baby led weaning path, the book has lots of good food/eating/nutrition info for babies, toddlers. We followed a modified version of baby led weaning with our son, and he eats absolutely everything and loves it all so far! I love to cook and we eat a wide variety of foods in all food groups. He does NOT like baby food but if he can chew it and/or pick it up himself and eat it, he's in love.

Sooooo.... What about you?

After 9 yrs & 1 devastating loss, we got our BFP at 9DPO ~ and welcomed our beautiful son on Halloween! Best treat ever!!

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Re: "Creating" a picky eater?

In my case, I don't think environment has played much of a part in my children's eating habits.

S LOVES fruits and vegetables. In fact, when he was young and those silly hidden valley commercials would come on, S would ask me if we could go there. He will try anything once and usually likes most of what he tries.

M is pretty typical for 3. He's not very adventurous and can be picky, but he is overall a decent eater. He won't necessarily try anything put in front of him and often times just the look of something will turn him away.

K is HORRIBLE!!! She won't eat anything. From the age of 12 months to about 3 I kept a list of things she would eat. For about 18 months her list had less than 10 items on it and it included beverages, foods and condiments. I later found out that she would have actually qualified for food therapy. Her list has grown but she is still terribly picky. She makes her own supper most nights - because while I will alter what I'm making to a degree, I do not make a whole other meal for her. She is on multiple vitamin and calcium supplements.

I have talked to a few people about K and while they give me great suggestions, nothing has drastically changed. She had excessive vomiting as a baby in addition to mind numbing colic. She also tends to have a slight sensitivity to milk products. There is some link to babies who have severe colic and later in development refusing milk (dairy sensitivity) and fruits (high acidity) so that might play a role in K's eating habits now.

Jamie
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Re: "Creating" a picky eater?

M is a great eater. She will eat anything you put in front of her or at least try it. And try it again. Today she ate a piece of lettuce 3 times then spit it out each time. I made chocolate chip cookies the other day and offered her one. She cried until I peeled her a orange, then tried the Cookie after she ate her orange. I actually cook seperate meals because IM the picky one. I live of crap like pizza, bagels, just junk. I'm trying to get better but I just never want healthy things :-/ I do always make the baby healthy food though. I don't know how I ended up with such a good eater when I'm not.

Re: "Creating" a picky eater?

My picky eater ate everything until about 18 months and then slowly narrowed down the list.  I don't make separate meals, but I try to include at least one item that he will eat.  He will go hungry rather than eat something that he has decided that he doesn't like.  Of all of my kids (27 with fostering), he is the only one that has been this way.  I think it is probably a combination of the kid and the environment.  I can't eat fish period.  I don't like the smell, the texture, or the taste.  I try it occasionally, but that has never changed!  I try to remember that when they refuse something.

Re: "Creating" a picky eater?

Thanks!! See, your examples also makes me think that kids may be slightly influenced by things we as parents do, but mostly are just "who they are". I've heard of many kids who were like my son when they were babies and would eat anything but then developed their tastes and aversions as they got older, and suddenly got much pickier. It won't make me less conscious of what I feed my son now, but I won't feel so bad if he suddenly becomes more picky. I'll assume it's normal!

One thing that I thought was interesting was Giada (on Food Network) when she had her daughter, she fed her everything (obviously) and when she was little she would make food and give her a bite at the end and are would ALWAYS try it and seemed to like it all. I was very impressed. Fast forward about 3 years and suddenly I notice there are often things she makes that she won't try at the end or does and doesn't seem to care for as much. She had very obviously become much more aware of the different flavors and textures and decided against some of them. I hope my son remains a pretty good, well rounded eater, but if he doesn't for some reason, I will hopefully not get too alarmed about it!! smile

After 9 yrs & 1 devastating loss, we got our BFP at 9DPO ~ and welcomed our beautiful son on Halloween! Best treat ever!!

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Re: "Creating" a picky eater?

my son ate anything.... ANYTHING... until around 2-3. but I know I haven't influenced him, simply because some things he loves, I won't touch (green beans, beets, fish, sweet pickles) and things I love that he doesn't like (chocolate (who's kid is this?!), dill pickles, Lima beans, burritos). I mean, he's tried just about everything. smile

as for meals, he eats what we eat. but I do make sure each meal has something's he likes. and he always has the option of cold cereal if he tries the dinner and doesn't like it.  and I'm sure there are times he just doesn't "feel like" meatloaf or whatever. I know that feeling.

but yeah, he's gotta try food (not usually a problem). but he likes what he likes *shrug*

Amy (39)
DS (7) - d#470
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Re: "Creating" a picky eater?

Great post since I am curious too. My twins are 15 months and eat any fruit and veggies. I have noticed they will not eat anything in a box like Mac and cheese or out of a can like tomato sauce but will devour anything homemade. They do not care for sweets either. I have never made separate meals. However, if they do not want to eat what I made, I will offer yogurt, hummus or another one of their favorites. I like to eat yummy foods and never the something so I try to help them since they are not old enough to tell me what they want.

Re: "Creating" a picky eater?

My L is super picky sad  Granted she had FTT as an infant due to severe allergies...But even now that we know she still is a hard pleaser...She will eat meat(thank goodness) as long as there isn't any wild and crazy stuff on it or seasoned spicy...She loves Mashed Potatos and plain white rice...She will eat any fruit just about except apple which she knows she is allergic too but she hates juice..Won't touch it..As for veggies..she likes Corn in any form,Brocolli if it is steamed really mushy and raw veggies like carrots,celery,tomatos and cucumbers..she won't eat them cooked either...I am getting ready to try something new with her to get her to eat some more veggies...we will see... big_smile  To be fair she doesn't like sugar either...No pop, hates chocolate to the point she will vomit...She likes Rice milk and water..That is it..

That said..I make one meal...She either eats or she doesn't..But she usually eats some just not a lot..This week has been better though..she has actually been eating 3 meals plus some snacks...either a growing spurt or the fresh air and T-Ball...either way I will take it big_smile   Now my son...He was the bottomless pit..would eat anything and everything...Still eats like that...And he is L's father...So I don't know...If it is hereditary she sure didn't take after him..And I cook pretty much the same as I did when he was home with the exception of her allergic foods..Oh and everything is great if I put a load of ketchup on her plate..She will dip everything..Even bananas:)

Lindsay xx

Re: "Creating" a picky eater?

I've always had issues with food textures, and Justin does too.  Some foods I never serve because I find them disgusting (like scrambled eggs -I don't like spongy foods).  But tonight I caught myself picking the onions out of the tomato sauce as I served Justin and stopped myself.  He doesn't need me to set that kind of example, although we do have the rule at our house that you can push something you don't like to the side of your plate because he used to put it on the floor or table.

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Re: "Creating" a picky eater?

My little one is big on textures, if its slimy she won't touch it. She was always a great eater but recently has been fussing a bit over food she loves. I let her help prep her food and its just little things she changes at the moment like no sauce on her pasta, she likes it in a bowl beside instead. She eats lots of things I won't and hates some I do. I like a larger range of fruits then she does, but she likes a larger range of veg than me.
She will refuse any meat and I influenced that one as I don't eat meat.
I guess some are influenced and some just are personal taste.

This is a great book to read if your interested in reading more about children and eating habits:  http://www.amazon.com/French-Kids-Eat-E … ildren+eat

11 (edited by palegreen 2013-05-06 05:06:17)

Re: "Creating" a picky eater?

G has texture issues and pretty much won't touch a single vegetable. He used to eat peas like candy, but now he will hardly touch them. Broccoli will go in his mouth no faster than it will come right back out. We always offer him the same foods we eat. Last night it was pork tenderloin medallions, rice pilaf and broccoli. He only at the pork. He didn't even touch the rice or broccoli. It secretly stresses me out that the kid won't eat vegetables. He eats most fruits and meats, but veggies are a total no-go.  sad  I wish we could find a solution.

(edited to fix typo)

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Re: "Creating" a picky eater?

palegreen wrote:

It secretly stresses me out that the kid won't eat vegetables. He eats most fruits and meats, but veggies are a total no-go.  sad  I wish we could find a solution.

That would DEF be hard and I know stressful for me as well.  Does he like most meat? Could you hide more veggies in your meat dishes? Not like pork tenderloin obviously wink but like meatballs, hamburger patties, etc.? For example, I make turkey meatballs for the babies and put grated carrot in them. I use a microplane so it is grated superfine and can't even be seen in them. Makes for easier baking, as well as not adding a huge texture difference/taste to the meat. You can also do that with a few different veggies in things like spaghetti sauce. My baby (for now anyway) likes Veggies but i figure a few more cant hurt, so I try to add one veggie in whatever main dish also, as well as serve a veggie side. For example, I purée snow peas and add to pasta sauce and if he likes pasta(?) pesto is another way to add a few veggies - you can add pees to regular pesto fixings. smile  Does he like mashed potatoes? Cooked cauliflower can be puréed/mashed and mixed with potatoes. Just a couple suggestions - you've probably already tried them or know they won't work, but wanted to mention it in case smile I feel for you - hopefully he will come around to liking veggies better soon!

After 9 yrs & 1 devastating loss, we got our BFP at 9DPO ~ and welcomed our beautiful son on Halloween! Best treat ever!!

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Re: "Creating" a picky eater?

My kids are offered everything and anything and are good eaters.  H is much pickier but she has sensory issues so that plays into it a lot.  She still has a pretty decent diet considering.  We think a mixture of giving them options at breakfast and lunch, and only dinner is what it is with no other option works well.  At dinner, if there is anything on their plate they claim they don't like, they still have to try it to be able to be done with dinner.  With doing so, even though H wouldn't eat veggies for months and months, now she will eat broccoli and cauliflower with no issues and a few bites of carrots, green beans, brussell sprouts and peas.  She will also eat corn but that isn't much nutrition-wise.

July 4, 2015
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Re: "Creating" a picky eater?

We've done baby led weaning to some degree or another with all our kids.  The oldest 3 had some mush on a spoon, because that's just how it was done then.  The younger 2 have been 100% BLW.    Now where it gets interesting in our family is my stepkids were not "raised" by me in their toddler years, where my kids were.  They (my stepkids) are both very picky eaters.  So is Tim and his ex-wife.  I believe they simply were not exposed to a lot of things when they were younger, so never "developed" a taste for things.    Tim hates all veggies, and *shick* neither of his kids will tough them either.  Except Tay will eat green beans from a can, and D likes drinking tomato juice.  So yes, I believe to some degree you can raise a picky eater.

With my own kids there was one rule at dinner time.  No one said "yuck" "gross" "I hate that" or anything else nasty.  If you do not care for something, you simply say "no thank you, I do not care for (name offensive food here)". We all have dsifferent tastes, and that is ok.  Another "rule" was that if they wanted to try it, as long as there was no health reason they could not, then let them.  I refer to Boog as my picky eater.  He is not find of olives or raw tomatoes.  He has tried them in dofferent ways, and just doesn't like them.  Fine.  Moosie eats anything and everything, though she has preferred ways of some things.  But there is nothing she will not touch.  Tiny will not eat bananas, avacados or kiwi, though I just learned recently that all three of these things affect the body internals molecularily like latex does, and for those of us with a latex allergy, it physically hurts to eat them.  I should have clued in to that years ago, I can't eat raw avocado or kiwi because it hurts my mouth and throat to eat it, and I do not care for bananas either.

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Need to update a ticker, Silas Anthony Jordon born Oct 11, 2013.  6th baby, so much love!