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Help: 21 month old son is a "semi" picky eater...suggestions to help?

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Help: 21 month old son is a "semi" picky eater...suggestions to help?

Old 04-14-07, 10:07 PM
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Help: 21 month old son is a "semi" picky eater...suggestions to help?

OK OK...I know, it is common and I'm not sure if this is the best place to ask but I'm gonna anyway. And before you say, "read the 8 year old breast feeding thread" I am already laughing and creeped out by that...

My wife and I both understand that many kids this age are very picky but we are just trying to figure out the best way to introduce and eventually get our son (21 month old) to eat what we are eating..

My son is very active and seems very healthy. However, we would love for him to eat more than the usual meals which ALWAY consist of the below:

Breakfast:
1.Waffles or Pancakes (we usually sneak in flak seed, fruit, etc)
2.Yogurt (just began spiking with Poly Vitamin Drops)

Lunch and Dinner:
1.Cheese Quesadilla -or- Crackers w/ Turkey hidden by avocado (he wont eat turkey unless we hide it under the avocado) -or- Annie's Mac and Cheese.
2. More Yogurt
3. Choice Fruit: 1/2 Apple, 1/2 Fragrant Pear, Strawberries, Cantalope (sp), Watermelon
4. Graham cracker sticks for dessert

Snacks:
Cereal, Crackers

He drinks water 90% of the time and a little bit of whole milk. No juice (which we think is good). We are hoping to get to the point where he will eat whatever we are eating...including vegetables. He wont touch anything but what was mentioned above and when we try, he cries and begs for the usual. So whats next? Any suggestions?
Old 04-14-07, 10:19 PM
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If he gets hungry, he'll eat his veggies.
Old 04-14-07, 10:37 PM
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All 3 of my kids were pretty picky eaters. Just feed him whatever he wants to eat so he's still getting food in his belly.

A GREAT place for advice like this is epregnancy.com. I used to spend way too much time there.

Good luck! It sounds like your son is just fine though and right on track for that age. Really. Keep up the good work!
Old 04-14-07, 10:51 PM
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Will he eat mashed potatoes? That's an awesome way to sneak in other veggies.
Old 04-14-07, 11:08 PM
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My son (2.5) doesn't eat much veggies either, almost never. But he does eat a ton of fruit. No juice, which I agree is a good thing. He loves milk but we have to put ovaltine in it. Some people frown on drinking chocolate milk all the time, but we don't worry about it. The ovaltine adds sugar but it also adds some nutrition too, so we really don't mind him having it if it gets him to drink his milk.

He also gets a flintstone vitamin every day. If you are not giving him a daily vitamin, I heartily recommend it. My kid loves taking his so much you'd think it was a piece of candy.

I don't think you have anything to worry about. Your son's diet actually sounds very similar to my son's (except mine does like to eat meat quite a bit). I think their tastes change naturally over time and trying to "force" them to eat certain things is a battle I don't want to fight.

That's not to say we let him eat whatever he wants. We give him options. If he doesn't want to eat broccoli or carrots, we offer him sweet potatoes or a pear. That brings up another suggestion, mashed sweet potatoes with a little brown sugar. My son really loves them and they are high in vitamin A.
Old 04-14-07, 11:20 PM
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Our 21-month old would drink only milk if we would let him and we usually feed him what we are having. He will always tries it and if he doesn't like it we will give him something we know he likes. If he eats even a little bit of it but not much, we don't give him anything else. Ours eats a lot of fruit also. He seems to have favorites for a while but switches them often.
Old 04-15-07, 02:32 AM
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Thanks for the tips so far. Sounds like he is as normal as I thought...

Mashed potatoes is a great idea...we will try and if it works we will definitely be sneaking veggies into his potatoes.

We do sneak vitamins into his yogurt (prescribed from doctor). He would love the chews but I asked the Doc for what she thought was best.

I'm having the BEST TIME EVER being his dad and I thank you all for suggestions...keep 'em coming if you have more.
Old 04-15-07, 02:58 AM
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I hated broccoli, cauliflower, mustard, sour cream and several other things as a kid and even into my young adulthood. Heck, I'm 24 and I just started to like broccoli. Give it time!
Old 04-15-07, 09:10 AM
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I'm going on 30 and am still a picky eater. My mom used to try to feed me different things, and one time she tried to give me a chicken pot pie and I guess I vomited all over the entire house. From that point forward, she never made me try anything I didn't want to, but always offered.

Throughout the years, I've come to try new things that I like, and some that I dislike. It wasn't until a few months ago that I had broccoli for the first time and hated it. I also didn't use to like steak, but now I'll take a good filet mignon any day of the week.

I wasn't quite as picky as your kid, I don't think. But I turned out okay as taste buds tend to change over the years and things that I liked as a kid (like mustard), I can't stand now, and also vice versa.
Old 04-15-07, 10:11 AM
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My son will eat anything but tomatoes. You name it, broccoli, peas, steak, chicken. Now my girlfriends daughter won't eat anything unless it's PB&J, chicken nuggets and french fries, or spaghetti o's. It's always a struggle when we eat together because he just eats and she won't. I'm glad you made the thread because I was looking for ideas for her.

For my son his mom and I have the same rules. You eat what is made for dinner at our house's. If not then you don't eat. I know people are going to scream "OMG they have to eat something!" Well he did when he got hungry, what we made. Sure it was a struggle for a few weeks but now it's no problem. He's learned, as we have, what he likes and we don't get the "I don't like it" before they've ever had it.

Just remember though that every child is different. What works for one won't always work for another.

Last edited by kantonburg; 04-15-07 at 10:13 AM.
Old 04-15-07, 10:19 AM
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Try him out with raw snow pea pods as a snack. Call them "sugar peas". They are crunchy, and a little sweet.

It sounds like he is getting a pretty nutritious diet, anyway. All kids go through phases where they don't want to try new things. So, try introducing new foods as snacks, rather than at meals. They will be less threatening.
Old 04-15-07, 10:29 AM
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Careful with the "if he's hungry issue". When my son was little he was extremely picky. Incredibly picky. So bad we took him to the dr who pronounced him healthy. So he suggested the "only offer him veggies or stuff he doesn't like. He will eventually eat". So we did. On the 2nd day, we called the Dr. as he had not eaten at all. Dr. was surprised, but said keep it up. After the 3rd day the dr. called to see how things were going, son had still not eaten. On the 4th day the Dr. said he had never seen someone last this long and now the dr was getting nervous about creating long term eating issues. So with the Dr. suggestion we gave up.

Today my son is a very healthy 16 year old. And tho if given a preference has has two or three things he really prefers he will eat about anything. Salad is now one of his favorites. And he will eat veggies.

As he grew older and started hanging with "friends", it was the peer pressure that finally got to him. He would go to a pizza party and be the only one not eating. So he felt bad and finally caved. Or go to a swim party and was the only one not eating a hamburger, so he caved. Things like that.

I'm not saying you shouldn't try...but if you are really concerned get your dr involved and make sure you don't "over" do it.
Old 04-15-07, 08:51 PM
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Well, my dad used to always force me to eat when we had something I didnt like so now I have a slight eating disorder. Probably not a good idea to go with that suggestion, but Im not a picky eater so, you have to take the good with the bad .
Old 04-15-07, 09:05 PM
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I think offering choices is always a good bet. Not "what do you want to eat" but "you can have peas or carrots. which do you want?" It worked with my nieces.
Old 04-16-07, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by melbatoast
Just feed him whatever he wants to eat so he's still getting food in his belly.
Old 04-16-07, 12:19 PM
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My sister-in-law used to make meat loaf that had vegetables ground up and mixed with the meat. That way the kids got vegetables even if they didn't eat all the ones that were served with the meat loaf. Sneaky, she was.

Also, give him raw carrot and celery sticks and let him dip them in ranch or Green Goddess dressing. Good stuff Maynard! You can also substitute plain yogurt or sour cream with some Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix if you'd rather.

Originally Posted by kantonburg
For my son his mom and I have the same rules. You eat what is made for dinner at our house's. If not then you don't eat. I know people are going to scream "OMG they have to eat something!" Well he did when he got hungry, what we made. Sure it was a struggle for a few weeks but now it's no problem. He's learned, as we have, what he likes and we don't get the "I don't like it" before they've ever had it.
I'll agree with you here in that it is very rude to criticize food that is prepared for you by someone else. Children should never be permitted to do that. But ...

Although I don't have kids, I had parents who forced me to eat things I hated, and I've had struggles with food all my life. Therefore, I don't know how great an idea it is to make an issue out of food. If they won't eat, then take the food away and make them wait till the next meal, but don't get into arguments over it.

I also realize kids have to learn to like different kinds of foods. So I'm torn on the issue. But I think any dissent should be greeted matter-of-factly, with no "drama."

Last edited by Vibiana; 04-16-07 at 12:34 PM.
Old 04-16-07, 12:32 PM
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Am I the only one who finds it a bit odd that a child of that age will eat avocado but not turkey...

A fresh turkey sandwich was one of my favorite foods growing up and still is.
Old 04-16-07, 12:46 PM
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if they don't like what you serve, just take the food away and put them back in their cage until the next meal

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