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Old 07.04.2015, 19:40
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Re: Food: A very picky son

Before I reply to your post, Nil, make sure he's been checked for allergies and food intolerances or celiac disease. Those are reasons which can make it very painful for kids to eat things and it isn't always easy for kids to be clear about it if something bothers them healthwise relating to food. Not saying that's the case here, but you might want to get this checked out.


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He will cries his eyes out for one bite of something new.
What is "something new"? Something that hasn't been put on the table, but belongs to his "known" stash of foods like rice etc.? If so, "You can eat what's on the table." If he is complaining that he wants something new in the sense of something he hasn't ever tried before (that is on the table/part of this night's dinner, e.g. olives) let him taste.

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It's a constant battle.
As harsh as this might sound, don't engage. Seriously, pick your battles. Let him help with food preparation, but if he disagrees with what's being served and refuses to eat, let him be. He'll eat when he's hungry. As I said above, make sure he has no allergies/intolerances which are interfering though, then you should adapt tactics to only serving foods he can tolerate (but again, without catering to his whims, he gets health-appropriate food that's on the table).

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We eat mostly salads at night with proteins. Since he doesn't want to try veggies, I am stuck with rice and pasta.
Salads sound healthy enough to me You're not stuck with rice and pasta, there's also bread, cereal etc. But I would not engage, as said above, and offer him what's on the table. If he only eats one part of it (e.g. bread), then so be it.

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My problem is the lack of options for him, I don't know what to serve him anymore.
(lather rinse repeat myself) don't serve him anything "special" i.e. something that isn't being served to the family as a whole (I assume you vary the salads and proteins and don't serve the same food to everyone for weeks on end ), that might make it fun to repeat this because "oh, Mommy will give me something I know if I fuss long enough, and this discussion is even more fun than eating what she ends up giving me" rather than "Maybe I'll try this unknown food so she'll stop offering it - oh no, I don't like it" 10 times and at the 11th - "Yummy, Mom!"

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Edit: if the rice is a different color then white, he won't touch it.
Fine, then he doesn't eat any rice.


He will eat when he gets hungry, really, don't worry. Have him checked, involve him in food preparation, but don't worry.
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Old 07.04.2015, 20:14
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Re: Food: A very picky son

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Thanks for the reply.

Yes, but do you cook something else for him? Let's say you want to have lasagna and obviously, he won't have it. Tough love and you'll eat tomorrow or you do something else for him? I hate to let him has his way but I don't want him to starve either.

So far, the only way I make him eat vegetables is in a cream veggie soup I do and I tell him it's chicken soup.

I certainly won't cook something else just for him! Anyway, it would be a nightmare: my daughter hates vegetables and my son hates meat... Between the two of them, they find something they like in most meals!

I never force them to finish their plates. But if they chose to eat two bites and then stop, they have to wait until the next meal.

That being said, neophobia and weird obsessions about food (can't eat food that touched another food on the plate, etc) is VERY common at that age. Since it's completely irrational, there's no way you can fight against it. Better keep your sanity, and simply ignore it. It will pass!
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  #23  
Old 07.04.2015, 20:54
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Re: Food: A very picky son

Children do need to build up their own preferences and to get a special nutrition based on their age and their sex, they cannot simply eat the same stuff adults do. Plus it's also their fantasy, their judging eye and the arrangement of food on the plate which play a big role.
Honestly, cooked vegetables are awful, Anglo-Saxon way of cooking (and eating) is an offense to anybody who knows a little bit about the myriads of different ways of how edible things can be prepared.
Raw salad is no good thing either, and if the doctors say it's alright preferring his Rice why shouldn't he get his rice? Is it so difficult or expensive to prepare (btw. I never prepare only one thing, once the pots are on the oven. Normally one should get primo secondo contorno and dessert at least once a day. This is normal, also in Switzerland).


To this day I hate butter and anything alike that kind of creamy white stuff. I love gipfel and croissants, for me it's enough that you don't see that terrible white cream. The reason is that my playmates when I was very young used to touche our playtoys with their creamy butter-oiled hands stinking of that rancid German trashy shit. Thank God Italians hate it, too. And still today, when I enter an English or a Canadian house (they are even worse than Germans in kitchen matters), I could vomit on the door. They stink.
My parents accepted me beeing picky on that, and today it's normally me to cook for them, as I'm much better than they are in cuisine matters. It's a pleasure for me to prepare different dishes for every gusto; who doesn't like what I thought could fit - don't matter, I have a fridge and a freeze.
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  #24  
Old 07.04.2015, 20:57
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Re: Food: A very picky son

I remember my mom cooking extra dishes for my brother well into adulthood! But she always said he did not eat when he was little. Then I had a son who literally ate NOTHING and I knew what she meant. He only drank chocolate milk. I am pretty sure he would have starved. He did not even eat chocolate.

But it did get better in the end. Took some years, but now he is tall and strong as an ox.
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Old 07.04.2015, 21:25
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Re: Food: A very picky son

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Children do need to build up their own preferences and to get a special nutrition based on their age and their sex, they cannot simply eat the same stuff adults do. Plus it's also their fantasy, their judging eye and the arrangement of food on the plate which play a big role.
Honestly, cooked vegetables are awful, Anglo-Saxon way of cooking (and eating) is an offense to anybody who knows a little bit about the myriads of different ways of how edible things can be prepared.
Raw salad is no good thing either, and if the doctors say it's alright preferring his Rice why shouldn't he get his rice? Is it so difficult or expensive to prepare (btw. I never prepare only one thing, once the pots are on the oven. Normally one should get primo secondo contorno and dessert at least once a day. This is normal, also in Switzerland).


To this day I hate butter and anything alike that kind of creamy white stuff. I love gipfel and croissants, for me it's enough that you don't see that terrible white cream. The reason is that my playmates when I was very young used to touche our playtoys with their creamy butter-oiled hands stinking of that rancid German trashy shit. Thank God Italians hate it, too. And still today, when I enter an English or a Canadian house (they are even worse than Germans in kitchen matters), I could vomit on the door. They stink.
My parents accepted me beeing picky on that, and today it's normally me to cook for them, as I'm much better than they are in cuisine matters. It's a pleasure for me to prepare different dishes for every gusto; who doesn't like what I thought could fit - don't matter, I have a fridge and a freeze.
I think you are being a bit harsh!! And if you ever vomited on my door i would make you lick it up!!
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Old 07.04.2015, 21:34
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Re: Food: A very picky son

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...
And if you ever vomited on my door i would make you lick it up!!



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I think you are being a bit harsh!!
...
Maybe, and maybe what I said seems exaggerated.


Anyway, there is something true in the good old ugly stereotype that foreigners smell. Anglo-Saxons, in a German view i.e. nose, smell. For the Swiss and the Italians already Germans smell. Figure the first.


It's the cooking thing. Germans, in the past, used to be having "Sonntagsbraten" once a week i.e. on Sundays. So they were smelling (i.e. their house, their clothes, their hair maybe) maybe till Monday or Tuesday. Now it's worse as they eat that stuff more often, plus modern apartments strangely love to have the kitchen not separated any more.


Think yourself with what kind of food the British and Canadians and that odd folks alike do start their day, already ...


Of course modern kids in a multiethnic Society like CH, having the choice, realizing what other mothers prepare for their children, prefer other stuff than that. Cooked vegetables and old meat, please.
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Old 07.04.2015, 21:42
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Re: Food: A very picky son

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Anyway, there is something true in the good old ugly stereotype that foreigners smell. Anglo-Saxons, in a German view i.e. nose, smell. For the Swiss and the Italians already Germans smell. Figure the first.

I love stereo-typing too. What nationality are you?
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Old 07.04.2015, 21:45
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Re: Food: A very picky son

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I love stereo-typing too. What nationality are you?
I'm a Swiss.


Yes, I know, also Raclette and Fondue smell. But you don't have them every day as ham n bacon, fried eggs, sausages and all that sh**.
If I were having them on a daily basis, the house would smell like a barn on a dairy farm, of course. Or a British apartment.
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Old 07.04.2015, 21:50
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Re: Food: A very picky son

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I'm a Swiss.


Yes, I know, also Raclette and Fondue smell. But you don't have them every day as ham n hacon, fried eggs, sausages and all that sh**.
Well yes, raclette and fondue do smell pretty bad. But nothing else does as there really isn't anything else, is there? If, as you write, you don't like cream then you're not going to be having that dull staple of rice with dull meat in a cream sauce so you're a bit stuck for things to eat.
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  #30  
Old 07.04.2015, 21:51
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Re: Food: A very picky son

I started having my picky son cook with me when he was 4 years old. He's now 10 and I'm his sous chef. I heap praises on him whenever he cooks so he gains confidence and learns to experiment with sauces. I also signed him up for a professional cooking class where he learned to make everything from scratch - sauces, pasta, ice cream. We cook and decide on the menu as a family. I often seek his opinion regarding how to pretty the dish - "how about adding some slices of red and yellow pepper so that the pasta won't look so boring?" With the empowerment given to him, he's learned to enjoy a wider repetoire of cuisines too. I highly recommend trying this route. Good luck.
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  #31  
Old 07.04.2015, 21:55
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Re: Food: A very picky son

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Well yes, raclette and fondue do smell pretty bad. But nothing else does as there really isn't anything else, is there? If, as you write, you don't like cream then you're not going to be having that dull staple of rice with dull meat in a cream sauce so you're a bit stuck for things to eat.
Never said my butter-hatred would follow logics. It happens I don't play with stinky rancid toys anymore.


Anyhow, my point is:
Look, even between (or within) not so distant cultures there are big differences in cooking and eating, in accepting what is edible and what is not, what smells and what is OK or even delicious.

Figure Youngsters with a very different pattern with regards to olfaction and taste.

If the damn rice don't harm the boy, let him have his damn rice.
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Old 07.04.2015, 21:58
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Re: Food: A very picky son

Unconvincing troll is unconvincing.
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Old 07.04.2015, 22:00
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Re: Food: A very picky son

That reminds me, we have done a couple of classes at the Alimentarium which we all loved (with the kids).
http://www.alimentarium.ch/en
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Old 08.04.2015, 03:25
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Re: Food: A very picky son

Yeah, I have kids like that. I generally cook at least one thing I know that each kid will eat and then don't worry about it too much. My deal with the kids is if they try most of dinner and they want to, they can make a sandwich, have a spoonful of peanut butter, glass of milk, a yogurt, after they've tried stuff.

Some of that stuff is really typical though. No sauce, not mixing foods, etc. It is the age. And it drives parents nuts. And they outgrow it, usually.
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Old 08.04.2015, 10:17
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Re: Food: A very picky son

Being that it is your son and "that" age where he is trying his independance just try and ignore it a bit and not let it get to you. Our 2 boys are good eaters but fussy in their own way. The younger would eat pasta every day with a creamy sauce so I make a big batch and freeze it then when it is half frozen cut it into plate size servings. He doesn't get it every time he asks but it is there for a quick fix when it is critical.
Absolutely worthwhile is planting some tomatoes and gerkins in pots (or garden if you have it) they are his plants so he will eat them. On mixing food this is not unusual at this age so we make a plate of salad for "apero" for them normally only gerkins, tomatoes, red peppers or carrots, we ask them what they want but normally one will only eat gerkins for a week the other tomatoes, next week it will change. With mashed potatoes a bit of nutmeg or cinamon can help, start with cinamon or nutmeg flavoured biscuits to test the water on his prefered spice and then sprincle a bit on the potatoes, our boys love garlic so we often add dried garlic to the mash which works for us.
For other parents with babies, adding a bit of aromatic spices to baby purees is a good way to avoid there problems in the future. Our older son will try anything because he was a text book baby with introduction to solids using spices, our younger would not eat any purees or solids until 13 months and then straight onto what ever we were eating so horses for courses.
For me what is most important is meal time is stress free even if you need to make an extra dish, the problem is when they have been a defiant little shit the whole day and you get get to dinner and they refuse food, it is the last straw so then it becomes a battle of wills!!
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  #36  
Old 08.04.2015, 10:35
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Re: Food: A very picky son

Nil, I feel your pain, I have a 21-month old who is driving me nuts with his eating. Or not eating, to be precise. Especially frustrating as he does not seem to have objections to any foods as such, but can refuse to eat something that was totally acceptable yesterday, and is fine again tomorrow.


There are some very good ideas on this thread, but those would work for a little older ones than mine, to whom you can explain that if they don't eat, they won't get anything else and should not complain. If mine doesn't eat, he is hungry, whiny and annoying, so simply not feeding him is not a solution either. Any advice for toddlers?
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Old 08.04.2015, 10:45
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Re: Food: A very picky son

Just FYI, some kids will just not eat so the "explain to him that he will be hungry and he will eat" doesn't always work. Or more plainly, my son will always take it farther than I am willing to push it. I tend to feel that kids should have some control over what goes in their bodies but more than that, it can seriously backfire when the kid gags on something routinely and learns to hate it for life.

Cook things separately, mix together at the end of cooking, setting aside a portion for the kidlet, have a backup plan.
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Old 08.04.2015, 12:02
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Re: Food: A very picky son

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Nil, I feel your pain, I have a 21-month old who is driving me nuts with his eating. Or not eating, to be precise. Especially frustrating as he does not seem to have objections to any foods as such, but can refuse to eat something that was totally acceptable yesterday, and is fine again tomorrow.
That seems normal - adults sometimes don't want the same food 2 days in a row either

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There are some very good ideas on this thread, but those would work for a little older ones than mine, to whom you can explain that if they don't eat, they won't get anything else and should not complain. If mine doesn't eat, he is hungry, whiny and annoying, so simply not feeding him is not a solution either. Any advice for toddlers?
Make food more interesting in any way you can think of.

Offer him food during mealtimes. If he doesn't eat then, he doesn't get food until the next meal. Yes that sounds harsh, but as you shouldn't only feed toddlers 3 times a day I believe it is a solution.

Involve him in food preparation similarly to an older kid even if that makes food preparation take longer - let him put potatoes in the cold water, stir batters while directing his hands, add pre-cut salad ingredients to the salad bowl with his hands, cut out cookies/vegetables/fruits with fun-looking cookie cutters etc.

Don't mention "but you ate this yesterday", instead go for a simple "We [parents] like this food" (without adding health/strength-related reasons to that statement). Ignore his tantrums, just calmly offer him food over and over again during the meal. After mealtime, remove the plate and anything food-related until the next meal. Don't let this evolve into a power struggle.
Don't explain that "we eat during mealtimes" for now if you think he's too young, just let him see that his parents do so and he will want to do what you guys do sooner or later (I assume you aren't eating all the time outside of meals either?).
Also don't tell him to not complain, it won't change anything.
Turn one or two days a week into "Mealtime fun" day (mark this day with something in a calendar so that he can see when these days are/aren't). During those days make meals extra fun.

Kids learn how to say no/establish boundaries in many ways and this seems to be one way your son is doing it. I believe this is a very important ability for anyone to have. Let him be even if it's annoying to you.
Also, please don't start "one bite for [person 1], one bite for [person 2]"-like bribes/games, that can override the kid's ability to learn to rely on his satiety/hunger signals.

As for serving sauces/foods mixed:
Place sauces and other foods on the table separately and offer the possibility to not mix including tableware that facilitates eating non-mixed foods.
Sometimes I like sauce in a small bowl and rice/noodles in a plate, then add a spoon of sauce at a time to my starch while eating, thus avoiding it getting soaked and unappealing. By doing this with salads, you'll avoid them going soggy too.

Last edited by glowjupiter; 08.04.2015 at 12:21.
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Old 08.04.2015, 12:31
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Re: Food: A very picky son

thanks glowjupiter - now I'm concerned for a totally different reason, as it has not even occurred to me to discuss the health benefits of food with my son, and he certainly does not know the calendar yet. Ah well, at least he is cute, if not too smart..
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Old 08.04.2015, 12:32
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Re: Food: A very picky son

I second those who say don't bow down. It can start with making another dish for your little boy, and the next thing you know, you are dealing with a child who expects that you must say yes to his other whims (and boy, do they have so many at that age!).

Have you tried making some of the food he does not like in a different "form"? Our little one does not like mushrooms, but the other day we served him some mushroom soup, which he gulped down. He even asked for if he could finish his brother's bowl! Interestingly, he is now eating mushroom (in my pasta sauce) which he refused to eat before.

Another way to encourage kids to try different groups of food is to talk about the good vitamins and minerals and how some food are important for healthy teeth, muscles and bones. How some food give them more energy, so they can run faster, jump higher. Recently our dinner chats have been about what animals eat. My little one now wishes he were a rat, so he could eat food from the floor. Oh well, you can't have it all!!

Good luck and keep strong
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