forum: Food & Drink

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#1 Fri 02 Oct 09 9:47pm

annemarie28

Member
Member since Fri 06 Mar 09

Children

I have a seven year old who wont eat any vegetables and the only fruit he eats is bananas. He lives on waffles, potatoe cakes, fish fingers and sausages. I have tried everything to try to introduce new flavours and tastes into his diet with no sucess. I am really worried that this diet will cause him health problems. He is a very active child and gets plenty of excercise but this can not be good for him. I also have a two year old who is completly the opposite, she will eat anything.  Any advice would be much appreciated!!

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#2 Fri 02 Oct 09 9:55pm

Mr Grumpy

Forum champ
Occupation Sh*t Finder
From Coventry
Member since Sat 22 Dec 07

Re: Children

The potato cakes could be a "fifth column" perhaps.  What about making them with spinach, sweetcorn, grated carrot, even peas?

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#3 Sat 03 Oct 09 12:20am

JoyYamDaisy

Forum super champ
From Melbourne Australia
Member since Sun 12 Apr 09

Re: Children

Growing some plants might help. Tomatoes and peas in next spring could intrigue him enough to try them, and they will be the most beautiful tasty ones to start on.

Going for a week without waffles, potatoe cakes, fish fingers and sausages in the house would be an interesting experiment!
He won't starve himself.

All those things can be made with good ingredients, for example, waffles can be made with any mixture of grains and legumes, true! So if you have a waffle iron you can do some experimentation. Ask me about it if you are interested.

When you make the potato cakes mix some other veggies in: (presuming they are made of mashed potato?). Add some mashed carrot or pumpkin  or sweet potato, and call them golden potato cakes. (Just reread Mr Grumpy Great Minds Think Alike!.)

There was a great fridge magnet put out here that said:
"You decide WHAT they eat and WHEN they eat
They decide IF they eat and HOW MUCH they eat."

Once you get the rhythm of that going it will all fall into place.

Talk to him about the research that shows kids have to try things 10 times (not all at once! wink ) to get the brain used to the flavour. Get him to choose something he could try  Each day for 10 days. eg a sliver of apple. Whether that works or not, then go onto another fruit or veg.

It seems that the more someone avoids veggies the more horrible they taste in the mouth, so let his body have time to get used to it.

Getting him involved in cooking can be a great thing to if he is interested.

It is also a spiral, you want him to stop spiralling into the awful diet and illhealth - so now you need to gently gently start him spiralling out of it, once he is going in the right direction it will get easier and easier..

Do whatever you have to, get good professional help if you can find it, because this is the foundation to his future.

Good luck and Best Wishes

smile

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#4 Sat 03 Oct 09 4:16am

chocolatl

Member
Occupation mom and writer, in that order
From Illinois, USA
Member since Thu 22 Jan 09

Re: Children

Have him help you cook.  It's amazing how much better food seems to taste to children (and adults!) if they've made it themselves.

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#5 Sat 03 Oct 09 9:42am

jutta73

Forum champ
Occupation Cook, cleaner, nanny, personal assistant, shopper - all without pay!
From Melbourne, Australia
Member since Mon 20 Apr 09

Re: Children

JoyYamDaisy I agree with the below comment and all your suggestions are great.

There was a great fridge magnet put out here that said:
"You decide WHAT they eat and WHEN they eat
They decide IF they eat and HOW MUCH they eat."

My 3 year old will only eat meat and pasta at dinner time, and maybe a little carrot. But I do not worry too much as she grazes on fruit all day, so I figure she is getting her vitamins and minerals and fibre requirements. And she is always in very good health.

My 1 year old grazes all day, she is not really a 'meal' eater, unless she is offered bolognese sauce with little star pasta, that gets eaten with gusto! But she will try just about anything and eats most foods. She will not be spoon fed, loves finger food, so once we accepted that things ran much more smoothly in our household.

I always serve up the same family meal to all. So my eldest always gets a balanced meal on a plate and we do not make a fuss over what she eats or how much. She is just 3 years old, and 102cm tall with healthy build so we do not feel we have to worry. We dice meat up for the 1 year old but she just chews away on the normal veg. Her favourite is the baby corn, the ones you find in asian stir fries.

But by 7 years old they are establishing eating habits, so I think it's good to try to tackle the problem. Hidden veg in meals is a good way to get some good food into him, but it could help for later on to serve it with your normal side servings of veg etc. I loved honeyed carrots as a kid, you could try that. Once you have steamed your carrot , just pop it in a saucepan with a little butter and honey until melted.

How about finely diced veg on homemade pizzas, or even incorporate these veg into a homemade pasta sauce or pizza sauce. Cheese sauce on veggies is always yummy. Maybe a pie with hidden veg, diced small.

Also be careful not to overcook veg, tastes best when just tender.

Oh, also homemade fried rice with diced veg, egg, bacon, whatever you want in it. Also stir fries with sauces but make the taste of the veg more palatable.

Will he eat soups or stews, as you can get veg into that and they are tasty.

Maybe have him help you select the fruit and veg at the shops, if he gets interested might be easier. See if he would like to help you prepare dinner. My 3 year old is just starting to help in the kitchen - she slices bananas and spreads butter and vegemite on toast.

I was just thinking back on my own childhood and we were never provided with a 'junk' food option at meal times. It would not have occurred to us to reject dinner and request junk. I had 3 older brothers and we always ate seconds. Our parents were good cooks, and we always had plenty of good food on offer. We were not kept away from junk, we ran a petrol station so always had junk on hand, but there was never any junk on the table at meal times. The only thing I regret is that they weren't so big on fruit and now I struggle to eat fruit, so it is something I always give my children a variety of every day.

While going cold turkey on junk in the house is an experiment that might be worth trying, I understand if it would test your own sanity.

Giving them a choice is helpful too. eg. would you like mashed potato or roasted potato? Things like that help that feel involved and might help.

Let us know if you want any particular recipes as sure between us forums members we could help out.

Good luck! I think it is grea that you are trying to correct bad eating habits at a young age, as it would be harder the older he gets.

  thumbsup

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#6 Sat 03 Oct 09 10:28am

The White Rabbit

Forum super champ
From Sydney, Australia
Member since Tue 22 Jun 04

Re: Children

I was a fussy kid but I wasn't allowed junk foods (harder to come by in those days in a country town), so I was fussy within the range of foods I was offered. No onion, no "bits", no roast potato (insane I know), often had just cheese on cooked pasta when the bolognese didn't appeal to me, i used to have fish fingers but it was a treat, maybe once a month, most dinners were meat and 3 veg (of which I'd mostly eat one); we rarely got desserts but there was fruit if we wanted it. My mum's lasagne which she started cooking when i was about 14 got me to be a bit more adventurous. I eat most anything now, still not keen on onion (it's a texture thing). I was a very strong willed child. My nephew is just like me, he knows his fruit and veg because Mr rabbit and I taught him from age 2, he's still fussy though. I think with some kids you just have to try to make sure they are only fussy with good foods (i.e. not fast food or out of a packet food).

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#7 Sat 03 Oct 09 12:19pm

ZenHarmony

Member
From BC, Canada
Member since Mon 09 Jun 08

Re: Children

From the time my kids were little, we had one rule when it came to food... if you don't like it, you don't have to eat it!  As a result, my kids were eating turnip when they were little and liking it, and although it could be challenging to put together a meal at times with a son who doesn't like mushrooms and onions, for the most part, they aren't fussy eaters. 

I grew up in foster care, 13 different homes in nine years, and except for the last home, I was continually forced to eat foods I didn't like, and to eat everything on my plate despite how full I was.  As such, I never had much of an appetite and spent too many years being overly skinny and really unhealthy.  Thankfully, both of my daughters are at a healthy weight and while they enjoy eating, they don't overeat, use food for comfort, or starve themselves to fit in.

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#8 Sat 03 Oct 09 12:34pm

jutta73

Forum champ
Occupation Cook, cleaner, nanny, personal assistant, shopper - all without pay!
From Melbourne, Australia
Member since Mon 20 Apr 09

Re: Children

I agree with you ZenHarmony. We let our kids eat until 'they' are finished and we do not make a fuss if they do not eat everything on their plate or not like a particular food. I think it is working well.

I hate listening to my brother yell at his kids to finish their dinner.

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#9 Sat 03 Oct 09 6:20pm

chocolatl

Member
Occupation mom and writer, in that order
From Illinois, USA
Member since Thu 22 Jan 09

Re: Children

I agree with you both.  I remember being forced to eat foods I didn't like, and it turned out later that I was actually allergic to one of them.  So there may be a good reason for a child's not wanting certain foods.
We would always insist our son try one bite of a new food, but did not have to eat it if he disliked it.  After 14 years of tasting, it's abundantly clear that he is never going to like rice, so I don't try to force it down him. 
As long as you make nutritious foods available, and don't let him fill up on candy and pretzels and such, he's not going to starve himself.

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#10 Sat 03 Oct 09 6:53pm

jutta73

Forum champ
Occupation Cook, cleaner, nanny, personal assistant, shopper - all without pay!
From Melbourne, Australia
Member since Mon 20 Apr 09

Re: Children

Absolutely chocolatl, we have healthy snacks available all the time in our house, mostly fruit and that works well. 'Treats' are only occasional so our 3 year old never 'expects' them and accepts us saying no quite well for a girl her age.

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