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3 year old fussy eatter

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
my 3 year old son is a very picky eatter. Thinkgs he'll eat are apples, chicken fingers, potatoes, rasberries, skinless grapes, bologna, bacon, crackers, and pnj on toast. Also any junk food obviously. He also like yogurt.

I need him to open up to more foods like beef and pork ect. I want him to get into veggies too.

Do you guys have any tricks? Or ways to coast young children to widen the horizens with food?

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks
Arugula
post #2 of 17

I would not worry about expanding the palatte of a 3 year old yet.  We went through similar with our two boys.  The best advise we got from our pedatrician was to "go with the flow" and don't worry about it.  In our case it was not just fussy eaters, but one of the boys only ate every 3 days.  No kidding... we thought he'd wither from malnutrition!  At about 5 or 6 they both started tasting bites of our food.  Some agreed with them; others didn't.  As time progressed they liked more and more different types of food.  Now at 15 and 9 they eat almost anything and everything.  They have developed very sophisticated palattes.  We now cringe a bit when we go to a restaurant because no longer can we order a cheap kids meal, or the mac-n-cheeze... but it is the high-ticket items that they crave... and they enjoy it all and lick their plates clean so we can't complain.  Go with the flow and don't worry... but keep offering little bites of "the good stuff"!

post #3 of 17

My son was an incredibly picky eater when he was younger.  I used to plate his food into cartoon or animal faces to try and entice him to eat more.  It worked for a while.  Also pureed veggies & added extras to pasta sauces & whatever else I could get away with.

He's still pretty picky (almost 12 yrs old) - trick now that he is older is to not tell them what is it on the plate - if he has an idea in his head he doesn't like something he won't even try it.  Always said he didn't like chinese food - put some beef & broccoli on his plate with some rice and he gobbled it up.  Told him the next day what it was.  His response - 'oh I guess I do like chinese food'.

My daughter has never been very picky but ever since she was little I always have let her try whatever I am eating.  Now she is willing to taste just about anything though I also do not tell her what it is until after she has eaten it.

 

Best of luck.  Now my picky son's favourites are broccoli & brussel sprouts (side from the pizza of course :)

~MissyD

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~MissyD

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post #4 of 17

Hunger is the greatest condiment. 

post #5 of 17

I absolutely agree. 

 

Quote:
Hunger is the greatest condiment.

 

post #6 of 17
My kids were not fussy at that age but became fussy during adolescence. My son to this day is a meat and potato guy. My daughter not so much.

You can't lay on the beach and drink rum all day unless you start in the morning

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You can't lay on the beach and drink rum all day unless you start in the morning

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post #7 of 17
I believe most of the times "fussy eaters" are just bored by food that don't sound or look interesting or because they look "yukky".
I started telling stories about how the dish is prepared and where it come from adding "spicy" details to my 2 yrs old and now he is 4 and eat basically everything i "involved" him in. Obviously he has some stuff he really cant manage to eat, like spicy food or spinach. But he does everything from risotto to chicken hearts, from liver to almost all seafood (looooves guac and shrimp!).
I started also to involve him in the cooking process and that really helped the range of foods he really was comfortable with.
Its a trial and error anyway, so it's really up to you. Only real suggestion is don't hold back!!!
Ciao
Ivan


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post #8 of 17

One good way to make a kid a permanently picky eater is pressure him to eat things.  That's guaranteed.  Some lifelong food hatreds arise that way. 

 

But if it's any consolation, I read (or was told by someone who had read) recently that some babies begin solids and eat practically everything, broccoli, even peppers, meat, fish, etc, esp when presented as pieces they can pick up themselves. 

But then, whammy, from one day to the next they only eat a very limited list of things. 

 

Apparently, when kids get to the crawling and walking age and can get at all kinds of weird stuff that could be on the ground, the curiosity to taste new things diminishes.  Presumably this protected our stone age ancestors from eating dangerous stuff on the ground (animal droppings, poisonous berries, etc).  Their tastes become limited to the few things they're really familiar with.  So they develop a very limited range of things they consider edible.  only later, as they approach 5 and 6 will their tastes broaden again, but only if they haven't been pressured with the "clean plate club" kind of stuff.  Imagine being forced to eat stuff you don;t like long after you're already full - if they're not hungry they're not hungry, and only they can know this. 

 

A famous study had parents and kids all living in a place where there was a buffet of all kinds of foods at kid height, and they served themselves whatever they wanted.  One day one kid might eat all fruit, another day all bread, another all meat, sometimes very little and sometimes a lot, but at the end of the week they all had made themselves a balanced diet.  It's bartering with food that really screws up eating (no desert till you had your liver, no desert till you've finished your meal).  I wanted desert, so i ate till i was overstuffed every night to get the cookies or ice cream.  To this day i don't really know when i've had enough.  I wouldn't want to saddle a kid with that.  And overcooked string beans and peas still make me gag. 

"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #9 of 17

I know a lot more about feeding kittens and cats then kids. However when I visit my wifes daughters house and seeing her feed kids, starts me wondering . It seems as though there is no thought involved, she opens a box of macaroni and cheese,a glass of  juicy juice? and some grapes. I don't blame kids for getting fussy if this is given to them a lot. My mom and grandma used to plan meals.

CHEFED
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CHEFED
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post #10 of 17

Yeah, of course, you have to actually offer some decent food for them to choose from!

It's not so hard to cook from scratch, which is why the snobby websites and cookbooks and tv shows that want to make it seem like some secret and unattainable art make me mad.  Everyone can cook good stuff.    Both my kids were fussy eaters, like most kids, and both do a lot of cooking now and my granddaughter's favorite dish has always been lentil soup.  If you only give them crap things, they will pick the crap things that they find most familiar - if you give them good things, they will pick the good things they find more familiar. 

 

Anyway, Ed, kittens and cats can teach any kid something about being fussy eaters, eh?

"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #11 of 17

A great way to get your kid to eat more vegetables is to prepare 2 kinds and then allow them to chose which one they get to eat.  Once they have chosen then they have to finish all the vegetables on their plate.  Giving them the choice engages them in the process and I have found that it makes getting my daughter to eat her veggies much easier when she feels she has a say in what she has to eat.  This may not work in getting them to try new veggies but at least I know she is eating some.

post #12 of 17

I coincidentally read this article last week. It's about children "acquiring taste". My son was very picky too when he was young. Now he'll eat us out of house and home.

 

 

http://www.extension.org/pages/23086/serve-new-foods-7-15-times-to-get-toddlers-to-taste-it

“After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relations.”
Oscar Wilde

 

 

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“After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relations.”
Oscar Wilde

 

 

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post #13 of 17

That is a very good article that coresponds with my personal experience.  I'd add only one thing: let the kikkies help with the preparation and cooking and serving.  That has encouraged my kids to try (and like many) new foods that are quite "adult".

 

In fact, it even seems to help if I explain (at a basic level) where the food comes from and what it is related to.  The last such conversation had to do with pork hocks.  My son's first reaction... people actually eat those things?  We used a stuffed animal to demonstrate the location of that food item and had a brief discussion about tasty meat being the most used parts of the amimal.  Piggie, the stuffed animal, even joined us for supper as we shoveled down a really great meal.

post #14 of 17

Ever since the 60s with the emergence of the working mom/house-wife. Kids food and their education has gone downhill.At least here in US.

Mom cant do it all, dad should help to.as she is helping him pay bills.

CHEFED
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CHEFED
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post #15 of 17

As I read through this thread, I felt as though cannot contribute,

as we do not have children.  But, really, I do have one very large little boy, DH.

For as long as I have known him, it was, 'ew, I don't like that'. 

Did you feel the Earth move this morning? 

He had a bowl of yogurt and fresh blueberries and loved it,

'why haven't we had this before? is this good for you?'

REALLY???

post #16 of 17

Arugala hi,

 

All my 3 boys struggled with meat as wee ones. seems it was the chewing of actual meat that bothered them?? So we made patties, or meat loafs, meatballs, together. Mixing meat, veggies and seasonings in the food processor. Always with them helping. experimenting. Having as much input from them as possible. Also introducing vegetable protein now and then. Fried Tofu with Asian recipes was a hit as was quorn chicken. 

 

2 became chefs like their me. the other is an amazing cook but not for a career.

 

Asian salads are truly inspirational. Google them.  They combine meat, fish and veg like no other.

 

experiment together is my advice and enjoy laughing at your mistakes every bit as much as enjoying your triumphs

 

Good luck

"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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post #17 of 17

I also had that problem with my kids but I gave them a variation of dishes that they won’t get bored with a particular taste. Then of course they really enjoy their meal. But your kid is just 3 years so give him some time.

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