Tuesday, October 09, 2007


When Connor first started eating table food, he would eat anything. Anything. Broccoli. But ever since last year, when he had his first sinus infection, he has become the pickiest eater that I've ever seen. If he doesn't like something, he won't let us put it in his mouth. He will close his mouth and turn his head and strike out at the spoon that's holding it. And if we do manage to get something he doesn't like into his mouth, he will literally hold it on his tongue and then stick his tongue out and scrape it off his tongue. It's the most amazing and frustrating thing to watch. His diet consists now of bread, cheese, and fruit. Unless we can hide peas in his applesauce, but he's starting to get wise to that.

Any suggestions? Kinsey wasn't really like this much at all, so are we just waiting for his tastes to develop? Do we just keep trying things until we find what he likes? I'm curious about other people's experiences.


jim voorhies said...

I'm afraid it's go with the flow, Phil. My great nephew only ate meat and potatoes. Now tht he's 26, it's not a lot bigger selection. My youngest godson is the same way.

Jeff said...

let's us know if you figure anything out. Baylor is on the same diet, and I'll tell you that a diet of bread and cheese obviously has some undesirable side effects. She won't eat vegetables, but will eat fruit, especially dried fruit. So, we use raisins and cut-up prunes to supplement her diet. I also have tried to cut out the cheese and processed bread, and get a little more of the high-fiber grain cereal, etc.

Bottom line, I've tried to take the stance that if she doesn't eat what we give her, then we shouldn't just give her what she wants just so she'll eat. She won't starve. This obviously is harder when grandmothers are around.

Snapshot said...

The best advice is don't give up. The biggest mistake I've seen friends make with picky eaters is they just stop offering them any variety. ALWAYS offer a variety even when it's refused. Eventually they'll try things.

When he's a bit older, you can insist that he eat one bite of something. When my kids were little they would decide by the look of something that they didn't or did like it. I insisted they try one bite. Didn't have to eat all of it, but just one little bite. It's a bit harder when they are small and can't understand.

Now my kids (ages 16 and 12) eat anything. Sushi, loads of veggies, salads, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, plain ole American, whatever. They even both enjoy trying new foods! Which makes going out to eat as a family a real pleasure.

Like Jeff said, while you struggle through the picky stage, always offer the most healthy versions of what they will eat willingly.

Also, be careful with too many snacks and too much whole milk. They fill up on that and then at meal time aren't so interested in what's being served cause they are full already. I have a friend with a picky eater and she offers whole milk only when it's meal time and skim milk in between meals. Helps keep their appetite for meal time.

Also too much juice can reduce they desire to eat. Be sparing with the juice. Now they make those great vitamin waters and those can be great alternatives to a child who constantly wants a sippy cup in their hand.

Good luck, don't give up!

Jennifer Thompson said...

I don't have any advice on how to get a toddler to eat veggies, but do definitely encourage you to keep trying. I was pretty much strictly a meat-bread-and-potatoes girl myself till a few years ago (and still would be for the most part, given my preference). That led to some health issues for me, and if I had it to do over again, I'd really want my parents to make me eat those veggies when I was little. (Not that I blame them; I don't at all. I'm just saying.)

Of course, that kind of flies out the window when he's literally spitting out what you give him, so... sorry I can't help there. :)

Kenneth & Victoria said...

I am with snapshot 100%. After Grace turned 1 she became very picky about her food. It was incredibly frustrating, but I kept offering what she refused, and kept trying new things, and now at 3 she definitely has a varied diet. She almost always eats veggies, and sometimes refuses them, but she always has some offered to her. I guess that's all you can do. You can't make them eat, but always, always offer nutritious things. Eventually they will start eating more variety. I read somewhere that it takes babies many tries to start liking something, around 15.

I also give veggie snacks -- cherry tomatoes, pepper and cucumber sticks. When they are hungry at the playground they gobble it up.

Also, it helps if Connor seas you eat what you'd like Connor to eat. Kids want to eat what you are eating.

Sometimes you have to present food creatively for it to be eaten. My friend adds cut up veggies into pancakes, and they gobble them up. My kids stopped eating salmon lately, but would eat salmon cakes; no chard, but chard omelet. I also get an ice cube tray and fill it with variety of healthy snacks, like beans, cheese, cut up veggies, tofu, whatever. They love it.

I know it is pull-your-hair-out maddening right now, but just keep offering, and he'll start eating it, eventually. -- Victoria

Thomas+ said...

Put different food in front of him. If he is hungry, he will eat it. If not, give it to your bunny (which you must get just for things like this).

And say the Serenity Prayer.

That's all you can do.

fabricsnob said...

Dear Phil,
I puree all of my kids' foods and mix it up together. It's amazing what they'll drink through those bend-y straws. =)
Well, obviously I don't have children, but it made me think of mushy peas and that made me think of the pureed concoction.

But back to Connor. Is he just being willful and refusing food or is it that the foods aren't appealing because he can't interpret the smell and taste clearly through the sinus mess he's been dealing with? I think Sheryl and I were talking about the latter at some point. Good luck! -ME

Jonathan said...

NY Times article from today: Picky Eaters? They Get It From You

Tiffany said...

This was the topic on Oprah on Monday when I was home sick. She was touting Jessica Seinfeld's (yes, that Seinfeld) new book on getting nutrition into your picky kids. Dr. Oz had lots of great info, too. Maybe you, um, I mean Sheryl, could hit the website for some suggestions. The cookbook looks really cool, too. (Fabricsnob, it involves hiding veggie purees in other things. No joke.)

Jennifer Thompson said...

It's true. I saw a recipe on the Today show's web site from that same book which involved pureed sweet potato in pancakes. (I was trying to see how I could get myself to eat my veggies.) Hope your blender works! :)

Bennie said...

I suppose the sticking their tongue out thingy is a universal language among all kids that age. This post reminds me of one of my blog enteries, titled, "Is your picky eater driving you to drink?"

Good to know, that parents like me and many others are truly not the ones who are crazy :)

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