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Old 09-23-2011, 03:37 PM   #21
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Re: Please help me understand...

I think some of it comes from parents putting their likes and dislikes on foods without even realizing it. A few examples are as follows: A friend never introduced plain yogurt to her kids because she thought it tasted bad. She always started with sweetened. Another friend was surprised that my kids (1 and 3 at the time) would eat artichoke leaves and spinach. They had never even though to introduce them because they didn't think they would eat them. My DH never liked veggies when he was little, but all he remembers about them when he was little was his dad making faces and saying how yucky they were. So I do think that parents perceptions of food play a big part in this.

Also, there are many toddler formulas and supplemental drinks out there that are being touted as giving your child the nutrition that they are missing. I think many parents start giving these drinks to kids because they are worried about their kids not getting a complete diet. Unfortunately, if a kids fills up on these drinks, they will be less likely to eat regular food. They just aren't as hungry. So then because the toddler isn't eating as much regular food, the parents make sure that he gets his toddler formula to get the nutrients that are missing from his diet. And on and on.

My first kid was not picky at all. She still has a few dislikes, but they are things that she has tried and just honestly doesn't like. My DS on the other hand was much pickier when he first started eating. But I just never gave up. I kept offering the foods he pushed aside or spit out, and now he, just like his sister, eats almost everything I give him. But I just consider myself really lucky to have non picky kids!

We don't do a lot of snack foods around here. We don't buy crackers, or cookies, granola bars or cereal bars or even cold cereal. Snacks are cheese, fruit or veggies or salami (my kids new fave LOL!)

I do think that the foods a parent offers has a lot to do with what a kid eats. Although I do also think that some kids are more picky than others. But if a kid only eats some kind of junky food, that food had to be introduced at some point. I just try to keep the junk food out of the house so they aren't tempted to eat it and I'm not tempted to offer it!

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Old 09-23-2011, 03:37 PM   #22
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Re: Please help me understand...

My daughter has a lot of trouble with certain foods. We were making smoothies today and she surprised me by asking for a frozen blueberry. She chewed it a few times, and I was shocked, but then she couldn't handle the skin of it in her mouth and spit it back out. Into the blender...gah!!!!
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Old 09-23-2011, 03:46 PM   #23
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Re: Please help me understand...

That article is really interesting, but IMO it really only explains the picky phase kids go through. In terms of evolution, it makes sense; just like babies on the cusp of learning to crawl often go through separation anxiety with their main caregiver makes sense.

Just thinking outloud, what do you think the climate of food appreciation has to do with it? We don't allow for non appreciative behaviours at our table and we have always encouraged our children to be grateful for their food, even if they may not have chosen that particular item. At the risk of being burned alive for sounding too authoritarian, our kids know that they cannot say something is "yucky," they cannot spit food out (gristly bits or choking aside, of course) and they must show appreciation to the person who prepped the meal. We say a grace before meals that is not necessarily religious, but gives thanks for the meal and for family. I wonder if these expectations (right or wrong) have anything to do with our children's acceptance of new foods...?
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Old 09-23-2011, 03:55 PM   #24
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Re: Please help me understand...

Sure some of it might be lack of exposure. But, most of it is preferences in my opinion.

For example, my kids LOVED broccoli. It was their favorite veggie. We had it fairly frequently and I used to have to buy 2 stalks to feed 2 adults and 3 young children. Then, one day, my oldest wouldn't eat it. He ate the bites that we requested, but no longer liked it at all. We have experiencing like that randomly in my house.

The kids will eat, then not eat all sorts of things.
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Old 09-23-2011, 03:56 PM   #25
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Re: Please help me understand...

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Originally Posted by z2akids View Post
My kids are picky as well. They have to try 2 bites of everything I put on their plates. But, that doesn't mean they aren't picky. There are lots of foods that they wouldn't try at all if it weren't our family rule and they weren't used to it.

Given a choice at a buffet or the like, they would stick to several safe foods and would rarely pick something new.
Mine are the same way. And we also have the 2 bite rule.

ETA: My kids have all been exposed to the same foods and they all have very different tastes. For example, if I make a dish with rice, chicken, and veggies, DD1 will eat all of the chicken and a bit of rice and not want the veggies, DD2 will eat all of the rice and maybe 1-2 bites of chicken and not want the veggies, and DS1 will eat everything (plus what his sisters don't eat )!
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Old 09-23-2011, 04:05 PM   #26
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Re: Please help me understand...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geckmumto3 View Post
.

Just thinking outloud, what do you think the climate of food appreciation has to do with it? We don't allow for non appreciative behaviours at our table and we have always encouraged our children to be grateful for their food, even if they may not have chosen that particular item. At the risk of being burned alive for sounding too authoritarian, our kids know that they cannot say something is "yucky," they cannot spit food out (gristly bits or choking aside, of course) and they must show appreciation to the person who prepped the meal. We say a grace before meals that is not necessarily religious, but gives thanks for the meal and for family. I wonder if these expectations (right or wrong) have anything to do with our children's acceptance of new foods...?
I am totally with this.

My kids eat what I give them. We have taught them to be appreciative for their food. We remind them that some people have NOTHING to eat today and they won't get to eat all day long, they would LOVE to have your food that you aren't eating.

We don't let them call food "gross" "yucky" "nasty" ETC and we say a prayer of thanks before EVERY meal.

When my kids play the picky card with something they A) have eaten multiple times before or B) have never even TRIED - I respect their choice and they don't have to eat it, but I don't make them a whole new meal and they are absolutely forbidden to play with their food (BTW - where did this old school "rule" go??? I never see people enforcing this anymore! IMO playing with your food shows a true lack of appreciation and respect for what you have).

It may sound harsh - actually, I KNOW it does - but that is a natural consequence of being picky. I'm picky about certain things myself... which means when someone else cooks something and I refuse to eat it, I end up hungry.

As a result of this approach, our kids eat almost anything and everything.

We have one issue with each kid so far - DS has trouble with the consistency of rice and beans. He likes the flavor but once it's in his mouth, he chews it and can't seem to swallow it. I think the consistency gags him. But lately, this has been getting better. DD doesn't like tomatoes and she doesn't like onions.

I don't force them to eat foods that they truly do not like. And if I cook something with, say onions, I'll make DD a plate without any onions on it.

I'm reasonable. But at the same time, I think letting kids pick apart food, poke at it, whine about it, etc etc etc. is just too much. People are starving to death RIGHT NOW - either eat it or don't, your call, but for the love of goodness, don't complain that you have food.

Sorry, that turned into a rant.

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Old 09-23-2011, 04:08 PM   #27
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Re: Please help me understand...

Dd1 is very picky (but slowly starting to get better). She has texture issues with food and we fast learned making her take a bite would just make her puke. So pb&j is always an option at meals.

Dd2 will eat just about anything but sometimes says she doesn't like something simply because big sister doesn't like it. But she eats awesome at lunchtime when dd1 is at school.

DS is in the middle of the two girls - kind of picky but nothing like dd1.
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Old 09-23-2011, 04:16 PM   #28
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Re: Please help me understand...

I just think it's because they know what they like and don't understand nutrition. My favorite foods are bad for me and if I had no self control and didn't understand the need for healthy stuff, it would be all I would eat. I can make myself choose an apple over a waffle for breakfast; a kid doesn't understand that.
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Old 09-23-2011, 04:32 PM   #29
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Re: Please help me understand...

There is some research- please don't ask me to find it for you right now, I am battling a toddler.....that shows that breastfed babies are less picky than formula fed. The thought is that when babies drink breastmilk, it is flavored with whatever the mom eats, so the baby is already used to a varied diet of flavors from birth. This can also explain why babies in cultures where they eat very spicy food can eat spicy food from a young age. Anywho, that is my thought, although I do know some breastfed babies that have become picky kids, but their parents would say, "they will only eat hot dogs" and then never offer them stuff and give me the spiel that Emily said on here, "my kid never eats that/goes potty alone/uses a spoon with me". Sometimes I think it is about expectation. If they don't encourage it and constantly say their kid can't/doesn't....maybe the kid then just doesn't. None of my 5 have been really picky, but they go through stages. I think the teens are pickier than the toddler, but now that they are into working out and stuff, they mostly only want healthy foods! And the toddler will eat anything. A personal fav of his is roasted garlic cloves . I never did baby food or anything "bland" for them, just offered what we eat and we eat a huge variety of foods. If they don't like it at 1st, that's fine. I just have it there, non-judgmentally
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Old 09-23-2011, 04:33 PM   #30
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Re: Please help me understand...

I was going to quote a bunch, but lost my quotes so, here is the free form.

First the more kids are exposed to different foods, the more their window of what they will eat is opened. If you only feed a kid five things, repeatedly most likely you will raise a child who will probably not try new things. If a kid is raised eating only processed foods they begin to not be open to flavors outside their familiarity. I mean adults raised on only "meat and potato" style cooking often find it hard at first to try or enjoy say Curry, because the favor is so different from their norm. It can often take a few tries to actually enjoy a new food for adults or kids.

Kids tastesbuds change, just like pregnancy and other points in your life for adults your tastes can change. I loved peas as a small child I hit 5 and hated them. I still don't love them, but have found I like fresh peas cooked well now. Changing tastes can be expected, but often if a child is well exposed to food they will move on to other foods and maybe even come back to that food one day.

I have to say my sister is the pickiest person ever. She was constantly forced to eat things she hated. She would stubbornly avoid it as much as possible, but she was left with cold green beans more times then I could count. She still hates them, and is hard to get to try new things. She is the reason I would be afraid to ever push to hard. My personality on the other had was mostly easy going about food. I will try new foods, but since I always liked veggies not much was pushed on me, though I do tend to very specific how I eat things season wise, so I guess I am a smidge picky too

So far we have exposed DS to so many foods and it is amazing what he will eat. For lunch he had falafel and hummus, yesterday veggie chirizo, with bell pepppers and eggs, he loves new foods for the most part, which we love.
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