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Old 10-23-2012, 09:25 AM   #21
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I don't think going to bed without dinner is so terrible. I haven't parented a child that age yet, but DS 17 months has gone to bed without dinner before - only once or twice - and then he just eats a big breakfast. And when he gets dinner leftovers for lunch, he eats it.

We don't use food as a reward, we don't have "good"/"bad" foods in the house (no junk food, snacks, or much of anything in a package really makes that easy lol), and we do NOT do snack time. We have an early breakfast (6am), a late breakfast (10-11am), nap, lunch (2pm), and dinner (5-7pm). In our schedule, there isn't much room for snacks that wouldn't spoil a meal (kids and husband alike! Lol).

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Old 10-23-2012, 11:08 AM   #22
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I don't think there is anything Wrong with them going to bed without dinner either. They had the opportunity to eat and if they were hungry enough they would have eaten. I have 6 girls and gender plays no part in my decision either. They will learn they eat the dinner I prepare or they don't eat until breakfast. I just simply will NOT cater to picky eating, period.

That said my kids pretty much eat anything I cook because they have been taught this from the moment they start solids.

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Old 10-23-2012, 11:30 AM   #23
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Re: Picky Eater- am I being too hard on her?

I'm probably the pickiest adult eater you will ever meet. 2 reasons for this. I am a super-taster. I have a very high number of tastebuds on my tongue. I can taste ingredients that others can't. Most food is just too intense for me. Second reason is that I fall on the autism/aspergers spectrum and have sensory issues with touch and taste. This means that changes in food are dreadful. Everything I eat must have a consistent taste, texture, temperature etc... Even making a sandwich, all layers must be the exact same thickness. I consume all of one item at a time before moving on to the next. Heating up leftovers is usually impossible because of the temperature or texture problems. I absolutely hate being a picky eater and it has lead to all sorts of problems over the years (especially in social situations), but most food is just too overwhelming for me.

As a kid I was probably the pickiest kid out there. My parents tried everything, but nothing worked. I do have some very sad memories of being forced to eat things, or not having anything I liked available. I want to cry just thinking about it.

My kiddo is just 1, so I haven't had to deal with this with my own. But I do have some certain philosophies about kids foods. First off... don't make a big deal about food. The build up and anxiety is the worst part. As a sitter, I would see kids negotiating and counting down bites and just talking about the quantities. Just relax! I make a point of serving 4 or 5 items with a meal, all in reasonable portions (although I do like the idea of self-serving). When they want dessert or seconds of something the rule is that they have to make a reasonable attempt at everything on their plate. For some items this may just be the slightest lick. The idea is to expose them to the foods in a low-stress environment and let them decide if they'd like to eat them. There is nothing they have to eat (all foods must stay on the plate, no setting things aside on a napkin!). I may have to tweak this when my own are a bit older. But I was always surprised when the parents would tell me so-and-so doesn't like certain things even though I watched them take several bites!
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Old 10-23-2012, 08:34 PM   #24
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We have picky eaters as well. I usually have to do the same thing as you and leave off sauces, etc for the kids. That said, we have a very strict policy that there are NO substitutions! I do not run Mom's Diner! If somebody still won't eat dinner, they go to bed with empty tummies. My ten-year-old is becoming a very good eater now and I am able to serve her what I serve myself and DH. My seven and two-year-olds rarely eat dinner. They are all growing up healthy and are not underweight. I've learned after 10 years that they will eat when they are hungry, and that you can "lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink"! I think in our society we assume kids need way more food than they actually do and that is probably contributing to the obesity problem with kids. Just make sure you always offer healthy meals and keep snacking to a minimum so that they come to the table hungry. And give them a multivitamin to make up for missing nutrients.

I guess what I'm trying to say is don't stress about making them eat or sending them to bed without dinner. You're not being too hard on her and she will most likely grow out of it.
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Old 10-24-2012, 06:19 AM   #25
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Re: Picky Eater- am I being too hard on her?

I am going to disagree with so many people on this, not all children will learn to get over picky eating. Some kids have weird food preferences, just as some adults do. Some people will never learn to get over it and eat something, just as some adults will not eat certain foods.

I fight reallly hard against this idea as it reallly bothered me as a kid to see how family forced and forced my sister to eat things she hated. My sister hates a handful of foods, green beans were one, she would gag and puke them up any time she was forced to even taste them. They fought 1000 ways to make her eat them and she still to this day hates them.

She also has issues with overally hot and cold foods, blended foods, does not like soups, but is ok with some stews, she does not like condiments and over all probably might have some weird issue, but it is still the way she always tried to eat, but was forced not to as a child.

BUT she also developed a lot of eating issues, most likely because as she got older she developed the "need" to sneak foods since she never knew when she was going to be served food she hated and sent to bed hungry. This lead to more and more eating issues that have heavily effected her life. She is still trying to break old habits and still has issues trying new things, or feeling forced to eat something. Eventually I will say it lead to major over eating and reallly set her up for long term issues.

Because of the struggles, fights, tears and general madness, I saw, I swore I would never force my kid to eat something I know they hate. I do ask for one taste, if I know DS hates something he doesn't get served it, occassionally since he is still very young we revisit it, but try not to make it a big deal. What I saw with my sister greatly influenced how I do things with my DS.

I think one try of a new food, with a favorite and a middle ground food is a great idea. I personally think doing a adapted version of what everyone else is eating is a good meeting in the middle personally. But if it is not eaten, I suggest a simple alternative, most suggest a bowl of cereal or a PB&J sandwhich they must make for themselves. I think that teaches postive lessons, and teaches them better habits, then getting into a power struggle over food, which can lead to bad behaviors and problems in the future.

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Old 10-24-2012, 07:55 AM   #26
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Re: Picky Eater- am I being too hard on her?

I also kinda think of it this way...

If someone told us as adults...either eat this food you don't like or starve, how would you feel? Resentment? Anger? Frustration? I know I would. I just don't think it is worth making food a major issue, esp after dealing with DS's issues. We've seen the best of the best when it comes to feeding therapists, and every single one of them says to not make eating a power struggle.
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Old 10-24-2012, 08:05 AM   #27
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Re: Picky Eater- am I being too hard on her?

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Originally Posted by Fairycat View Post
I am going to disagree with so many people on this, not all children will learn to get over picky eating. Some kids have weird food preferences, just as some adults do. Some people will never learn to get over it and eat something, just as some adults will not eat certain foods.

I fight reallly hard against this idea as it reallly bothered me as a kid to see how family forced and forced my sister to eat things she hated. My sister hates a handful of foods, green beans were one, she would gag and puke them up any time she was forced to even taste them. They fought 1000 ways to make her eat them and she still to this day hates them.

She also has issues with overally hot and cold foods, blended foods, does not like soups, but is ok with some stews, she does not like condiments and over all probably might have some weird issue, but it is still the way she always tried to eat, but was forced not to as a child.

BUT she also developed a lot of eating issues, most likely because as she got older she developed the "need" to sneak foods since she never knew when she was going to be served food she hated and sent to bed hungry. This lead to more and more eating issues that have heavily effected her life. She is still trying to break old habits and still has issues trying new things, or feeling forced to eat something. Eventually I will say it lead to major over eating and reallly set her up for long term issues.

Because of the struggles, fights, tears and general madness, I saw, I swore I would never force my kid to eat something I know they hate. I do ask for one taste, if I know DS hates something he doesn't get served it, occassionally since he is still very young we revisit it, but try not to make it a big deal. What I saw with my sister greatly influenced how I do things with my DS.

I think one try of a new food, with a favorite and a middle ground food is a great idea. I personally think doing a adapted version of what everyone else is eating is a good meeting in the middle personally. But if it is not eaten, I suggest a simple alternative, most suggest a bowl of cereal or a PB&J sandwhich they must make for themselves. I think that teaches postive lessons, and teaches them better habits, then getting into a power struggle over food, which can lead to bad behaviors and problems in the future.
I, as usual, agree with this. My own kid isn't especially picky...for 2, she's a pretty good eater. But she already has preferences and aversions, and I do try to accommodate those. In general, she doesn't like green beans; never has. She didn't like them as a puree as a baby, she didn't like them as a first food, and she still doesn't like them. Sauce, no sauce, doesn't matter. But DP & I love them...it's nothing to me to cook her up a handful of carrots instead of the green beans, though. In general, as long as she maintains a relatively healthy, well-balanced diet, it's not a struggle I wish to engage in.

That's partly b/c, as I've posted in other threads, I'm picky, and have plenty of food aversion issues myself. I've gotten over tons of them (little did I know that ham was AWESOME but my mother was a lousy cook ), but there are plenty of things I just can't do. It's a combination of some "mouth feel" sensory things and being a supertaster. It drives DP (who is an incredible cook, but an undertaster herself) absolutely buggy...she has to leave out most of the herbs in dishes, we don't do a lot of sauces on meats, I NEVER eat fish or seafood, blah, blah, blah. Despite having made concerted efforts to overcome some of my aversions (I now eat scrambled eggs, zucchini, cabbage, & a number of other things I didn't like when I was younger), there are tons of things I just can't do, despite repeated attempts. I gag on chunky puddings, like rice or tapioca, I can't stand pretty much any beans, peas, or many legumes, sausage is a maybe, but only if it isn't too "herb-y" or coarsely ground. I KNOW how hard it is to manage food aversions in a home where, "You get what you get & you don't complain" & "Take all you'll eat & eat all you take" were common dinner refrains. My mother had NO problem with the food power struggle...and not only were there several nights that I fell asleep at the dinner table (as a young kid--under 5?) b/c I wasn't permitted to leave the table until I had eaten ALL of the squash I didn't want or whatever, I still remember & resent it. Don't get me wrong, there's a legitimate difference between true sensory stuff or aversions and general pickiness. There have been times where DD wolfed down chili, then the next week says, "I don't like that anymore." Well, sorry sister, but that's what's for dinner, you can eat the other things on your plate, you don't have to eat all of it, but you're not getting a snack afterward if you don't at least make a good dent in it.

On nights where she just refuses dinner, she generally gets a pb sandwich before bed (I refuse to deal w/ middle of the night crying b/c she's hungry). If she just wants to eat chicken & applesauce but not broccoli, we frequently tell her she needs to eat 3 pieces (or 3 spoonfuls, or whatever) if she wants a snack before bed. If she complies w/o argument, as she usually does, I figure that's her being picky & not a solid aversion.
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Old 10-24-2012, 08:12 AM   #28
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Re: Picky Eater- am I being too hard on her?

My 4 yr old eats what we eat, or doesn't eat. Lately that means she's not been eating, but I suspect she's just in one of those not eating stages.

My 2 yr old however...she would starve herself. She eats like NOTHING and it's not for lack of trying on my part. She has ALWAYS refused to even try stuff. She will put anything in her mouth that isn't a food, but she won't even pick up a fresh fruit or vegetable. Like acts as if it has burned her if you try to put it in her hand even. She won't eat fruits or vegetables in any form on their own-not raw, not cooked, not frozen, nothing. I still put them on her plate but she won't touch them. She won't eat eggs in any form-fried, scrambled, etc. She will eat chicken nuggets but ONLY tyson nuggets or McDonalds. I have tried homemade and she won't touch them. She won't eat any other meat at all. She won't eat any noodle, plain or with sauce. She will eat most breads-yesterday I was THRILLED that I got her to take a few bites of a peanut butter sandwich-and muffins (which I make and "hide" the veggies and fruits in,) and she will eat virtually any sort of cookie in front of her. She LOVES chocolate, dark chocolate, but she tried a sucker at the bank once (I was super impressed she even tried it) but immediately made the "that's the most disgusting thing ever!" face and dropped it on the ground. She will eat any sort of yogurt, but only with her fingers, she refuses to touch flat ware at all.

I believe one of her purposes on this earth was to teach me that not all picky eaters are created by parents catering to their kid's every food desire...some really are born picky. Because she is perfectly content to simply not eat if she doesn't want to touch what is set in front of her. And then she is cranky and irritable and all that no fun crap that comes from being hungry, but still refusing to eat what's set in front of her.
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Old 10-24-2012, 08:21 AM   #29
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Re: Picky Eater- am I being too hard on her?

The other day there was a thread about snacking. Which I think can cause a lot of problems with picky eating. If you are never really hungry then it is easier to say everything is yucky/touching and so forth. I would work to limit snacks during the day. A 6 year old really doesn't need them. I would however, offer a good bed time snack as you don't want her sleep to be disrupted by waking up hungry. Hang in there, it is so tough!
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Old 10-24-2012, 08:29 AM   #30
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Re: Picky Eater- am I being too hard on her?

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The other day there was a thread about snacking. Which I think can cause a lot of problems with picky eating. If you are never really hungry then it is easier to say everything is yucky/touching and so forth.
This is not true for all kids. There are some kids that just do not feel hungry the way the rest of us do. It is not a matter of "If she gets hungry enough, she'll eat."

I am a picky eater. I can't stand some textures. I think the poster a few posts up and I are long lost sisters...can't stand beans, legumes, chunky things, jelly, or creamy things. I don't like berries, though I have grown to tolerate strawberries with a lot of sugar, whipped cream, and cake.

I can relate to the PPer whose child won't eat homemade nuggets. I really suggest that you google Food Chaining. Your child is the poster child for one that would really benefit from it. You take a food kiddo really loves, and just subtly change it (within the program) to grow to like more foods.
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