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Old 02-07-2016, 06:25 PM
 
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If you nurse and eat a wide variety of foods, the baby is getting exposed to some variety in taste even before starting solid foods. I nursed my kids and started them on solid foods around 6-7 months. One wouldn't eat anything solid until well after a year (he only wanted to nurse), one ate what I gave him, and one couldn't keep her hands off everything she could find (she ate EVERYTHING). I would say all of my kids (teens/tween) have definitely food preferences, and there are certain things the younger two won't eat. But I wouldn't call them "picky," necessarily. They eat a wide variety of foods. All three eat any vegetable I put in front of them, so that's a good thing.
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Old 02-08-2016, 05:54 AM
 
Location: Finland
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Mine would eat anything when she was a baby (started on solids at 5.5 months) but found out at 12 months that she had lots of allergies which limited her diet and now she's really quite picky even though she's outgrown those allergies (has Coeliac disease now though which is a bit of a downer for her because the only food group she has consistently liked is carbs)
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Old 02-08-2016, 06:07 AM
 
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Babies actually get their palate from amniotic fluid and milk, which tastes of whatever the mother's been eating.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Ag 93 View Post
I think the term "picky" is thrown around too much, and is just another of the many ways that we unfairly judge ourselves and others as parents.

To me, a child who just doesn't like certain foods, or who stops eating them after previously liking them, is no big deal. We don't force adults to eat certain foods if they say they don't like them, why is this such a big deal with kids? If a child is getting a balanced diet and showing willingness to try new things, I don't see a problem. People's tastes grow and change over time, including children's.

When I think "picky", I think of behaviors around food that are more to the extreme. Eating nothing but a few foods for weeks or months on end; showing a complete unwillingness to try new things; not being able to eat a food unless it is prepared in a very specific manner......that sort of thing.
Mist adults I know have foods they don't like. I personally get to choose not to prepare foods I dislike, since I'm the cook. My kids don't have that option (as I remember when my husband cooks, because he cooks his favourites). The real problem is when kids go through a less hungry or restrictive phase and the parent panics, labels them picky and starts feeding them the same junk day after day.

Last edited by WildColonialGirl; 02-08-2016 at 06:31 AM..
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Old 02-08-2016, 06:13 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spchtx View Post
As infants/toddlers my kids were exposed to a variety of foods, and they both ate most fruits and veggies provided. My husband is a very picky eater, and he hated that his parents "forced" him to eat foods he did not like, so he did not want to go the route of "this is what is what we cooked, if your hungry you will eat." So the kids would started requesting different foods from what was cooked all the time. It drives me crazy, because I can never make a meal that more than 2 people like in my house, and there's almost always a request from all 3 for something to be different. One doesn't like red sauce, or the type of noodles that were cooked, or the way the food looks. I now have them make their own alternative meal, but I don't like that either.

I don't know what came first, the picky eating husband carrying on that gene or the kids just responding to his pickiness and the idea they didn't have to eat what was there. I do truly consider it pickiness for all of them. I used to like to cook, but now I hate to cook. I would much rather eat out, or let everyone fend for themselves. I know this is not ideal, but it is what it is! Fortunately, my husband and I are on the same page for other areas of raising kids, but this one is a battle I have tired of fighting. I will say, my now 14 yo is starting to experiment more, so maybe there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

To make matters worse, both my husband and youngest daughter were diagnosed with Celiac last year, so that has increased the difficulty of fixing meals for everyone.
Have you ever read anything by Ellyn Satter? In summary, short order cooking puts a lot of pressure on the kid and makes their relationship with food even less successful. Have you considered making each meal with enough components that everyone will like something, even if you have to slide a plate of banana onto the table at the last minute? That way every gets used to eating together, and you avoid all that psychological nastiness of labelling yourself 'picky'. It's not going to kill a kid to have just rice for dinner if they hate the meat curry and the veg curry and the yogurt. Or just carrots if they hate the meat and the potato and the green.
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Old 02-08-2016, 06:53 AM
 
Location: Florida
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WildColonialGirl View Post
Have you ever read anything by Ellyn Satter? In summary, short order cooking puts a lot of pressure on the kid and makes their relationship with food even less successful. Have you considered making each meal with enough components that everyone will like something, even if you have to slide a plate of banana onto the table at the last minute? That way every gets used to eating together, and you avoid all that psychological nastiness of labelling yourself 'picky'. It's not going to kill a kid to have just rice for dinner if they hate the meat curry and the veg curry and the yogurt. Or just carrots if they hate the meat and the potato and the green.
This is what we do/did during the "picky preteen" phase. All of the food goes on the table, and each person can take what they want (with the strong guideline being "only take what you are going to eat; you can always take more if you are still hungry!"). Complaints about what's served were never allowed; either eat it or don't, but if you complain about what someone else cooked, you will find yourself on dinner-cooking duty for a few days. If someone wanted to eat just potatoes, I wouldn't say anything about it. Once they realized that no one cared what they ate, they tended to just stop with the faux pickiness. They're also old enough that if they truly hate what's being served, they can make themselves a sandwich or a bowl of cereal. Those are the choices; they can't cook a whole separate meal. I would say that this happens approximately once per year per kid, if that.

I know that I probably totally lucked out in the eating department with my kids. I cannot stand hearing complaints about food and I could not tolerate pickiness; it would drive me up a wall! We host exchange students and one of them (out of ten) was extremely picky. She would sit there with a sour puss on her face during pretty much every meal and would mainly just eat the rice. It was a stressful year (not just for that reason) and when our next student arrived, I held my breath during the first few meals until I realized she would eat anything that wasn't moving (and that did not contain olives or cilantro, both of which she hates... but I can deal with that!). I hadn't realized how very much having someone reject food that I'd cooked (all food, not just one or two ingredients) bothered me. I don't know if I'm just extremely sensitive to it, or if everyone feels this way and just goes through their parenting years feeling perpetually stressed if they have picky children!
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Old 02-08-2016, 07:06 AM
 
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I used to tell my sons it is okay to be a little picky when you are little, but when you grow up it will look silly if you are picky.

I don't think it is forcing a child to eat something they don't want to eat. I remember "forcing" my son to try a fruit crepe at a French cafe. It was as if I was torturing him. He loved it Ahhh, one of those "I told you" moments. Mom wins!

So I think there is a fine line to forcing a child to try something and exposing them to different foods and not allowing them to be picky. I think most babies love all foods, it is as if it is a learned behavior when they become a toddler and see another person refuse a certain food.

I did find it humorous when my 20 year old son was forcing me to try some food I found disgusting when I visited him in Cairo when he was studying abroad. I asked him if this was payback time .
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Old 02-08-2016, 07:20 AM
 
Location: Florida
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Its up to the kid. My sisters husband is Korean and their first baby was given all kinds of food and loved it. Now she will try ANYTHING. The second kid they did the same thing and this one HATES so many types of food that the first likes.
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Old 02-08-2016, 07:23 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Ag 93 View Post
I think the term "picky" is thrown around too much, and is just another of the many ways that we unfairly judge ourselves and others as parents.

To me, a child who just doesn't like certain foods, or who stops eating them after previously liking them, is no big deal. We don't force adults to eat certain foods if they say they don't like them, why is this such a big deal with kids? If a child is getting a balanced diet and showing willingness to try new things, I don't see a problem. People's tastes grow and change over time, including children's.
I actually DO require myself to eat things I don't "like". It is a good skill to have. When a guest at someone's house or at an event, you can consume the meal politely without embarrassing yourself. Some nights we make something DH likes. I HATE red beans and rice. I hate beans and anything. But beans are economical. I try to think of it as a weight management plan. I eat just enough not to be hungry that night. Some nights we make things the kids like. I don't really like chicken riggies. Some nights we make something my daughter and I like. No one but is likes squash ravioli. We all smile, eat dinner, and move along. Meal time is about more than liking the food. And food is sometimes just nourishment.

So yah, some nights my kids aren't nuts about what is for dinner. They get over it.
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Old 02-08-2016, 07:30 AM
 
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Everyone is different. As long as they eat something be happy. We as adults don't like everything and kid's are the same. Everyone's taste changes throughout their life and it's alright I promise they will not starve and they will grow up to be healthy and happy. Don't force them to eat, they will eat if they are hungry and they may grow to like some things later on as they get older.
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Old 02-08-2016, 08:41 AM
 
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And language shapes our attitudes as well as expresses them. I grew up in a home with two parents who had lived through the Depression as children. If there were a prime rule about food it would have been to never say you hate it or to complain about it. That was treated nearly as though it was a sin. "Just be glad you have food" was the bottom line.


And, you know, it would leave you wide open for "the lecture." Nobody wants 'the lecture."


So I guess that carried into my family life. You were allowed to not like something, you just don't say anything negative about it at the table. We always treated every new flavor experience as an adventure - something fun to try. And when we could afford it we'd go to a variety of ethnic restaurants.


I started by feeding my kids everything before they were old enough to choose. Even things I didn't like. Never read a book about it. It just made good sense to me.


I like to cook and, while I had a profession, there were long periods of time I stayed at home to raise the children . I had time to get creative and experiment with many styles of cooking and often there was more than one full meal available. I suppose I "spoiled" them that way. I remember telling my sixth-grader what was for supper and him asking, "And what's the other choice?"


I think that my adult children have an even wider range of tastes in food than I do and, of course, I'd like to take credit for that. But I don't know. They're their own individuals. And I'm not even sure if liking a lot of different kinds of food is a superior life-style to liking only a few as long as you are eating from all the food groups.


I think what's important is the atmosphere around the table. Meal time is a time to join in your family-ness. Ideally it should be a time of nurturing, joy and gratitude. (That's my lecture. I think it beats "There are children starving in India.")
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