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Old 05-19-2009, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by grmngrl8203 View Post
I understood that, I was talking about when you said a seperate one at lunchtime unless I misunderstood that.
I was assuming that he is an only child. Sometimes it's easier to give options at lunch and have the child choose from those options. It gives the child the feeling of some control without the meal being up for grabs. It's easier and wiser to give options at lunch than dinner when the family needs to be fed.
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Old 05-19-2009, 10:41 PM
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We often introduce new foods to the children. What we do is heap it up on our plates and not give them any to start with. We make lots of "mmm, mmm" sounds as we eat it, which sparks their interest. When they realize they didn't get any, they ask to have some, I apologize, say their is none left and that it is too good for them. Then I wait. They keep eyeing it and finally say.."Please..." "I don't know if you can handle it. Its SO good." At that point, we are prepared and fork a small bite over and they chow it and ask more for more and we give it to them one forkful at a time, making a big deal about it, like it is a super special treat. The next time we make it, it goes on their plate and is eaten quickly. We've watched and giggled with ourselves when our kids ate plain old spinach leaves, big pieves of raw onions, and other things that most kids would never touch. One of my favorite stories, stepping back two years, our kids, when asked to choose between ice cream and frozen peas..they took the peas everytime.
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Old 05-20-2009, 07:08 AM
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Originally Posted by grmngrl8203 View Post
My son in 5 and I think he is half vegan. My son eats a very limited amount of things. They include mac and cheese, cheese pizza, hot dogs, bologna, chicken nuggets, and eggs. And of course he wants junk food. Everything goes with ketchup (pancakes, fruit, etc.). But we are trying to get him to eat better food, better fruits & veggies, meats, etc. We are a big meat family and he wont even try pork, hamburger, steak, breakfast meats, or real chicken. So any creative ideas on how to get him to try new things or different food other than pizza and nuggets? He hasn't eaten meat since he was 2 or 3 and everyone said it was a stage but how long do these stages last?
If you don't offer him mac and cheese, cheese pizza, hot dogs, bologna, and chicken nuggets, which are all junk foods, then he will have to eat healthier foods. Eggs are a good source of protein, so I think offering those are fine. We do those foods very occasionally, but a diet made up of only high-salt, high-fat, high-processed foods is very unhealthy. Maybe talk to him about the five food groups, and how the foods that he is eating are not included.

Good luck!
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Old 05-20-2009, 07:34 AM
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We let our kids pick 2 nights that they get to choose what's for dinner, the rest of the week they have to eat whatever I make. They also have to eat a little of everything. We have a protein, a starch and a veg. and they need some of each if they want a goodie after dinner. I don't make them eat anything, but when one sees the other kids getting a treat they usually decide to eat. The older kids know the routine but we are having trouble with our 4yr old, he doesn't want to eat any veggies. There is no yelling or begging or any of that just letting him see that if he doesn't eat he doesn't get what the other kids are having. He's slowly coming around.
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Old 05-20-2009, 08:18 AM
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Your child learned his eating habits by eating what you fed him. Sounds like he now survives on sugar, fat and carbohydrates. Nothing even remotely vegan about that. Would I be guessing right if I thought he and possiblly other members of you family are overweight? I am asking based on my own experience. It also seems that he is opting for foods that don't require a lot of chewing so they can be eaten quickly. Some of this may be due to his age, some may be genetic, some may be bad habits, but a large part is that you are to eiher too busy, too tired, or too afraid to deal with fear that he may not love you if assert yourself as the Mom.
Unfortunately, when he starts school, he is going to be facing the exact same diet that he craves.
You are the mother here. You need to take control. Starting school is a good milestone. You have to make him realize that now hie is a big boy and has to act like one. Look at yourself and your family and see what your meals have been doing to them and adjust accordingly. Make substitutions. English muffins topped with home made pizza sauce, olive oil, low fat cheese and other toppings that family members can choose are not only fun but much lower in calories than take out pizza. Whole wheat pasta in interesting shapes with tomatoe sauce and mimi meatballs and toasted bread is almost the same thing. Home made mac and cheese with low fat cheese, lowfat milk and slices of smoked sausage may peak his interest. Make your own chicken nuggets out of boneless chicken thigh chunks dipped in egg and breaded with panko and baked in the oven on a tray sprinkled with olive oil. As Rachael Ray says, if you cook your own meals, you control the the quality and qualtity of the ingredients. All of the ideas I suggested take about the same time as throwing something frozen into the microwave. Reduce the baking in favor of more healty desserts like sugar free jello and fresh fruit tarts. Or serve sugar free and low fat ice cream with fresh fruit poured over the top. Buy a popcorn air popper to replace high fat/salty snacks. Substitute salt and butter on popcorn for a butter spray and little grated paremsan cheese. When you do bake, incorporate vegatables like pumpkin, zuchinni, carrots, nuts, and fruits into your mixture and use a sugar substitute and peanut butter in place of some shortening to reduce the calories and up the nutritional value.
There is nothing worse or more unappetizing than a canned vegetable. If you don't believe me buy a can of peas and compare it to a serving of frozen peas. Ir buy a can of asparagus and compare it to a fresh steamed asparagus. If you want to introduce more vegetables to your family try experimenting with different kinds of stir frys or soups. Serve raw veggies with salsa or ranch dressing for treats. Stuff celery with peanut butter. If you serve hot dogs, buy the best possible one you can. Look at the label for salt content and what type of meat is included in the recipe. If possible try a low fat smoked sausage instead with a little BBQ sause. Try making sandwiches with fresh sliced turkey or ham instead of baloney.
Whatever, you do, do not let this become a power struggle between your son and you. The sooner you assert yourself, the better. I was a picky eater when I was his age and only wanted to eat hot dogs for every meal. One day my mother told me we were out of hot dogs and gave me some chicken. I didn't want to eat it. She picked up my plate and very kindly but firmly said, this is the food we have today and there isn't anything else. When you are hungry, let me know and I will fix you a plate. By doint that, she basically put me in charge of my own fate, and that is really the only thing you can do with a headstrong child without crushing them. After a while I came out and asked for my dinner. I never forgot that and now in my old age, whenever I am not content with what is in the cupboard because I am craving something special, I remember her words.

Last edited by yukiko11; 05-20-2009 at 09:19 AM..
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Old 05-20-2009, 08:19 AM
Location: Penobscot Bay, the best place in Maine!
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As far as limiting the junk...I would say to my child "Your body is growing and it needs the best food to make it as healthy and strong as possible. I just read/found out/asked a doctor about what we have been eating and now I know it's not very good for us. So we are going to stop eating X,Y,and Z so often." And then pretty much never buy that crap again.

And as far as introducing other foods... most kids are not lacking in protein, but often lacking in good fruits and veggies and calcium. Try making a fruit salad- I have not met many kids who were not attracted to a colorful fruit salad (I try to use as many colors as I can- strawberries, mandarin slices, green grapes, kiwi slices, etc). Or smoothies (I use frozen strawberries, OJ, vanilla or plain yogurt and bananas.. no honey or sugar needs to be added)- it's a lot like a milkshake, or you can even freeze them into popsicles (never had a kid refuse a popsicle! even a healthy one!). Another healthy snack I used to offer (I used to teach nutrition in schools and other places) was a parfait- fruit such as strawberries (or any fruit!), covered with low fat or fat-free vanilla yogurt, and topped with (honey-crunch flavored) wheat germ or loose granola.. I even used some whole grain cereals in place of the germ (grape-nuts O's, honey bunches, even cheerios!). The trick was to let them do the creating- a scoop of fruit, a scoop of yogurt, a sprinkle of grain...It looks good and tastes good, too. Vegetable are trickier, but if there's anyway he would eat a spaghetti sauce or chili, or even soup (not from a can), you can chop up good vegetables (very finely chopped) and sneak them in to the soup or sauce.
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Old 05-20-2009, 09:31 AM
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His diet isn't even remotely vegan with all of the meat, eggs and cheese in it. Have you tried making your own chicken nuggets? Mac-n-cheese is also easy from scratch. Both will be way healthier and tastier homeade without all of the chemicals and additives in them. I don't see any reason to force him to eat beef if he doesn't like it. Same goes for breakfast meats which are full of nitrates. Neither are particularly healthy so why bother? Does he like black, pinto or refried beans? Those beans paired with rice will give him a lot of protein.

Try to cookbook, "Deceptively Delicious" for recipes that sneak veggies in.
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Old 05-20-2009, 10:02 AM
Location: Eastern time zone
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When my daughter was five, her new best friend was a little girl from school who was a ridiculously picky eater. A decided that if S could eat like that, so could she.
Uh, yeah...NO. I cook one meal for the family. Eat it or don't. If she didn't eat it, she was plenty ready to eat the next one. And if she got really obstinate, that was when I started cooking things I knew she wasn't partial to, like black beans and rice or lima beans.
I can accommodate a kid who doesn't like broccoli. I won't accommodate a kid who won't eat any vegetable but broccoli. Preferences are fine, but pickiness is over the top.
Said daughter is 27 and survived the food in basic training, so I guess it worked out fine.
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Old 05-21-2009, 10:33 PM
Location: NE Oklahoma
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I didn't read everyone's post on this but I will tell you what I have done before. My niece came to live with us at one point. Her mother fed her junk food (Pizza, hamburgers, hot dogs, nuggets, McDonald's, fast food, something like point and eat--she only ate what she wanted to eat and she decided the menu). That don't work at our house. I cook dinner. I cook a healthy balanced diet as much as I can. OCCASIONALLY maybe once a month we have pizza or eat out. If the children don't like what I cook they don't have to eat it. There will be no dessert if they don't finish their plates. There will also be nothing but water until the next meal I cook. If it is Friday night and I wish to sleep late on Saturday, which I most certainly will probably do if they are waiting for breakfast, it might not come around till 10 or 11 am. They will be hungry and they will eat it. I make my own "chicken strips" which could certainly be made into "nuggets" if you wish them to be. Homemade mac and cheese is a great meal sometimes..but not daily.
I have healthy snacks (Carrot sticks, apples, oranges, bananas, sometimes pretzels) available at certain times but not within 2 hours of a meal.
I am not a fry cook.
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Old 05-22-2009, 12:30 AM
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You put the food in front of him, and if he doesn't eat, he goes to bed hungry. Your kid isn't stupid- he's not going to starve himself to death. If he's hungry enough, he will eat. Don't worry about nutrition now, because you need to break him of the picky eating for the sake of his long term nutrition.

It's this kind of pandering to small children that causes such outrageous problems with nutrition. You're in charge. Don't let him have chicken nuggets and bologna. You serve him what everyone else gets.

My mother raised me eating what she served and that was it. The thought of complaining didn't even cross my mind, because that's rude and unthoughtful. He'll eat school lunch, so why won't he eat at home? It's a control issue- DO NOT GIVE IN! My younger brother complained about everything, always got a special meal, and to this day weighs more and eats a less varied and more processed diet than I do.

This isn't about sneaking in veggies, or tricking him into eating healthier. It's about training him to make healthy food choices for the rest of his life. Give in now, and you'll be teaching him the value of obstinence and immediate gratification.
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