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Anger and frustration over vegetable refusal in 5 y/o

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 

OK, I know it's normal for kids to not like veggies, but I think my kid is an extreme case, and his food issues are a hot-button and anger inducing problem for me. He is very limited as to what he can and will eat. We got him tested for food sensitivities a couple years ago, and it showed 26 sensitivities. Since that is such an outrageous number and he never even ate several of the foods on the list, we have it whittled down to the ones that will immediately make him sick (runny nose, cold) if he eats them. He can't have wheat, milk, bananas, or oranges. He has always been sickly when it comes to respiratory issues (pretty sure he has swollen adenoids, and he has bad hearing loss from fluid in ears) and removing those foods have helped a bit over the years. So he's restricted with regards to food choices. He seems to hate most every other food. Saying he hates vegetables would be an understatement. The only "vegetable" he will eat without complaint is french fries with ketchup. He will not eat potatoes any other way. He will occasionally eat raw broccoli with minimal fit-throwing but it is still difficult. That's it. No corn, carrots, sweet potatoes, peas, mashed potatoes, nothing. If it's a vegetable he will not touch it no matter how it's prepared. It's been like this for a very long time and is not improving. Last night I told him I wanted him to try some sweet potato fries. I was sitting in the living room and noticed he was out of my sight in the kitchen and being very quiet. I investigated and found that he was throwing away the sweet potatoes. I flipped out. I am SO SICK of this crap. Here is what happens when we try to get him to try eat the smallest portions of any veggie: He cries, screams that he hates vegetables and says that he won't eat it. We say fine, you don't get anything else, either. He gets much louder and more upset. Then he might sit at the table pushing the food around the plate, possibly taking a microscopic bite or two and constantly asking "Did I eat enough yet?" It's ridiculous. He just sits there and stares at his plate, and no amount of cajoling or creative encouragement is enough. If I bribe him with something sweet he MIGHT eat it, but that's been a bad idea, obviously. Now he asks for a treat whenever he eats his usual breakfast and dinner foods, which I don't give him. What's further annoying is that he's ALWAYS hungry. All day long, it's, "Mom, what can I have to eat?" I detest that question, since he should know by now what he can eat, because the list is so short.

 

We have tried every possible suggestion for getting him to eat veggies. He has always done the shopping with me, so picking them out has done nothing. Having a vegetable garden has done nothing. It doesn't matter how I prepare them or how sweet and delicious they are. He will.not.touch.it.

 

Also, I am at a loss for what to feed him during the day, too. Here is what he usually eats: tortilla chips, scrambled eggs, hard boiled eggs (without the yolk), GF bagels with cream cheese, apples with no skin, granola, dried fruit, popcorn with nutritional yeast, white rice, cheese, GF crackers, hamburgers with fries, GF spaghetti with meat, GF pizza, and the occasional PB&J. 

 

Yes, I know very well how lacking his diet is. I was a traditional foods fanatic for a few years so I am very into eating healthy foods. I just don't know what to do with this kid. You name it, he won't eat it, unless it is some sort of bread product or has sugar.

How do I proceed? I can't force him to eat. For a while I just gave up. I was getting so upset over it and nothing was working. DH objected to me not giving DS any other dinner if he didn't eat vegetables first. Cooking dinner is an impossible task at my house. DH can't have anything with tomato sauce, and DS has those food sensitivities and refuses most every other food.

 

I don't know what to do. Help! banghead.gif

post #2 of 34

I'm afraid I have no advice, just wanted to give you hugs and say I understand!  While my DS doesn't have any food allergies that we are aware, he is just SO picky!  I think the only veggies he will kind of eat are sweet potato and avocado, and even those are iffy.  He won't' even eat french fries!  He'll do apples and bananas for fruit, and that's it.  He doesn't like rice, pasta (except he might eat a bit of spaghetti, no sauce), cheese, eggs, nuts, beans.  We are vegetarian, so I don't serve meat, but even if I did, I don't think he'd eat it because he doesn't like meat substitutes (veggie chicken nuggets, veggie lunch meats, etc).  Seriously, every day he has some of the same things - PB&J sandwich, waffle with maple syrup, pizza (but mostly just the crust, as he doesn't like the sauce of cheese), cereal, crackers, granola bars (but only the super sweet ones that I hate buying, but at least I know he'll eat them), yogurt, chocolate milk.  It drives me bonkers.  I'm torn between just letting him do his thing, offering different foods but not freaking out or making an issue over it, and trying to be more proactive in getting him to increase the variety of foods in his diet.  I don't want to create food issues, but I want him to be healthy and to enjoy eating different things.

 

In general, he has a very slow to warm personality anyways and doesn't like new things or change, so I can understand part of his resistance.  But it doesn't help me come up with a solution - it just stresses me out!

post #3 of 34

please read "how to get your kid to eat.... but not too much" by ellyn satter. it has helped me soo soo much in regards to food and my anger with it.

http://www.ellynsatter.com/to-12-years-feeding-your-school-age-child-i-33.html

http://www.ellynsatter.com/the-child-who-doesnt-eat-fruits-and-vegetables-i-42.html

http://www.ellynsatter.com/the-picky-eater-i-43.html

the division of responsibilty is what has helped me the most...
"The Division of Responsibility For Toddlers through Adolescents:

  • The parent is responsible for what, when, where
  • The child is responsible for how much and whether

Parents' Feeding Jobs:

  • Choose and prepare the food
  • Provide regular meals and snacks
  • Make eating times pleasant
  • Show children what they have to learn about food and mealtime behavior
  • Not let children graze for food or beverages between meal and snack times
  • Let children grow up to get bodies that are right for them

Fundamental to parents' jobs is trusting children to decide how much and whether to eat. If parents do their jobs with feeding, children will do their jobs with eating:

  • Children will eat
  • They will eat the amount they need
  • They will learn to eat the food their parents eat
  • They will grow predictably
  • They will learn to behave well at the table"
post #4 of 34

My first thought is that it might be those other food sensitivities coming into play, especially since you say he's been this way for a very long time. I have heard a lot on the GAPS group how kids will either hate or crave foods that they react to. In fact while I think of it, the GAPS yahoo group might be a good place to ask this question because so many moms there have had kids like this and put them on GAPS & had to figure out how to get them to eat!

 

Has he had antibiotics for his respiratory illnesses often?  Did he have to have formula as a baby? Any other factor that might have disrupted the normal development of gut microflora? If so, those  food sensitivities could be arising due to a leaky gut, and healing the gut could help resolve them and their nasty side effects.

post #5 of 34

Have you tried the muffin tin? Like, in each compartment of a muffin tin, put things he will usually eat. Raisins, crackers, dried apricots, cheese cubes, granola- that could be your 6 things. Put it on a low table and say, "here's your food" and then don't say or do anything else. Let him eat whatever he wants from it whenever he feels like it and keep it full all the time. Offer him normal meals and other foods too, but without emotion, no bribes or rewards or consequences. Just "here's breakfast, want some?" 

I have found that when it comes to food, making rules or putting your foot down just doesn't help. The only thing that helps is to disengage from any struggle over food. You want your child to eat enough to grow properly, and providing plenty of food he can eat whenever he wants will ensure that he gets enough to eat every day. 

Good luck!

post #6 of 34

I love vegetables, and also lean toward TF. But I have come to the conclusion that a childhood can be successful without much in the way of vegetables. In fact, some traditional societies like Eskimos eat no vegetables at all.

 

It's your choice, but if I were in your shoes, I'd back off on the vegetables.

 

My daughter also would live on bread and fruit if she could. And I remind myself that this is what I ate as a child, too. I'm not proud of it, and I don't think my childhood diet is anything anybody should attempt to emulate. And I won't even claim it didn't hurt me at all - who knows. But I do know that making a kid eat things just doesn't work. My mom tried a few times and it just flat failed.

 

I think macronutrients and vitamins and minerals can be found in meats and fruits for the most part. What if you focused less on the vegetables as a food group and more on the specific macronutrients and vitamins and minerals you're worried about? Then you might be able to either find good alternatives, or even find you are satisfied with what he's already eating. Eggs are great, for example. Too bad he doesn't eat the yolk - btw, can you devil it? Or even if you can't devil it the usual way due to a sensitivity, I just wonder if you could mix it with something he could eat to make it yummier. Some sort of salad dressing? Even just a pinch of salt?

 

There is a theory of eating that goes like this: you decide what goes on the table and when it is served. Your child decides what (of the selection on the table) to eat and how much. It's supposed to take the power struggles away. Yes, it can be a little unnerving when your child eats the bread rolls and nothing else for dinner, but apparently a lot of moms find that when they stick with it, the child relaxes a little and is willing to try some things.

 

I also find with DD, some matter of fact praise when she tries something new - but NOT shock or surprise - seems to reinforce her. Once or twice she's expressed willingness to try something that was so far off her map that in my head I was going "OMG!!!" But I just calmly gave her some. She took a bite or two, announced that she "liked it" and didn't eat any more. Then I'd just mention at the end of the meal to DH something like "DD ate so well at dinner today, she even tried the XYZ" and DH would say "yes, that was really great of you to try it" and DD would beam. But we would NOT pressure her to eat more than she had tried, and I think she is more willing to try foods because of it (not that this is an everyday occurrence even so, of course).

 

Well, back to vegetables. If it makes you feel any better, DD, also 5 years old, eats baked sweet potatoes. She used to eat baked regular potatoes but now apparently it has to be sweet. She'll eat french fries all day long but it's a rare food here. Last year she was willing to eat broccoli in pasta, and I was happy about that. We eat seasonally so we haven't had it in a while, but about a month ago I saw it was on sale and picked up a head. Sigh. DD refused to eat it. She had a single bite of a dish I had made that contained kale. Once in a blue moon I can convince her to eat a banana smoothie with a spinach leaf in it. A year ago she would eat carrots with dip, but she refuses now. You're far from alone.

post #7 of 34

Here is the list of the stuff you said your son eats:

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by MommaMoo View Post

 tortilla chips, scrambled eggs, hard boiled eggs (without the yolk), GF bagels with cream cheese, apples with no skin, granola, dried fruit, popcorn with nutritional yeast, white rice, cheese,

GF crackers, hamburgers with fries, GF spaghetti with meat, GF pizza, and the occasional PB&J.  

 


Almost all of that can have veggies snuck into it.

 

You can add yellow pepper puree or sweet potato puree into scrambled eggs.

 

Popcorn and Tortilla chips are made of corn, too, so that's already a vegetable..sort of...would he eat nachos?  Would he try powdered Kale on the popcorn if you told him it was something crazy like dehydrated alligators?  I got my son to eat peas and edamame by telling him they were turtle eggs and crocodile eggs respectively.

 

In  Cream cheese you can mince veggies up and he might not even notice, like steamed carrots or peppers.  Or powdered dehydrated veggies and he wouldn't even have to know, you could just say it was food coloring.

 

 Then of course in burgers, and spaghetti sauce and pizza sauce...man you can hide all sorts of veggies in those.  I make these meatballs for Benjamin that are 50% meat and 50% ground up veggies and he says they are "the best burgers in the whole wide world"  Little does he know his enemy the veg is in every bite.  Sauces are great because you cook the veggies IN the sauce and then puree and there is no trace of the veggies at all.

 

Really, it's not even a fight I bother having.  It's one thing I let him "win" at because I figure eventually little by little as he sees us eating them he will try things and get accustomed to them, and maybe when he is older I will let him know how I make my burgers sooooo yummy.

 

The trick for me is just to be sneakier.mischievous.gif

 

I would also disagree with the advice to not let your kids graze.  Some kids do better grazing.  My son's whole attitude is different during vacation times and weekends when he can graze.  He's calmer, handles change better.  The truth is his dad and I are the same.  The three meals system doesn't work for us, and we find when we are forced to live like that that we are sluggish, cranky, put on weight, and generally feel unhealthy, but when we eat six or seven "snacks" throughout the day we feel much better and have more energy.

 

ETA: would he do dips with his crackers?  Because if he is a dipper, he might love some beandips I have recipes for and an eggplant dip that is to die for and you wouldn't even have to tell him it was a vegetable.

 

I sometimes make a chili for Benjamin that is PACKED with veggies (carrots, spinach, onions, corn, peppers, etc) and I tell him it is "Hamburger soup".  He doesn't even notice the veggies and this is a kid who will scream bloody murder if a piece of oregano winds up on his plate.eyesroll.gif

post #8 of 34

Also if he likes fruit, a lot of fruit has good nutrients in them, too.  You might consider adding fruits high in the nutrients you think he is missing, like Papaya instead of carrots, and apples and bananas have all sorts of great stuff.  Melon, berries, pineapple, oranges, all have HEAPS of the vitamins you get from veggies. 

 

But be careful about tooth decay with too much fruit as they have much stronger acids than their vegetable cousins.

post #9 of 34
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tryingfortwo View Post

I'm afraid I have no advice, just wanted to give you hugs and say I understand!  While my DS doesn't have any food allergies that we are aware, he is just SO picky!  I think the only veggies he will kind of eat are sweet potato and avocado, and even those are iffy.  He won't' even eat french fries!  He'll do apples and bananas for fruit, and that's it.  He doesn't like rice, pasta (except he might eat a bit of spaghetti, no sauce), cheese, eggs, nuts, beans.  We are vegetarian, so I don't serve meat, but even if I did, I don't think he'd eat it because he doesn't like meat substitutes (veggie chicken nuggets, veggie lunch meats, etc).  Seriously, every day he has some of the same things - PB&J sandwich, waffle with maple syrup, pizza (but mostly just the crust, as he doesn't like the sauce of cheese), cereal, crackers, granola bars (but only the super sweet ones that I hate buying, but at least I know he'll eat them), yogurt, chocolate milk.  It drives me bonkers.  I'm torn between just letting him do his thing, offering different foods but not freaking out or making an issue over it, and trying to be more proactive in getting him to increase the variety of foods in his diet.  I don't want to create food issues, but I want him to be healthy and to enjoy eating different things.

 

In general, he has a very slow to warm personality anyways and doesn't like new things or change, so I can understand part of his resistance.  But it doesn't help me come up with a solution - it just stresses me out!



Our kids sound like two peas in a pod! I feel just like you do. I hate Giving DS foods I know aren't good for him, yet at least he's eating SOMETHING. My DS is also a slow to warm up, extremely cautious kid.



Quote:
Originally Posted by kristinekristine View Post

please read "how to get your kid to eat.... but not too much" by ellyn satter. it has helped me soo soo much in regards to food and my anger with it.

http://www.ellynsatter.com/to-12-years-feeding-your-school-age-child-i-33.html

http://www.ellynsatter.com/the-child-who-doesnt-eat-fruits-and-vegetables-i-42.html

http://www.ellynsatter.com/the-picky-eater-i-43.html

the division of responsibilty is what has helped me the most...
"The Division of Responsibility For Toddlers through Adolescents:

  • The parent is responsible for what, when, where
  • The child is responsible for how much and whether

Parents' Feeding Jobs:

  • Choose and prepare the food
  • Provide regular meals and snacks
  • Make eating times pleasant
  • Show children what they have to learn about food and mealtime behavior
  • Not let children graze for food or beverages between meal and snack times
  • Let children grow up to get bodies that are right for them

Fundamental to parents' jobs is trusting children to decide how much and whether to eat. If parents do their jobs with feeding, children will do their jobs with eating:

  • Children will eat
  • They will eat the amount they need
  • They will learn to eat the food their parents eat
  • They will grow predictably
  • They will learn to behave well at the table"


Thank you for that suggestion. I know I need to be more relaxed and rational about this. It's become such a power struggle. I don't believe he's going to eat new things, no matter what I try. That right there puts me in an angry place. Then when I serve him healthy meals time after time and he doesn't eat them, I get upset over all the food wasting. I am going to check out all of those links.

One of those tips that could help right now is to have a regular snack time. Letting DS eat whenever he's hungry is probably a bad idea!

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by velcromom View Post

My first thought is that it might be those other food sensitivities coming into play, especially since you say he's been this way for a very long time. I have heard a lot on the GAPS group how kids will either hate or crave foods that they react to. In fact while I think of it, the GAPS yahoo group might be a good place to ask this question because so many moms there have had kids like this and put them on GAPS & had to figure out how to get them to eat!

 

Has he had antibiotics for his respiratory illnesses often?  Did he have to have formula as a baby? Any other factor that might have disrupted the normal development of gut microflora? If so, those  food sensitivities could be arising due to a leaky gut, and healing the gut could help resolve them and their nasty side effects.


We tried the GAPS diet for a couple weeks. I was very excited about it and bought the books. It ended up being incredibly difficult, esp. since DH wouldn't do the diet. I ended up horribly constipated for a long time, and I found the diet to be overwhelmingly expensive. DS has only had ABX once, has never had formula, and had little interest in solids until he was 2. I was on a strict traditional foods diet before and throughout my pregnancy. I just cannot fathom why he has so many gut issues, unless it is purely genetic. It makes me crazy. I ate what I thought was the ideal diet, specifically so DS would have a goot gut and immune system. It's been a failure on both counts!

post #10 of 34

The Sneaky Chef and Deceptively Delicious are great for ideas of adding in veggies to foods. I make tacos often.  To the meat I add pureed carrots and butternut squash.  Once all the taco seasonings are added you never know the difference but everyone is getting lots of veggies.  I do the same with macaroni (I understand your son can't have wheat/milk) but to packet mac and cheese I add a jar of butternut squash instead of the milk.  I do the same with my homemade spaghetti sauce.  I use ground beef, classico red pepper  sauce, purreed squash and pureed carrots and sometimes even pureed green beans. 

 

Have you had him help prepare a menu and the food?  MAybe that would encourage him to try more things.

post #11 of 34

Could it be sensory?

 

Several red flags for me that he might have sensory related food issues:

-He didn't show any interest in solids until near 2

-He won't eat ANY veggies, and won't even eat potatoes unless they're fries

-He WILL NOT EAT any veggies no matter how hard you push.

 

This to me says that it's more than a power struggle. Something in his system says: I can't handle veggies.

 

I'm married to a man like this. The absolutely, positively, worst thing you can is to make this a power struggle. My dh's parents did this. They felt if they just pushed hard enough, he'd get past it. NOPE. The pushed and pushed. Finally one day at school, someone forced him to sit until he'd eaten his peas & carrots. He did, he threw up, and has not eaten any veggies since then. He rarely eats fruit. (Overall, my dh's parents were good parents. They just screwed up this one big thing.) His parents pushed so hard, and his own system was so freaked out that he just can't.

 

My husband clearly has sensory processing issues. Our ds was treated for sensory processing disorder. Luckily, both my kids have avoided the sensory issues related to food. They don't have a huge range of veggies they'll eat: Dd will eat peas, carrots & corn. (I'm not even sure corn counts as a veggie!). Ds will eat: Peas, carrots, corn & tomatoes. They both eat a range of fruit. 

 

My advice: Back off absolutely and completely on the veggies for a good few months. Offer them, ask him to take a bite, and if he refuses. RELAX. You need to establish with him that he will have control over what he eats before you try anything.

 

I'd read up on sensory issues related to food. My favorite sensory book is: Sensational Kids. It talks about sensory processing disorder in general, and there's nothing in what you've written to say whether your son has general sensory issues or whether it's limited to food. There's a good book called: Just Take a Bite that deals with feeding issues.

 

Finally, I have to say: What is this such a trigger for you? I get that it's hard to cook at your house because of differing food needs. My dh won't eat veggies, and my kids don't really like "mixed foods" (dh doesn't either). So, I often prepare sauces on the side. You can prepare meals where you know there is at least one thing your son will eat and let it go at that.

post #12 of 34
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by seashells View Post

I love vegetables, and also lean toward TF. But I have come to the conclusion that a childhood can be successful without much in the way of vegetables. In fact, some traditional societies like Eskimos eat no vegetables at all.

 

It's your choice, but if I were in your shoes, I'd back off on the vegetables.

 

My daughter also would live on bread and fruit if she could. And I remind myself that this is what I ate as a child, too. I'm not proud of it, and I don't think my childhood diet is anything anybody should attempt to emulate. And I won't even claim it didn't hurt me at all - who knows. But I do know that making a kid eat things just doesn't work. My mom tried a few times and it just flat failed.

 

I think macronutrients and vitamins and minerals can be found in meats and fruits for the most part. What if you focused less on the vegetables as a food group and more on the specific macronutrients and vitamins and minerals you're worried about? Then you might be able to either find good alternatives, or even find you are satisfied with what he's already eating. Eggs are great, for example. Too bad he doesn't eat the yolk - btw, can you devil it? Or even if you can't devil it the usual way due to a sensitivity, I just wonder if you could mix it with something he could eat to make it yummier. Some sort of salad dressing? Even just a pinch of salt?

 

There is a theory of eating that goes like this: you decide what goes on the table and when it is served. Your child decides what (of the selection on the table) to eat and how much. It's supposed to take the power struggles away. Yes, it can be a little unnerving when your child eats the bread rolls and nothing else for dinner, but apparently a lot of moms find that when they stick with it, the child relaxes a little and is willing to try some things.

 

I also find with DD, some matter of fact praise when she tries something new - but NOT shock or surprise - seems to reinforce her. Once or twice she's expressed willingness to try something that was so far off her map that in my head I was going "OMG!!!" But I just calmly gave her some. She took a bite or two, announced that she "liked it" and didn't eat any more. Then I'd just mention at the end of the meal to DH something like "DD ate so well at dinner today, she even tried the XYZ" and DH would say "yes, that was really great of you to try it" and DD would beam. But we would NOT pressure her to eat more than she had tried, and I think she is more willing to try foods because of it (not that this is an everyday occurrence even so, of course).

 

Well, back to vegetables. If it makes you feel any better, DD, also 5 years old, eats baked sweet potatoes. She used to eat baked regular potatoes but now apparently it has to be sweet. She'll eat french fries all day long but it's a rare food here. Last year she was willing to eat broccoli in pasta, and I was happy about that. We eat seasonally so we haven't had it in a while, but about a month ago I saw it was on sale and picked up a head. Sigh. DD refused to eat it. She had a single bite of a dish I had made that contained kale. Once in a blue moon I can convince her to eat a banana smoothie with a spinach leaf in it. A year ago she would eat carrots with dip, but she refuses now. You're far from alone.



Well, that does make me feel better. I recall reading in Nourishing Traditions that kids bodies aren't good at synthesizing the nutrients in vegetables until they reach the teenage years, and that could have something to do with their aversion to veggies. I don't know how true that is, but I know that as a kid I lived off of McDonalds and Dorito's. Literally. My parents didn't seem to give a flying crap what I ate. In that respect, DS eats WAY better than I did. I just feel like I'm doing something wrong by taking the path of least resistance. I worry about his health, since he also refuses all supplements, even the ones that taste really sweet. I figured the responses I would get on here would add up to "back off and make it less of a big deal," and I think that probably is the right thing to do. I just picture DS as a teenager, still eating nothing but french fries. Perhaps it's yet another of those frustrating kid things that won't be carried over into adulthood.

No, DS won't touch deviled eggs, dips, spreads, or salad dressings. No creative foods of any kind!



Quote:
Originally Posted by hakeber View Post


Almost all of that can have veggies snuck into it.

 

You can add yellow pepper puree or sweet potato puree into scrambled eggs.

 

Popcorn and Tortilla chips are made of corn, too, so that's already a vegetable..sort of...would he eat nachos?  Would he try powdered Kale on the popcorn if you told him it was something crazy like dehydrated alligators?  I got my son to eat peas and edamame by telling him they were turtle eggs and crocodile eggs respectively.

 

In  Cream cheese you can mince veggies up and he might not even notice, like steamed carrots or peppers.  Or powdered dehydrated veggies and he wouldn't even have to know, you could just say it was food coloring.

 

 Then of course in burgers, and spaghetti sauce and pizza sauce...man you can hide all sorts of veggies in those.  I make these meatballs for Benjamin that are 50% meat and 50% ground up veggies and he says they are "the best burgers in the whole wide world"  Little does he know his enemy the veg is in every bite.  Sauces are great because you cook the veggies IN the sauce and then puree and there is no trace of the veggies at all.

 

Really, it's not even a fight I bother having.  It's one thing I let him "win" at because I figure eventually little by little as he sees us eating them he will try things and get accustomed to them, and maybe when he is older I will let him know how I make my burgers sooooo yummy.

 

The trick for me is just to be sneakier.mischievous.gif

 

I would also disagree with the advice to not let your kids graze.  Some kids do better grazing.  My son's whole attitude is different during vacation times and weekends when he can graze.  He's calmer, handles change better.  The truth is his dad and I are the same.  The three meals system doesn't work for us, and we find when we are forced to live like that that we are sluggish, cranky, put on weight, and generally feel unhealthy, but when we eat six or seven "snacks" throughout the day we feel much better and have more energy.

 

ETA: would he do dips with his crackers?  Because if he is a dipper, he might love some beandips I have recipes for and an eggplant dip that is to die for and you wouldn't even have to tell him it was a vegetable.

 

I sometimes make a chili for Benjamin that is PACKED with veggies (carrots, spinach, onions, corn, peppers, etc) and I tell him it is "Hamburger soup".  He doesn't even notice the veggies and this is a kid who will scream bloody murder if a piece of oregano winds up on his plate.eyesroll.gif


Ha, I've tried adding pureed veggies to scrambled eggs and it was a no-go. He won't eat nachos. Nor will he touch anything green, though I've never tried telling him the veggies were anything unusual. No way could I add veggies to cream cheese. If it's not perfectly white he will reject it. I've tried it all! I forgot about pureeing veggies in spaghetti sauce. That works for him. The food has to look and taste exactly the same or else he rejects it and I get irritated at the wasted food. He won't eat dips. He will pick through and examine any foods like chili to be sure he's not eating any veggies eyesroll.gif

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by hakeber View Post

Also if he likes fruit, a lot of fruit has good nutrients in them, too.  You might consider adding fruits high in the nutrients you think he is missing, like Papaya instead of carrots, and apples and bananas have all sorts of great stuff.  Melon, berries, pineapple, oranges, all have HEAPS of the vitamins you get from veggies. 

 

But be careful about tooth decay with too much fruit as they have much stronger acids than their vegetable cousins.


The only fresh fruits he will eat are skinless apples, strawberries, and grapes. The strawberries and grapes are seasonal. He can't have bananas and oranges, and he refuses to try anything else. He's not the most adventurous kid.

post #13 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by MommaMoo View Post


 I just picture DS as a teenager, still eating nothing but french fries. Perhaps it's yet another of those frustrating kid things that won't be carried over into adulthood.


 


Well, yeah, that's probably going to be the case when both our kids are teens :)

There is hope, though. I was 22 before I ate a proper vegetable. Now I loooove them.

post #14 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post


Finally, I have to say: What is this such a trigger for you? I get that it's hard to cook at your house because of differing food needs. My dh won't eat veggies, and my kids don't really like "mixed foods" (dh doesn't either). So, I often prepare sauces on the side. You can prepare meals where you know there is at least one thing your son will eat and let it go at that.


Sauces on the side are a life-saver around here!  Incidentally, my kids will eat all kinds of stuff they'd otherwise never touch if it is mixed with Pesto.  My friend's kids are the same but with peanut butter (ie. they dip all kinds of stuff in peanut butter that they would never eat plain). 

 

OP, food/kid/pickiness issues are a huge trigger for my dh too (this is by far our biggest "parents as partners" problem, btw).  I don't know about you, but with him it's all about how he was raised.  His parents grew up in India and in their families wasting food was just not. something. you. do.  I am also very conscious about waste, but it doesn't have the same emotional triggering effect for me.  Mealtime is such a different dynamic if dh is here or not.  When it's just me I make stuff I *know* the kids will (almost certainly) like, and I also give them quite small servings to try to minimize waste (they can always have 2nds, 3rds, etc!).  When dh is here there is a lot of pressure on the kids to "eat one more bite", etc, and he tries to micromanage their eating (for ex. if they're starting off just by eating the rice he'll start to get all worked up that they need to start eating their meat).  The end result is much the same.  The kids eat as much as they're going to eat and what they're going to eat.  But sometimes it's a happy meal with chats about our day (me and the kids), and other times it's filled with yelling and tears (a lot of the time when dh is here).  Not to say, OP, that you yell or bring your ds to tears, or are as extreme as my dh, but only to say that making it a power struggle so isn't worth it.  I've seen first-hand that it doesn't help at all... and makes all/both parties much less happy (and I think can be harmful in the long run as well).

post #15 of 34

Okay, so scrambled eggs and cream cheese are a stretch, but pizza sauce, tomato sauce and hamburgers, those are the perfect thing to hide veggie purees in.  He thinks he's getting nothing but junk food, and in reality...VEGGIES!

 

And like a previous poster said.  Kids don't need nearly as much veggies as we think.

 

If you don't give him veggies, he won't waste them.

 

I get riled up about waste as well...but the truth is if he won't eat it, it's ME whose wasting it, because I already KNEW he wouldn't eat it.

 

Oh yeah...I once made carrot ginger soup and I told him it was Monkey blood stew and he ate three bowls, and he asks for it all the time!  I have to get his dad to take him to the park so he doesn't see me peeling the carrots. 

 

I am a mean mommy.

 

ETA:  my trick for abating the anger issue is that I never make anything for him that I am not willing and hungry enough to eat myself if need be...that way it doesn't get wasted, it gets saved for later or eaten on the spot.

post #16 of 34

I agree with LynnS6 about not pushing him to eat foods he hates.  What if someone served you grubs or sheep eyeballs and tried to force you to eat them?  Or what if they didn't exactly force you, but told you you couldn't have anything else to eat until you'd eaten enough of the grubs or eyeballs?  What if that kept happening over and over again, and people you loved kept getting angry with you because you were being so unreasonably picky?  Wouldn't that make you miserable?  The taste and texture of vegetables may be as disgusting to your son as grubs or eyeballs would be to you.  I was one of those kids who was really disgusted by lots of foods (including most vegetables.)  I wasn't being unreasonably silly or stubborn or trying to win a power struggle.  I just didn't want to eat foods that disgusted me, and unfortunately a lot of foods were in that category.  But I didn't stay that picky.  As I got older, I gradually became willing to try more things, and gradually got used to more tastes.  I eat all kinds of things now I wouldn't have touched with a 10 foot pole when I was a kid - Thai food, spicy salsa, sweet potatoes, even brussels sprouts.  (And none of that happened because my parents pushed or encouraged me to try new foods.  Living on my own and being in charge of my own food choices helped more than anything else.)

 

And about the wasting food issue - why is food being wasted?  Are you regularly putting food on his plate that you know he doesn't like, and then throwing it out when he doesn't eat it?  If you don't do that, wasting food shouldn't be an issue.

post #17 of 34

Quote:

Originally Posted by hakeber View Post

Okay, so scrambled eggs and cream cheese are a stretch, but pizza sauce, tomato sauce and hamburgers, those are the perfect thing to hide veggie purees in.  He thinks he's getting nothing but junk food, and in reality...VEGGIES!


Be careful with this technique. Not only is my dh very sensitive to texture, he's a supertaster and can taste minute amounts of veggies in things. No way could I get away with that. (Yes, I've tried. I didn't tell him, and he didn't like it and wouldn't eat much.) Since he has such a restricted diet, you don't want to make him averse to those foods too!

 

If you've got a really picky eater and a power struggle going on, I think you need to work on the power struggle first. Remove that. Then if you want to try veggies 'hidden', go for it. But don't be surprised if you can't do it.

post #18 of 34
post #19 of 34

It might be helpful to take a harder look at what you are calling "vegetables" that he won't eat.  Examples you gave that he won't eat were corn, peas, potatoes... a grain, a legume, and a starch. Although potatoes are technically root vegetables, they not very healthy for you because of their starch content.  Perhaps you can look at it from a different perspective and find alternatives.  Won't eat peas... he eats peanut butter (peanuts are legumes along with peas). Won't eat corn, he eats GF bread (a grain).  Bread also replaces the potato (a starch).  Actually what most people call "vegetables" are actually fruits and you can find other fruits with their nutritious equivalent.  So, I wouldn't worry much about him not eating some of the things you are classifying as vegetables, because they're not really vegetables.  And there are tons of alternatives to the nutrition... it's not about eating from a certain food group, but balancing the nutrition.  FTR - I don't have a picky eater, but was one.  When I started learning about what fruits and vegetables actually are, it was liberating.  I used to think that as a kid I ate a lot of vegetables, then found out that none of my favorites were actually vegetables.  They were fruits, legumes and grains.  It was the beginning of the end to what I finally realized was being a picky eater.  I learned to like actual vegetables and realize that some that I don't eat aren't even vegetables, anyway, and I like other things from that food group, so I'm good. Good luck!

post #20 of 34

Potatoes are actually quite healthy
http://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/vegetable/health-benefits-of-potato.html 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post

It might be helpful to take a harder look at what you are calling "vegetables" that he won't eat.  Examples you gave that he won't eat were corn, peas, potatoes... a grain, a legume, and a starch. Although potatoes are technically root vegetables, they not very healthy for you because of their starch content.  Perhaps you can look at it from a different perspective and find alternatives.  Won't eat peas... he eats peanut butter (peanuts are legumes along with peas). Won't eat corn, he eats GF bread (a grain).  Bread also replaces the potato (a starch).  Actually what most people call "vegetables" are actually fruits and you can find other fruits with their nutritious equivalent.  So, I wouldn't worry much about him not eating some of the things you are classifying as vegetables, because they're not.  And there are tons of alternatives.  FTR - I don't have a picky eater, but was one.  When I started learning about what fruits and vegetables actually are, it was liberating.  I used to think that as a kid I ate a lot of vegetables, then found out that none of my favorites were actually vegetables.  They were fruits, legumes and grains.  It was the beginning of the end to what I finally realized was being a picky eater.  I learned to like actual vegetables.  Good luck!

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