When dd was little she was very wary of new foods. We did the smell, lick, taste method. Basically she had to at least smell it. Then if she agreed it smelled ok she had to touch it to her tongue. If that was ok, she would take a small taste of the food. For some reason this worked with her and she's a kid who doesnt' do anything she doesn't want to do.
6 yr old picky eater-- how to handle gently - Page 2
Very calmly tell him:
I serve dinner. Eat what you liek out of it or not. Or go to bed hungry. We are not longer dicussing it.
IF you wake up hungry at 5 am, DO NOT WAKE US UP. Go to the kitchen and make yourself a bow of cereal. Or cup of yougurt.
My teaching your kid how not to be a picky eater, you will give him a great gift.
Along with above, go and shop together for groceries. Then cook together. Kids are more likely to eat what they made.
Do not be a short order cook for your child and do not give him an idea that family menu is changed for him. I see products of that sort of upbrining coming ton dinner at my house ll the time and either staying hungry or demanding "Pasta with butter like my mom makes".
It may help you to know that there is a "picky" gene:
Also, I try to treat my children like I would treat myself or dh, when possible. (Of course, that's not always possible.)
When I don't want to eat something, or when dh doesn't want to eat something, we allow ourselves other choices. So, I allow my kids other choices, too.
And I've found that having a large garden (and letting the kids help in it) goes a long way toward their willingness to eat fruits/veggies! Fresh, organic, homegrown produce tastes so much better than anything you could get in a store. (Farmers' markets are a close second.)
Would your son eat eggs? Hard-boiled eggs are relatively mild and a great source of protein. Or how about yogurt?
For example there might be a stir fry, a separate bowl of rice, maybe some lo mein type noodles, maybe not, and a salad or some plain cut veggies and dip. That way, a child can take a small bit of the stir fry, put their rice separate with soy sauce if they want to, and find a veggie they like. They may just end up eating vegetables and rice, but it's still OK. I also make easy accomodations like a hot sauce on the side for those who want to spice it up, or a dish of raw onions on the table for those who want to mix it in their portion of the salad.
This is what I do. I call it "modular" cooking. It works with our family - one omnivore (me), one (cow) dairy-free DH, one vegetarian/pescatarian DD, and one DD we jokingly call "separatarian" - she will eat a variety of meat, dairy, fruits and mostly uncooked vegetables, but pretty much unsauced/unspiced and separate. No one is allowed to call each other's food gross. Sometimes they can make themselves an alternative if they truly don't want what we're having. And we also have DD2 try a bite of new foods now and then. She has been branching out lately, so I think it's good to continue that.
I get what Alenushka is saying, and I think to some extent she's right, but I don't go quite that far. If I'm serving something I know DD2 has eaten before & is fine with - too bad, that's dinner. Same with other kids who come over - I offer pretty common foods, like pasta, and if they don't like it or it isn't just like home? shrug. On the other hand, DD2 is a kid who refused all solids until about 10 mos. old, is very sensitive to smells, and I have seen her physically gag on certain tastes. I have that reaction with one food - caraway - which tastes so strong to me and truly makes me feel like I am going to hurl, although everyone else tells me it's a "mild" flavor. That sort of thing I am willing to accommodate short of making totally separate meals (I would do that for medical conditions, but that isn't the majority of cases).