My 7 year old son eats what I eat, and in the same amounts, plus extra fruit. My 4 year old barely touches many of his meals but loves cheese, yogurt, breads and pastas when he can get them (all these aren't a part of what DH and I eat though so I don't buy tons), and lots and lots of fruit and nuts. At mealtimes we eat eggs, meats, and lots of veggies. I can only ever serve him like 3 bites of each item. With a lot of coaxing he'll eat a little, if it's not mixed or in soup. If I put out raw veggies over a few hours he will eat them, usually. He's been 2-3rd percentile in size since toddlerhood, he's still in 24m pants. You can see his ribs but he doesn't quite look like the starving children in charity drives. Sometimes I just want to bake him a loaf of bread and give the whole thing to him with butter since at least he'd eat. But when he does binge on carbs he refuses anything else and gets migraines. Maybe I should get whey powder for smoothies, or use our chickens' fresh eggs in them? Maybe get more very dark chocolate or somehow do homemade low sugar white chocolate? Get a juicer and juice veggies? He helps me cook and garden already. Give me ideas please?
- categoryNutrition Good Eatingtagged by JamieCatheryn, 8/10/13
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Balancing a small, picky eater's diet?post #1 of 48/10/13 at 1:03pmThread Starterpost #2 of 48/11/13 at 8:44am
It sounds like he is eating a good variety, but the part about the migraines stands out to me. Has he had his blood tested for celiac? How is his digestion? Does he ever complain about his tummy? Any signs of a wheat allergy?
In addition-- does he seem to not know when he's really hungry?
Normally, my solution (and my daughter's occupational therapist's advice) was to let her eat whatever they want as much as they want, even to the exclusion of other things, to reinforce that eating is a positive experience. From that point, they begin to branch out. You take the long view. However, you have the added difficulty of the migraines, which is why I asked.
Back off any power struggles-- allow him to decide what to eat and how much. Have the food on the table, but let him decide what is on his plate. This is not your typical picky eater-- something is up physically or he is not connecting food and hunger properly. Normal advice for picky eaters flies out the window in such cases.post #3 of 48/11/13 at 8:59am
My children are really similar with their habits & have pretty much always been this way. I work hard not to make eating a fight, and as long as they do what they can to try/eat close to half of a meal I've served them they 'don't like' and are being polite about the food, I trust that they're eating what they need (because I feel like we keep an ok-balanced range of foods around).
When they start acting pickier - I do the same as you (and put out stuff like veggies, hard-boiled eggs, etc.) and it gets eaten over time. I always try to keep our 'extras' (junk food, sweets, etc.) to a minimum, but sure - I let them eat the butter packets from restaurants with their finger when they want too (just one, though ) and we frequently indulge in ice cream.
I do try to find well-liked foods that have the extra protein and vitamins and keep them around or get them often (my dd's go for stuff like greek yogurts and cottage cheese, or deviled eggs for example), and make sure I pick up their favorite vegetables whenever I can (broccoli or fresh artichokes and red peppers). Personally, I don't go in for adding 'boosters' to their foods. But meh, nothing wrong with that either.
We do make homemade 'foamy' vanilla milk (heated plain/whole milk that I add a few pinches of homemade vanilla sugar to, and foam up with a little battery op. milk frother). And I buy Bolthouse carrot juice sometimes that dd2 likes mixed with orange juice and a pinch of cinnamon. Homemade veggie dips are a help, too (I let them go to town on a bunch of tortilla chips or whatever).post #4 of 48/27/13 at 4:49am
mumkimum, those Bolthouse Farms juices are a great idea. We have molds to make 4 freeze pops and I pour Green Goodness or one of the berry juices or smoothie made with fruit and some vegetable juice into the molds for dessert.
My picky 3-year-old son likes peanut butter on celery for a snack. He doesn't really eat the celery yet like his 2-year-old sister and I do, but he eats up the peanut butter!
There's also vegetable chips or puffs like Pirate's Booty Veggie corn and rice puffs made with vegetables.
Are you giving your son a multivitamin? Our children get two gummy bear multivitamins daily.
My last suggestion for extra calories, not necessarily balancing, is using olive oil butter (Olivio), cream cheese, ketchup, peanut butter, and whatever else your son will eat with his food.
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