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Picky Eaters : Born or Made? - Page 9

post #161 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by Britishmum View Post
I'm wondering, seriously, why everyone thinks that foods like mac'n'cheese or pizza are so bad?

OK, I get it that the processed stuff with a ton of colors and additives is bad. But organic, good quality mac'n'cheese, with a couple of veggies? Is that such a horrible meal to feed a kid? Or a wholewheat cheese pizza? Again, with a fruit plate or veggies as a side?
If a parent is being conscientious enough about their child's diet to make sure that the mac 'n' cheese is organic, homemade deliciousness and the pizzas are whole wheat and homemade, my guess is that they are conscientious enough to make sure their kids are not getting all the additives and preservatives and hfcs that are causing so many health issues in kids. It's the kids like my great nieces and nephew that get the boxed mac 'n' cheese every day, along with chicken mcnuggets, french fries, processed pastries, heavily sweetened applesauce that contains HFCS, snacks that come in plastic wrap and had soda pop in their bottles that are at issue here for me. These kids don't even know everyday vegetables like cabbage, zucchini, and peppers and *never* get a meal from scratch or even a dessert that's not from a box. I love these kids and it hurts to see them going through such health problems related to how they eat (hospital stays for impacted bowels, the 8 year old going through precocious puberty and being on high blood pressure and high cholesterol medicine for example).

The food you are talking about (whole grains, real cheese, fresh fruit, vegetables) are a far cry different from the processed crap that so many parents blindingly feed their child every day out of ignorance or (in my niece's case) laziness in the name of pickiness. I mean, if a child likes chicken, it seems to me that if they insist that it comes from a certain fast food restaurant and won't eat it any other way... well, that's just a power trip. If a child doesn't like the taste of chicken, that's a whole other story.
post #162 of 168
I think they are mostly made, but people do seem to be born with preferences for certain things and aversions towards others. I WISH I liked raw tomatoes, but they make me gag. DS doesn't like black beans (although he tries them every time) and dd isn't keen on peppers.

My experience has only been with children who spent the better part of their first year in an orphanage, and in general, kids who have NOT been getting food on demand, tend to just want FOOD all the time and are not too picky about what it is.

I honestly don't know if my kids are such adventurous eaters because of their start in life, or if it is because we eat a huge variety of food and I don't make special meals (except for babies of course, but even then it's a varied diet) or both. All In know is that it makes life extremely easy because we travel so much, and I know I can always feed my kids. They will eat anything!
post #163 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by Britishmum View Post
I'm wondering, seriously, why everyone thinks that foods like mac'n'cheese or pizza are so bad?

OK, I get it that the processed stuff with a ton of colors and additives is bad. But organic, good quality mac'n'cheese, with a couple of veggies? Is that such a horrible meal to feed a kid? Or a wholewheat cheese pizza? Again, with a fruit plate or veggies as a side?
Because the majority of parents who fix these types of meals for kids as a regular thing are probably NOT doing organic/veggie added/whole wheat. They are doing the blue box in a bowl or calling the cheapest pizza delivery. Or buying those Kid Cuisine frozen meals. *That* is not healthy on a day to day basis.

Speaking of those Kid Cuisine things.... I let ds get almost anything (food wise) he asks for. If he asks for it and expresses interest in eating it, we buy it (sometimes not at that exact moment, we might wait for it to go on sale but we eventually buy it for him). Because of all his food issues he was NEVER wanting to try anything new. So now that he's asking for new foods we encourage it. Anyway, at the store the other day he asked for one of those Kid Cuisine meals. I about had a heart attack. I think that's the only thing I've said "no" to. Have you ever looked at the nutrition facts? Holy crap that's a lot of sodium! I'm 99% sure it would have been un-eaten anyway, but I just couldn't do it. DP commented that he ate a lot of those as a kid.... it only took me reminding him of his blood pressure issues for him to realize we were not buying one for Owen.

But he does eat, and love, Kraft Mac n Cheese (only kind he'll eat ) and pizza (with all the toppings scrapped off).
post #164 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post
I think a lot of people don't realize that these kinds of casual comments penetrate the minds of young kids and DOES turn them off of certain foods. This just lends more credence to the argument that picky eaters are made, not born.


My mother was an extremely unadventerous eater. The type to proclaim she didn't like something she had probably never tried. As a result, I was in my late teens before I tried guacomole, refried beans, anything my mom thought "looked gross". I didn't try curry until I was an adult - my mom always said curry smelled disgusting. What a surprise - I loved them.

I think picky eaters can be made. I dont' think my picky eater was made.
post #165 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by Britishmum View Post
I'm wondering, seriously, why everyone thinks that foods like mac'n'cheese or pizza are so bad?

OK, I get it that the processed stuff with a ton of colors and additives is bad. But organic, good quality mac'n'cheese, with a couple of veggies? Is that such a horrible meal to feed a kid? Or a wholewheat cheese pizza? Again, with a fruit plate or veggies as a side?

I really feel like I'm missing something, because my kids love meals like that and I don't think of it as the food of the devil. And come to think of it, I like it too, and so does dh.
I don't think they're bad unless it's a constant (eg - my sister's son gets a bowl of ice cream and a chocolate bar for breakfast because that's what he'll eat). I imagine a lot of MDCers would cringe if they saw some of the things we eat, but I don't count every french fry as my kids being one step closer to a heart attack. I couldn't live like that and I think the negative association with food could rub off on kids causing significant problems later on in life. As long as our diet is balanced I don't worry about junk. If one of the kids started wanting only junk, it would all disappear quickly until they were eating properly again.
post #166 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by maliceinwonderland View Post
I don't think they're bad unless it's a constant (eg - my sister's son gets a bowl of ice cream and a chocolate bar for breakfast because that's what he'll eat). I imagine a lot of MDCers would cringe if they saw some of the things we eat, but I don't count every french fry as my kids being one step closer to a heart attack. I couldn't live like that and I think the negative association with food could rub off on kids causing significant problems later on in life. As long as our diet is balanced I don't worry about junk. If one of the kids started wanting only junk, it would all disappear quickly until they were eating properly again.
I agree that ice cream and chocolate daily for breakfast probably isn't the best habit to get into. I'd be concerned if that's what my kids wanted on a daily basis, and once they were old enough talk to them about what bodies need and how to make good choices. Although if the rest of the diet is OK, it doesn't really matter imo whether the ice cream is for breakfast or after dinner - in our house we eat some pretty weird stuff sometimes for breakfast. Dd went through a stage of eating a bowl of coleslaw for breakfast every day. :

I have to say, though, that my kids choose to eat ice cream pretty much every day. I have it in the freezer, and they help themselves. If they want to eat more, they can. It's a non-issue. The only restraint is that dh shops once per week, so if the carton is gone on Tuesday, there won't be any more until Friday. They know this and they make things last - they will start rationing out the apples too if they see the bin is getting low. And in fact they often serve less ice cream for themselves than I would if I were serving, which shows me that they self-regulate very well.

I also let them choose what they want for most meals. Often it's mac'n'cheese (I only buy organic) or pizza. Frequently it's yoghurt and fruit, or waffles with yoghurt, or stir-fry veggies too. But if it's mac'n'cheese every day, I don't see that as a big deal any more than if it were yoghurt every day. Rather like if they want to play chess every day - which they do at the moment. It's a phase, an enthusiasm, and it will probably pass - whether it's mac'n'cheese or chess. If it doesn't, so what? They can eat mac'n'cheese when they are adults (dh certainly does) and they can play chess too!

I try to see food as objectively as I do other choices that my children make. They live in the real world, so I can't stop them from ever tasting the crap sort of mac'n'cheese. Nor can I stop them trying gunky costco b'day cake, although two of mine hate that stuff, and the third thinks he likes it but in fact takes a couple of spoonfulls, and leaves it. I think that the more you try to control food, or see 'picky' or 'adventurous' as something that you can place value upon, the more you are setting up issues for the future.

I'd rather ignore the fact that my child is 'picky' and make it a non-issue, than worry about it. If that means cutting crusts off bread, no biggie. If it means picking chunks of tomato out of a bowl of pasta as I serve, no biggie. Just as I'd tie their shoelaces if they asked, I'd pick out the tomato out of the pasta. Because I try to see it as the same sort of task. I think that we can get hung up on food in a way that is unhealthy.

So, I have what is thought by many as 'picky' eaters in my house. And I don't honestly care.
post #167 of 168
made
post #168 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by ann_of_loxley View Post
At the end of the day - the majority of children just will not starve themselves to death. (if they do, then obviously there is some other issue there that needs looking at - like spd and the likes, etc) - so I think a lot of children can be made picky because of this.
I'm puzzled by your post -- because I'd got the impression, from reading other posts of yours around the boards, that you pretty much believe in non-coercive parenting like me? So it's hard to imagine you saying "they won't starve themselves to death" (which I guess means you're advocating withholding the "crap-foods" to force them to eat the healthier foods once they get hungry enough?).

That just doesn't sound like the "you" I've conversed with on other threads! Of course, I know your son is pretty young, so if all you've been buying and serving at home are healthy foods, I can see that that's probably what he's used to and he's probably not asking for "crap." So there's likely no coercion or saying "No" involved.

However, at some point kids usually do learn about the foods that are popular with many of their peers in our (Western) society. But maybe when you do the crunchy thing totally right for the first few years, they shun the junk of their own volition, because they're used to higher-quality food?

I wouldn't know, as I can't claim to have done it totally right. My girls both do enjoy some fruits and vegetables -- my youngest enjoys practically everything, while my oldest has a smaller range, but definitely enough to thrive on -- we just make sure to have the ones she prefers on hand, while dh and I, and our 3yo, experiment freely. And our 8yo will taste a new thing, she's just not as likely to accept it as our 3yo.

Both girls also enjoy (and ask for) candy, periodic trips to McDonald's, and so on. I don't feel right about refusing whenever we have the means to get what they're asking for, so we get them these things, but I also talk about what our bodies need to grow and be healthy. Fortunately, our 3yo is unlikely to think about the unhealthy stuff unless she sees it, so we keep it put up, and try to make sure we've provided healthy stuff before she sees our 8yo with the candy and asks for some.

Our 8yo thinks about it on her own without having to see it -- but at least she also has a better understanding about taking care of herself, and about what constitutes proper nutrition.
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