or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Picky Eaters : Born or Made?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Picky Eaters : Born or Made? - Page 4

post #61 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by littleaugustbaby View Post
Fat does not necessarily equal unhealthy. IMO, a kid eating a healthy diet is much healthier than a kid eating junk, regardless of their size.
The current medical belief is that a healthful diet is more important than exercise. Obviously both are ideal but if you had to pick one, pick diet. Blows away the mindset that you can eat a bunch of junk and make up for it with exercise.
post #62 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
Absolutely nothing! One problem is the cultural attitude that says it's "rude" to refuse to eat whatever food is set in front of you. Another problem is the cultural attitude that says parents aren't supposed to "give in" to their kids.

A heavy dose of respect for kids can help transform this into a non-issue, or at least less of an issue.
post #63 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
Absolutely nothing! One problem is the cultural attitude that says it's "rude" to refuse to eat whatever food is set in front of you. Another problem is the cultural attitude that says parents aren't supposed to "give in" to their kids.

A heavy dose of respect for kids can help transform this into a non-issue, or at least less of an issue.
While I do agree with this, there is another problem you've overlooked here.

Ds is a "picky eater" due to sensory aversions and it can be very difficult to get proper nutrition in him. I mean he will sometimes just not eat any protein at all, for example. That is actually a problem, as opposed to an imagined one liked stated above. I see this in kids who are picky for other reasons, too. I mean, if a kid won't eat a single vegetable you've got a problem - no? But again, I think that's more the "made" kind imo.
post #64 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by lunar forest View Post
While I do agree with this, there is another problem you've overlooked here.

Ds is a "picky eater" due to sensory aversions and it can be very difficult to get proper nutrition in him. I mean he will sometimes just not eat any protein at all, for example. That is actually a problem, as opposed to an imagined one liked stated above. I see this in kids who are picky for other reasons, too. I mean, if a kid won't eat a single vegetable you've got a problem - no? But again, I think that's more the "made" kind imo.
Is a kid not eating any vegetables more "made" than yours not eating any protein? Just puzzled by that.
post #65 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4evermom View Post
Is a kid not eating any vegetables more "made" than yours not eating any protein? Just puzzled by that.
Oh my kid will only recently even entertain the thought of tasting a veggie. I guess that statement did come off and a sweeping judgment. I meant *most* kids (that I know, anyway) who think they don't like veggies are the ones living on mcdonald's, kraft, and Stouffer's. I know tons of kid picky eaters, but the ones who have always been offered healthy foods still like some veggies. There's a difference between kids who prefer certain foods and kids who prefer convenience foods.

I didn't mean to come off and superior at all. I struggle with this daily. But there's a line between excepting your child's tastes and and completely letting them choose.
post #66 of 168
I'll say both as well. I was a VERY picky kid. But at least half of that was because a) we belonged to the "clean plate club". and I spent a lot of evenings sitting in front of cold broccoli. and b) because my mother would fight me on even healthy food choices.

For instance, I don't like toast. Can't see the point in burning perfectly good bread. My mother would not let me eat a sandwich for breakfast. Why? I don't know. Peanut butter sandwich is different from peanut butter toast how?

The sitting at the table thing was a huge backfire. I am very stubborn.

I eat a lot more now mostly thanks to a good friend and fellow MDC mama. Before we were mamas we shared an apartment. Her family is full of food allergies, so she's very laid back about trying things. She would order things I'd never had in a restaurant and let me try them, risk free. Or make them, and let me try them, and not say anything if I spit it back out. It was really nice. And now there are tons of things I'll eat that I would have said "I dont' like that" about before.

So yeah, a pressure free environment is often the way to go to encourage someone, but you can't move beyond their own tolerance for such things.
post #67 of 168
To some extent, my DH was made into a picky eater.

But as frustrated as I get sometimes, I would have done exactly what his parents did.

He spent most of his early years in and out of the hospital, desperately ill, going through dozens of surgeries. Getting him to eat anything was a major triumph. So if he got lots of processed food because it was easier on his stomach, he got french fries because it was a way to get any food into his body. I would have done exactly what they did without a moments hesitation even knowing how hard it is to feed him as an adult.

Heck, when we were dating we were going to BIL's house and SIL actually called and told him to pick up McDonald's because he wouldn't like the dinner. I was mortified. but its just the way things are.
post #68 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by lunar forest View Post
Oh my kid will only recently even entertain the thought of tasting a veggie. I guess that statement did come off and a sweeping judgment. I meant *most* kids (that I know, anyway) who think they don't like veggies are the ones living on mcdonald's, kraft, and Stouffer's. I know tons of kid picky eaters, but the ones who have always been offered healthy foods still like some veggies. There's a difference between kids who prefer certain foods and kids who prefer convenience foods.

I didn't mean to come off and superior at all. I struggle with this daily. But there's a line between excepting your child's tastes and and completely letting them choose.
Gotcha.

Though, I think my ds prefers convenience foods because they are so consistent in texture. He hates finding a "surprise" texture or flavor in his mouth and I think he has discovered things in boxes are safer, lol.

I'm just thrilled my ds has stared eating broccoli and will occasionally eat peanut butter (he's a vegetarian and can stand beans, doesn't care for dairy possibly due to allergies).
post #69 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4evermom View Post
Gotcha.

Though, I think my ds prefers convenience foods because they are so consistent in texture. He hates finding a "surprise" texture or flavor in his mouth and I think he has discovered things in boxes are safer, lol.

I'm just thrilled my ds has stared eating broccoli and will occasionally eat peanut butter (he's a vegetarian and can stand beans, doesn't care for dairy possibly due to allergies).
Yeah, see, I could have written you post myself. Though, we're no longer veg because of the protein thing (I've been veg for nearly ten years, but ds just wasn't getting what he needed), oh yeah, and ds would never eat nutbetters.
post #70 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by lunar forest View Post
While I do agree with this, there is another problem you've overlooked here.

Ds is a "picky eater" due to sensory aversions and it can be very difficult to get proper nutrition in him. I mean he will sometimes just not eat any protein at all, for example. That is actually a problem, as opposed to an imagined one liked stated above. I see this in kids who are picky for other reasons, too. I mean, if a kid won't eat a single vegetable you've got a problem - no? But again, I think that's more the "made" kind imo.
That's why I added "or at least less of an issue" onto "non-issue" -- because I realize that of course it's issue if a child is no longer breastfeeding, and also isn't wanting to eat anything nutritious. For days and days on end.

But respect for the child turns it into less of an issue than it would be if parents were getting tripped-up by concerns about showing their child "who's boss," and not letting their child "manipulate" them.

As an example, a relative of mine was berated by other family members for feeding her 6yo grandson. He was staying with her during a difficult transition in his life, and was refusing to eat and sleeping a lot. But he liked being held and fed, so she saw it as a way to get some nourishment in him, and basically help him choose life over starving himself and sleeping all the time.

Then this grandma took her grandson to a family reunion, and was scolded by her siblings for feeding a 6yo.

So ... I'm not saying this child's depression, and his not eating, were non-issues: But it sure gets complicated when parents of special-needs children get bashed by judges who don't understand, and don't even try. And these judges are basically just exhorting parents to quit catering to their kids, and start catering to public opinion.

The parents who follow that advice are just hurting their kids, to gain the approval of people who often care nothing about their kids.
post #71 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCVeg View Post
Can you clarify this? It's not clear to me how having food allergies is the same as "self-limitation" or "pickiness." My dd doesn't eat wheat or peanuts or tree nuts or eggs because she'll get very ill--because she could die. It has nothing to do with being "picky"; she has no choice in the matter.
I just meant 'self limitation' in the sense of limiting oneself to certain to foods or food groups. Sometimes one has no choice but to limit oneself (i.e. in the case of alergies and sensitivities) and sometimes one limits oneself by choice (i.e. because they don't like certain foods). If someone is allergic to eggs, for example, they usually limit themselves to food without eggs in order to avoid getting sick. It is still self limitation--even if it is wise self limitation done for a reason beyond the person's control. Does that make sense? No offense was meant, at any rate
post #72 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by artgirl View Post
Boy, I'm sensitive to this because my 2nd child is a picky eater in my opinion. His thing is yogurt. Good enough for you in moderation but NOTHING is good for you when it's all you'll eat.
He won't even TRY to put things in his mouth. He looks at them or touches them to his tongue and they are rejected. Or by smell.
As a baby he did better. I'm hoping he'll grow out of it.
I'm annoyed at the judgmental moms here who are saying that picky eaters are created. Or that if they're picky they are only eating unhealthy things. He'll also eat muffins so you wouldn't believe the things that I've hidden in muffins just to be sure he has something green once in awhile. It's hard. It's tiring and you WORRY all the time. Eating becomes something that isn't enjoyable.
Yes, I do give him mac n' cheese. He'll eat it sometimes. I give him Amy's organic. It's some protein and some freaking calories!
Many, many nights he'll go to bed without eating anything. I make dinner the no-negotiation meal. He either eats what we're having or eats nothing. He will 9.5 times out of 10 choose to eat nothing without even having TRIED what is offered.
Anyway...mothers with picky eater children are not necessarily lazy, or crappy eaters themselves. It's truly a struggle. Have you ever seen or lived with a child who hasn't eaten enough in the last 24 hours? Tantrums, tears, low tolerance for EVERYTHING. It's hell. At that point... I'll give him a yogurt because everyone is miserable and it's not worth it. I have THREE kids to take care of.
I may be wrong but I think he'll grow out of it if I can avoid making it into a HUGE issue (probably too late now).

Another point would be that I know moms who kids eat as pure as the new fallen snow... but they eat to excess. Fat kids. They eat everything alright but they are overweight. What's better? Fat kids eating all kinds of really healthy foods or normal weight kids who will only eat a handful of items?

Big hugs mama, I've been there.

My oldest, compliant in every other way, had a real issue with food from the time she was about a year old to about 4.5 did she not tolerate the eating of meat of any kind other than nuggets (frozen nuggets, not McDs kind) or fish sticks, and never anything with sauce, or mixed together (like casseroles).

When I "forced" her to try to not only put food in her mouth, but swallow (not saying anyone does here or that's even a good idea to try) normal meat (of any kind). She would put it in her mouth, chew very reluctantly with tears streaming down her face, then start gagging. I never tried that tactic very long.

It took 3.5 years of gentle coaxing to get her to eat meat, making separate meals for her, always having a pb and j sandwich whenever we went out. But, during that time, I would gradually introduce meat (starting with plain chicken). It had to be so gradually - first I'd ask her to put the offensive food in her mouth, then allow her to spit it out. Then I would ask her to chew it, then spit it out, then eventually swallow one piece. When she mastered this, I added the number of bites, so that she has to eat one bite for each year (when she was 5, it was 5 bites, now that she's 6 it's six). (she would however, eat fruits and vegetables and still does).

There are children with very real oral aversions to texture, taste, even temperature of foods.

While we were working on this, I made smoothies a part of our diets with protein powder (and there are many options - egg, rice, soy, whey[which is milk protein]), wheat germ, flax oil and fruit and yogurt. I also added to pancakes protein powder, oats chopped fine, wheat germ, flax oil instead of regular oil. But, in addition to that, we also did the mac and cheese and nuggets (but only like 2x a week).

When she got comfortable eating chicken, I made my own chicken nuggets from chicken breast, then in the last year, she's actually begun to eat steak and hamburger meat.

But even without actual meat, trying to get them to eat beans and peas is a good way to get protein in them. Hard boiled egg is pretty good too. This one never minded hard boiled eggs.

It's harder though to have a picky eater and ALLERGIES, but fortunately my daughter never had food allergies. That would have made it a nightmare.


Oh...

and as a side note: I never let my children go to bed hungry. If they didn't eat a good dinner, I let them eat a bowl of oatmeal. But I didn't have to do that often. I always felt that making a child go without food is a punishment and I don't want to do that. I have had one child that had sensitivity to blood sugar (though not truly hypoglycemic), and would have worse meltdowns if she didn't eat enough good food (she's actually one of my better eaters fortunately).
post #73 of 168
This article appeared in the New York Times last year.

Excerpt from article:

Quote:
Researchers examined the eating habits of 5,390 pairs of twins between 8 and 11 years old and found children’s aversions to trying new foods are mostly inherited.

The message to parents: It’s not your cooking, it’s your genes.

The study, led by Dr. Lucy Cooke of the department of epidemiology and public health at University College London, was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in August. Dr. Cooke and others in the field believe it is the first to use a standard scale to investigate the contribution of genetics and environment to childhood neophobia.

According to the report, 78 percent is genetic and the other 22 percent environmental.
Of course, an important point is that if you never make Cheese Whiz or Frozen Fries or Chicken nuggets or McDonalds available to your picky child (i.e, just don't buy that stuff - ever), then even the most extremely picky child will never have the chance to prefer it, only the chance to reject your food and ask for something else in your pantry. (In our pantry, that would whole wheat bread, chick peas, cherry tomatoes, whole grain pasta - still not great as a diet unto itself, but better than getting processed chicken nuggets every day).
post #74 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by RomanGoddess View Post
Of course, an important point is that if you never make Cheese Whiz or Frozen Fries or Chicken nuggets or McDonalds available to your picky child (i.e, just don't buy that stuff - ever), then even the most extremely picky child will never have the chance to prefer it, only the chance to reject your food and ask for something else in your pantry. (In our pantry, that would whole wheat bread, chick peas, cherry tomatoes, whole grain pasta - still not great as a diet unto itself, but better than getting processed chicken nuggets every day).
And that is the heart of the matter. I agree 100%.
post #75 of 168
(Haven't read all the posts, so sorry if I'm redundant)

Interesting NYT article. I have fraternal twins, aged 6. One boy eats almost anything and will try everything. One twin has about 10 foods he'll eat. It's always been that way. So, I'd have to say picky eaters are BORN.

Like a pp, my son would starve rather than try something he doesn't want or is afraid he won't like. I hope he grows out of it, but he's doing OK on his diet. He has two vegetables he'll eat, two fruits, bread and a couple of meats. He knows he's missing out and he doesn't care.
post #76 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by RomanGoddess View Post
Of course, an important point is that if you never make Cheese Whiz or Frozen Fries or Chicken nuggets or McDonalds available to your picky child (i.e, just don't buy that stuff - ever), then even the most extremely picky child will never have the chance to prefer it, only the chance to reject your food and ask for something else in your pantry. (In our pantry, that would whole wheat bread, chick peas, cherry tomatoes, whole grain pasta - still not great as a diet unto itself, but better than getting processed chicken nuggets every day).
Yes--I agree with this. My picky and food-allergic child will always eat watermelon, blueberries, Just Tomatoes brand dehydrated fruit, brown rice bread with organic cream cheese, and organic turkey breast. So even on a very picky day, I can be sure she's getting some nutrition. I don't offer her things like French fries, tater tots, and chicken nuggets, because I think there is a real risk that she would give up her healthier choices.

But I also think, as in some of the examples above, that there are parents who facilitate picky eating--like a friend of mine, who regularly declares that "no toddler eats vegetables" and therefore NEVER offers them (even if we go out for Chinese food and she gets chicken with broccoli or something--she'll give her boys the chicken and some white rice, but she won't even put the veggies on their plates).

And the reason that picky eating is a problem, to go back to someone else's question, is that the human body requires a range of nutrients to thrive. When dd is in a picky phase, I worry not because I want to control her or because I don't want to "give in" to her, but because I want her to be healthy. Given that she has extensive food allergies and is already very limited in what she eats, I want to maximize her nutrition. That doesn't mean forcing her to eat, or scolding her when she doesn't--but I don't think it's "wrong" to be invested in providing your child with a healthy, well-balanced diet. I certainly wish my mom had done more to encourage me to try new foods, instead of allowing me a steady stream of Froot Loops, PopTarts, and frozen dinners--foods that were seriously detrimental not only to my health, but to my long-term eating habits.
post #77 of 168

Another Combination Vote for Picky Eaters

Interesting thread. I've always believed that picky eaters are born, and then either exacerbated or curbed by parents. Giving McDonald's to a toddler on a regular basis definitely qualifies as exacerbation.

We didn't give our kids chicken nuggets, hotdogs, mac-n-cheese or juice because I'd read too many posts from parents who said that was all their kids would consume and I didn't want to go down that road. They got tastes of it eventually, but it was typically in unusual circumstances... at grandma's or when we were travelling and options were limited (the beverage choices were coke or applie juice). It wasn't something they expected at home at normal meals so it was outside the sphere of what they'd even think of when they were being picky. I'd also sabotage trips to fast food restaurants. I'd give the kids a snack before we went, and try to go to one with a play structure so they'd ignore the food after eating six fries.

Even with healthy food our kids could still be picky though! Food had to be one colour... spice flecks were not acceptable. Crackers couldn't be broken. Sizes, shapes, textures were points of contention. A food they'd eaten for two years would suddenly get rejected because it was cut the wrong way.

Younger DD goes through phases of eating only four things... fortunately the list usually looks something like grapes, strawberries, peanut butter on whole wheat and red peppers... so we can live with it. Our older DD rejected meat as a baby, and goes through long stretches of not eating it now.
post #78 of 168
I really wish the search function was working again. There was a post I think on MDC about feeding therapy. One of the mothers posted the detailed progression of steps to get their child to expand their food choices. I really wish I can find it again (I can't even find it on my computer because I'm pretty sure I cut and pasted it).
post #79 of 168
We all have preferences, but IMO downright pickiness is something that parents contribute to and foster in their children. You don't have to force your kid to eat peas if the smell or texture literally makes them gag, but whining, complaining, only eating things that are white (bread, rice, plain pasta), nuh-uh. That is a decision you make as a parentto allow to continue. DH recently had a co-worker tell him that his 3 year old would only eat Eggo waffles. We both wondered, why keep buying waffles? Ditto my nieces refusing to eat ANYTHING but plain bread at a family party. They are 5 and 7. Take away the bread, and tell them they're out of luck unless they pick somethign that has a color.
post #80 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuildJenn View Post
But I wonder if you have eaten with a lot of people from different cultures? Because there are definitely "picky eaters" in other cultures.
I've spent most of my adult life (20 + years) with non-Americans both in their culture and here. Yes, I eat with people from different cultures every single day. And, no, I have yet to find that they are as picky as American kids.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Parenting
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Picky Eaters : Born or Made?