Pickiness is derailing my meal planning! - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 14 Old 05-15-2007, 01:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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OK, so I did meal plans for two weeks in a row, and I tried to include things my kids have liked/eaten in the past, and I included my DD1 (the really picky one) in the planning process. She was all excited about a pasta salad we picked together, then when I made it she wouldn't touch it--I ended up making something else. Then I made turkey tacos, which she had loved two weeks earlier. She gave me a hard time about those too. Neither one will touch anything out of the crockpot--I have no idea why! I made baked sweet potato fries (OMG, so good, by the way)--no go. And so on...

I had the same problem the second week too. Here we are in the third week, and I'm totally off track. What am I doing wrong? Are they just so used to too much fast/convenience food that anything real is a bust right now? Is there some trick to meal planning for kids?

I need to use some ground turkey breast tonight, so I'm planning sloppy joes. I mean, what kid doesn't like sloppy joes, right? If this falls flat, I don't know what I'll do. I can't feed them noodles with butter and cream cheese and jelly every single day! Ugh. Any advice is SO welcome.

TIA

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#2 of 14 Old 05-15-2007, 02:26 PM
 
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Offer them the meal that's on the table. Remind them when the next meal begins, and that that time is when they are going to be able to eat again if they don't eat what is in front of them. It sounds mean, but really, you're not a short order cook! And noodles and butter really isn't that full of nutrients, you know? So, it's either what they can get for themselves or wait until the next meal. I know that the only things my kids can get for themselves, really are meat and crackers or fruit...so at least they'll be eating relatively healthy meals...and if they don't feel like getting themselves food then they can either be hungry or eat what I've made for them. Sometimes, life is hard. Especially when you're little and your mom *gasp* won't feed you convenience food anymore!

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#3 of 14 Old 05-16-2007, 09:45 AM
 
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I agree with Courtenay. Fast food and junk food is what they want, but that does not create a healthy child. I've recently heard that this generation is the first generation whose life-expectancy is less than that of their parents.

You are not alone - my granddaughter (almost 2) used to eat so good. She loves all kinds of foods, even the healthy stuff. Now she will take three bites of something and then wants something else. Since grandma wants her to be happy I'm jumping up finding something new 4 or 5 times during a meal.

After doing that a couple of times I took a step back and took a look at how she was running the show. So now I provide her with a meal that I know tastes good, then we proceed to eat and converse with each other. Basically taking the main focus off of her and her food. We certainly don't ignore her, but it's not "all about her".

Most of the time she eats what we are eating, if not, she is done. We don't make a big deal about it, just something like "done? OK." No special meals. She gets a snack before bed and it starts again the next day.

When struggling with this same thing with my youngest daughter my dad said something that I'll never forget "a kid will never starve, she'll eat when she gets hungry."

Good luck and remember that it will usually take 27 times to create a habit. It won't happen overnight, so hold your own.

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#4 of 14 Old 05-16-2007, 11:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you both. Yesterday she was feeling particularly droopy and weepy (she's getting over being sick), so I didn't push it. She took one look at the sloppy joes and turned her head (to be honest, they didn't turn out like I'd hoped either, I need to get my best friend's recipe for sure), so I made the cream cheese and jelly, but when I sat down with her, I explained that I can't do this anymore, that I simply can't make two meals every single day, and that from now on I'm going to be expecting her to either eat what I make (or part of it, I'll work on adding more enjoyable side dishes, since I usually try to make one-pot type meals), or she'll be expected to get herself an alternative, which will consist of fruit or cheese or cereal (no crackers, if we keep them in the house that's all the two of them will want to eat).

(sigh) I think my main frustration is coming from the fact that she used to eat EVERYTHING! I got used to that, and now it's hard to get out of the mindset. I need to evolve my strategies, for sure.

Thank you!

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#5 of 14 Old 05-16-2007, 11:32 AM
 
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Something, too, that you may want to consider, is to make a lot of healthy stuff available to her for her to grab at her leisure all day. Dr. Sears suggests putting out an ice cube tray full of cut up fruits and veggies and cheese/meats that is at her eye level, and let her snack at her leisure all day. You can put it away an hour before dinner to be sure her belly is ready for dinner. And then, if she doesn't eat dinner, at least you're SURE that she's gotten healthy food throughout the day, and is reasonably likely to have gotten what she needs nutrients wise for the day!

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#6 of 14 Old 05-16-2007, 11:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by courtenay_e View Post
Something, too, that you may want to consider, is to make a lot of healthy stuff available to her for her to grab at her leisure all day. Dr. Sears suggests putting out an ice cube tray full of cut up fruits and veggies and cheese/meats that is at her eye level, and let her snack at her leisure all day. You can put it away an hour before dinner to be sure her belly is ready for dinner. And then, if she doesn't eat dinner, at least you're SURE that she's gotten healthy food throughout the day, and is reasonably likely to have gotten what she needs nutrients wise for the day!
I am working on this I love the snack tray thread, but I'm trying to figure out how to make it work with a thieving mutt in the house. Plus, we manage to do this for about 3 days after we go to the grocery store, but then all the good fresh stuff is used up, and it takes me forever to get to the grocery store again : But you're right, and this will work well for both of them, really, because she does love fruit (veggies, not so much).

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#7 of 14 Old 05-16-2007, 01:13 PM
 
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Try not to stress about it to much. I think everyone that has small children knows what you are feeling. I have 3 kiddo's under 5, can you say picky! I hate to fight with them over food, so in my meal plans I choose things that I know they will eat. Instead of making my plan assigned by day, I make a list and let them choose what we will make that day. Now don't get me wrong, I still have to make two meals sometimes. My DH works late, so the kids eat before he gets home most of the time anyway. It is very common in my house right now to make 2 meals, one for the kids and one for DH and I.

Adding homemade things to your freezer will help. I have made up items like these that I can just grab for them:

Pancakes
waffles
corndogs (yes, homemade and so easy to do)
mac-n-cheese
muffins
taco's
bean-cheese burrito's
etc.

Then I feel like I'm only cooking 1 real meal. Everyone tells me that it will get easier as they get older. Hang in there.
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#8 of 14 Old 05-17-2007, 08:51 AM
 
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Talking to your daughter and telling her you will offer separate side dishes with the meal was a great idea. One-pot meals are not for everyone.

The healthy snacks idea is great. Can you dedicate a drawer or part of a lower cabinet for the kids? That may keep the dog at bay. Some things I keep on hand for when my granddaughter visits is single serving mandarin oranges and applesauce, mixed berry nutri-grain bars (the generic brands), a box of cheerios, apple juice boxes, cheese, and her favorite - black olives.

Good luck and keep us updated.

Kathy
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#9 of 14 Old 05-19-2007, 02:08 AM
 
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Just curious, how old is your picky eater? I have a 4 year old picky one. So frustrating! She won't eat anything with tomatoes, onions, or anything green! Basically a veggie hater (unless they're orange!)
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#10 of 14 Old 05-19-2007, 11:29 AM
 
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And remember that it often takes multiple exposures to new things to "like" them! So, how about some raw snap beans or amish peas (that they can eat in the pod?). My kids LOVE those and if you had asked them two years ago? NO WAY! Part of it, true, is that we GROW them, but really they ate them before that. I can get the peas in the pod at the bulk veggies section at our meijer store, and you could probably get them at your local farm market (we LOVE making a trip to the farm market every saturday...it's like a field trip for us! They love choosing one produce item a piece to bring home!), too...or your fruit market, if you have a good one of those around. They abound near us, so we get decent produce even in the dead of winter, and they even carry some organics, so that's a bonus, too. I think making them involved in the fresh produce, however you find it, makes it more interesting and exciting for them to eat it.

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#11 of 14 Old 05-19-2007, 11:48 AM
 
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to the OP I'm going through the same thing. & now my ds won't eat things he used to.
So I make what i like for dinner, trying to accomadate him but not always. I let him know what i'm making & give him a small bowl, whether he eats it or not. If he doesn't eat what i make he can have anything that is already made in the fridge, freezer or cupboard ie leftovers, frozen meatballs, crackers, cheese, apples, yogurt, muffins, bread, peanut butter

hth
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#12 of 14 Old 05-25-2007, 02:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by baybones View Post
Just curious, how old is your picky eater? I have a 4 year old picky one. So frustrating! She won't eat anything with tomatoes, onions, or anything green! Basically a veggie hater (unless they're orange!)
That is like my son...but he wont even eat the orange ones!!
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#13 of 14 Old 06-03-2007, 06:32 AM
 
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Originally Posted by emilys_mom1 View Post

Then I feel like I'm only cooking 1 real meal. Everyone tells me that it will get easier as they get older. Hang in there.


It's not that much easier.


Though the biggest one *does* eat veggies. Which none of the littler ones will eat at all. But then again, he ate them when he was little, too.


Sigh.
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#14 of 14 Old 06-03-2007, 06:38 AM
 
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Originally Posted by emilys_mom1 View Post

Then I feel like I'm only cooking 1 real meal. Everyone tells me that it will get easier as they get older. Hang in there.


It's not that much easier.


Though the biggest one *does* eat veggies. Which none of the littler ones will eat at all. But then again, he ate them when he was little, too.


Sigh.
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