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<p>I decided to search the forum before posting my own thread so I will add to this. My daughter is 2.5 and is eating NOTHING but bread, pasta, and porridge. She will sometimes request an apple or a carrot but she won´t eat more than a bite. It is beyond frustrating. Also, I am trying to cut way back on breastfeeding because I am pregnant and my milk supply is dropping (right now it seems to be up though - she was sick and nursing all the time) and it hurts/gives me the creeps. She knows she can always try to nurse, I think that doesn´t help. Maybe she has bad gut bacteria, I don´t know. The other night when she hadn´t eaten anything all day and she was asking to nurse constantly and I was OVER IT, I gave her my emergency bag of potato chips, and she ate half the bag and was running around, full of energy. I felt so guilty - she obviously needed the food! Why wouldn´t she eat, all day!? She would rather eat nothing than eat junk? I swear we don´t give junk that often. I am at the end of my rope!!!!!</p>
 

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<p>My 4 year old is hooked on breads and pasta and fruit too, if there is some around that is all he will eat. I still buy lotsa fruit, and sweet potatoes, some corn, some rice, but cut out all wheat and most grains. He used to get fatigued and ragey and it seemed like migraines, hasn't had that since we went gluten free though. Fruit, nuts, raisins, and jerky make up our snacks, and meat and veggies and eggs are the bulk of our meals. I bake sometimes with coconut and almond flour with a bit of tapioca starch. He eats like 4 pieces of fruit a day, but now he'll often make an effort to eat his meals, especially the meat. Some days I have to actually feed it to him though, like he can't be bothered to pick up the fork.</p>
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<p>Oh if she likes porridge try n'oat-meal, for 2 people or so use a mortar and pestle or food processor to grind up a mix of 1/2 cup nuts to something between powder and chunks (cashews, almonds, walnuts, whatever you can get), mix in a mashed banana and an egg and a dash of cinnamon, add milk or a milk alternative to cover, cook til thickened, just like porridge. Also, see if you can give a homemade broth to her or soup made with it, if she'll take it it's very nourishing and healing. Just simmer chicken bones or roasted beef bones in water a few hours on a low stove or in the crockpot, with a splash of vinegar if you remember to add it. Does she take another milk besides breastmilk? Cow, goat, soy, rice, almond, coconut, hemp? I can recommend the last 3 and possibly the goat milk (especially raw). Something milk-like is not absolutely needed but children tend to like it. Also, yogurt or something else cultured or lacto-fermented with live cultures now and then is a must (kefir, water kefir which is like soda, some kinds of pickles, sauerkraut, kimchi).</p>
 

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<p>Definitely a gut issue if carbs/sugars are all they crave.  My ND gave DD rave reviews at her 2yr well check and said let her eat as much as she wants BUT if she only requested bread/cereal/pasta to say no or severely limit it.  Bad gut bacteria feed on these things, thus your body will crave them.  We've worked hard to correct her stomach issues and I do not want to fall back into that cycle again!</p>
 

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<p>She ate fish yesterday! </p>
<p> </p>
<p>I bought a probiotic supplement and she has had a few doses already, maybe that is starting to help. She has ALWAYS been a picky kid. She won´t eat yogurts or spicy foods (currently making kimchi but I doubt she would eat that), and she has texture issues so she won´t eat fruit that is too soft, or bananas that are too hard, bread that is too soft, rice that is not cooked the way she likes, etc. </p>
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<p>I have tried broth. She won´t touch chicken or deer bone broth. She liked japanese clear soup when we were in Japan so I might try to do that. She won´t eat miso, though, unfortunately. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>I guess it is frustrating because, yeah, I would like her to eat more other foods and less grains, but I just CANNOT handle the nursing (sometimes - sometimes it is alright), and so on those days she will literally starve herself until she can get some breastmilk. I tried to give her almond milk a while ago, but not recently. I am not so sure I like the idea of giving her those sort of empty drinks. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>Also, I was just vegan, but after I got pregnant I added back everything in smaller quantities because I was not able to stomach my normal foods and needed to eat. So cooking meats and things for her is hard, in and of itself. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>Thanks for the comments. Maybe I can manage to try a few days without grain to test it out. :) I have a friend who is trying to put her kids on the cure tooth decay diet after being vegans and they basically would rather starve. Seriously. It goes against all the theories but it is true, for them. I just am not sure I believe she could have gotten candida in her system or something similar? She has basically been having large amounts of breastmilk everyday for 2.5 years! I feel like her immune system IS good - she is rarely sick. Anyway. Thanks for the n´oat meal recipe - I will definitely give that a try!</p>
 

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<p>For the carb cravings, if your kids like spaghetti, you can try roasting up some spaghetti squash and load that with your topping of choice.  If you roast it long enough it gets a similar texture of pasta, we do it with some vegan alfredo since we're non-dairy and DD just laps it up. Just though of it bc it's on the menu tonight at our house!</p>
 

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<p>Ooh, good suggestion, thanks! Not sure if anyone sells spaghetti squash around here, but if it exists, I will find it :)</p>
 

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<p>hey ladies,</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I also have a 3.5 yr old who started out strong and is now.......picky, fussy, tempermental, etc., ......since he stays home with me and we have a pretty decent rhythm, his helping me with food prep is an integral part of our day from each meal and snack....yet, it does nothing to help him try these foods out despite what experts say.  he has a great time cooking, will hold the fork/spoon up to the food when done, and say, "nahhhh, we'll leave it here if I change my mind."  to which he never changes his mind, lol.......ahh, the joys of motherhood ;)</p>
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<p>my question is this: I keep hearing of everyone talk about gut flora and increasing the good bacteria, which I get, but yogurt and kefir are dairy products which I didn't think were good for digestion.  is it the way its fermented, or processed that alters its properties?  my son shouldn't get a lot of dairy as it upsets his belly and can affect his moods, but if this is an acceptable alternative, then I would enjoy trying it with him. I wouldn't give him a glass of cows milk or hunk of cheese, but this might be worth a shot, if it would help his gut heal and allow him to branch out again.  the "don't do dairy" but "do probiotics like kefir or yogurt" confuse me.   thanks!</p>
 

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<p>It depends on the individual. I've read that about 20% of people in the world consume dairy just fine regardless (especially if their ancestors did), the rest have varying degrees of inflammation and indigestion. Pasteurization and homogenization make the proteins harder to handle. Cultured (yogurt, kefir), it's much easier to digest. If you still don't handle it well, there's lots of non dairy cultured and fermented foods you can get good gut flora from, or supplements. The easiest to convince a kid to have is water kefir, lemon-ginger is especially pleasant.</p>
 

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<p>Since my LO can't do dairy, we opt for coconut milk kefir when there's money in the budget, otherwise she takes her daily chewable probiotic from the ND.  She does also enjoy sipping on kombucha when I pick up a bottle although I really need to get on the ball and just start making it myself.</p>
 

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<p>Toddlers get weird <br><br>
Have you considered allergies? know that sounds weird, but when my normally "i will eat anything edible" son started refusing tomatos, pineapple, and avocados i was mystified. Those were his <em>favorite</em>s. <br><br><br>
Turns out, he's got seasonal allergies that those foods trigger food allergy symptoms with. Its worth looking into at least- even if s/he can't eat em, you'd have an explanation. </p>
 

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Is it possible to have meat allergies? Because that's one of the things she used to eat but literally won't touch. Otherwise, maybe it's worth looking into eggs. She used to eat those fairly reliably but now wont do more than a bite. Thanks for the idea!
 

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<div class="quote-container" data-huddler-embed="/community/t/1386753/3-year-old-wont-eat-anything-remotely-healthy/20#post_17482868" data-huddler-embed-placeholder="false"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>sageowl</strong> <a href="/community/t/1386753/3-year-old-wont-eat-anything-remotely-healthy/20#post_17482868"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif"></a><br><br>
With meat it's more likely a texture aversion.</div>
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<br><br>
Yes. As a kid I once got a gristly piece of pork chop and now even as an adult, even the smell of pork chops makes me queasy.
 

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<p>Check out "What's eating your child", reissued recently as "Cure your child with food" by Kelly Dorfman. I can't say enough good things about it.</p>
<p>I had the world's pickiest eater (tried to live on breastmilk until weaned, then tried to live on bread, pasta and french fries) and she was having none of the usual good advice: shop, cook, decorate, have peers around who eat, sauces...nothing. She basically stopped growing for a year and had serious issues with constipation (still has megacolon left over from that phase and we have to give daily laxatives even though her stool is soft for at least another six months).</p>
<p>We finally tried to tackle the problem according to Dorfman's E.A.T. program at the beginning of this year and are still working on new foods, but it is and was a fight - for days, she'd tantrum until she fell asleep exhausted at bedtime rather than eat a teensy tiny bit of soft boiled carrot, a vegetable she used to eat at least in pureed form. broth, applesauce and a hand-held blender were our lifesavers. She craved sugar intensely for about two weeks, then got better, but there has been no miracle cure. However, her sudden spurt in growth and development as soon as we had her eating pureed fruit and vegetables was remarkable! She has recently graduated to carrot slices, even had some sauerkraut recently, will eat fish and meat and sausages, will eat apples (peeled) and high fat yoghurt with raisins or mcadamia nuts for a snack and for variety still gets a number of fruit and vegetables either in puree form or grated (as long as the carrot, potato or sweet potato content is reasonably high, most anything goes) .</p>
<p>I have to admit I have no patience any more with people you insist not to force the issue and "they'll eventually learn to like healthy stuff". It may take years, years in which kids' development is compromised by deficient or even toxic building materials for their cells. It was a hard road, and it did involve some extremely authoritarian parenting, but I kept asking myself whether I should be less strict than about enforcing carseats or a lifesaving medication, and the asnwer I kept coming up with was no. in her case it appeared to be mostly about sensory issues, but I am still suspicious about an intolerance lurking around somewhere.</p>
<p>Cravings are a serious pointer towards either gut dysbalances or intolerances. I can't repeat the book here, but with a kid dependent on bread, crackers and pasta, I'd try with eliminating sugar and grain products and give a high quality probiotic (as in a refrigerated bottle from a drugstore, not just yoghurt) for starters. If you feel she is trying to live on dairy, conversely try eliminating dairy. Yes, it means going hungry at first. but this kind of dependcy is harmful for your child, and you wouldn't care about tantrums if you had to take away your prescription medication or the cleaning solvent.</p>
<p>Hang in there! After all this hard work, you will at some point be rewarded by your kid yelling excitedly about this really wonderful dish papa made, "with super yummy meat and green beans and wild rice!" and all of them actually eating it.</p>
 

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<div class="quote-container">Quote:
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Tigerle</strong> <a href="/community/t/1386753/3-year-old-wont-eat-anything-remotely-healthy/20#post_17484446"><img alt="View Post" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
 
<p>I have to admit I have no patience any more with people you insist not to force the issue and "they'll eventually learn to like healthy stuff". It may take years, years in which kids' development is compromised by deficient or even toxic building materials for their cells.</p>
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<p>There is actually no scientific evidence to support this.</p>
<p>But there is scientific evidence to support the fact the forcing food on children is harmful and messes up their body signals, so they can't feel when they are full.</p>
<p>The kids will grow to learn to eat the food we are eating. Not the food we <em>are supposed</em> to eat, but the food we are actually eating. It's that simple.</p>
 

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<div class="quote-container">Quote:
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Nightwish</strong> <a href="/community/t/1386753/3-year-old-wont-eat-anything-remotely-healthy/20#post_17486197"><img alt="View Post" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br>
 
<p>There is actually no scientific evidence to support this.</p>
<p>But there is scientific evidence to support the fact the forcing food on children is harmful and messes up their body signals, so they can't feel when they are full.</p>
<p>The kids will grow to learn to eat the food we are eating. Not the food we <em>are supposed</em> to eat, but the food we are actually eating. It's that simple.</p>
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<p> </p>
<p>Ah, I realize I need to clear up a misconception here.</p>
<p>We do not enforce quantity. But we do enforce quality.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I am not sure what you mean by "there is no scientific evidence to support this". I'm sure you're not saying that there is no scientific evidence that it does not matter to kids' health and development if they try to subsist on a white diet - as in dry pasta, dry bread, yoghurt and the occasional sausage, and <em>nothing else</em> that might contain a shred of fiber or a microgram of vitamins - for years and years? Because that was what DD tried to control everyone around her into letting her eat  <em>exclusively</em> for over a year. She basically stopped growing after I had to nightwean her at a year old due to inflamed and suppurating nipples (she ate the bare minimum of the fruit and veggie purees to survive during the day and tried to make up for it all night) and after I had to wean her for good at 1.5 years halfway through my third pregnancy, her overall development seemed to slow down, except for a huge buddha belly that just kept expanding - at that time, we still got the occasional jar of veggies or applesauce in. When we finally were able to gasp for air after a highrisk pregnancy and the birth and NICU stays of our special needs baby to realize (a time during which she spent way too much time at daycare and with grandparents) and realized what kind of diet she had screamed and fussed her way into eating (see above) she had stopped pooping, too. There must be scientific evidence that it's not that great for kids when they stop pooping...</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Our fridge was and is overflowing with fresh produce. We cook meat and veggies from scratch, always have, and enjoy it all. It did not matter one whit to our DD. She simply stuffed herself with the carb options on the table (dry pasta, dry bread -  God, we were glad if could get the occasional potatoe in, and tricked her into tolerating butter on the bread) . The healthiest thing she was eating was homemade cakes and pies, and that not always. DS1 was a picky eater too, but he had nothing on DD.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>So, in desperation, we went primal/PHD. There simply is no more bread or pasta in the house and we have asked the grandparents not to serve those any more, either (still working on daycare). We had to basically starve her into even consenting to put a piece of veggies or fruit into her mouth - I kept telling myself it's that or continuing laxative medication indefinitely.... Had to refuse to let her have anything in the way of rice or potatoes until either the veggies (still pureed, though she has recently, after 8 months training, graduated to carrot pieces and peeled apple slices) and meat on her plate are gone or enforce one bite of each in turn (we still have to watch her like a hawk, it's easier to just insist on her having veggies and meat first before we even put a carb option on the table). Certainly no dessert unless she's had a balanced meal. This goes for DS1 too! We tell the kids, with conviction, that the body cannot cope with the additional sugar unless it's had a solid dose of proper nutrients in.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>The kids are developing in leaps and bounds, calmer, happier, even though we continually insist on their trying something new at table - with DD, it might be a new shape of boiled carrot pieces (yes, she's that difficult), with DS1 it might be a bite of cauliflower. They are beginning to calm down about that situation too, resigning themselves philosophically to putting stuff in their mouths they would both have run away from screaming only months ago, and interestingly, usually admit that they like it or at least find it tolerable. I would not have the eating situtation we had before go on for another day.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Feeling if she's full? She refused to even sit down at the table, insisting she wasn't hungry when veggies were so much as on her plate, and put herself to bed. However, she was immediately hungry if there was one of the 5 or so options she liked.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>And no, she's not autistic. Probably sensory issues around food, but otherwise very healthy.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>And I'd be <em>extremely</em> suspicious of any scientific evidence purporting to infer any causalities on finding, that most kids, by and large, grow up to do stuff the way their parents do it. Unless the children are adopted, you can have no idea just how much of those similarities are actually due to modelling. Anecdotally, I have seen too many families with children who run the gamut from excellent over so-so to extremely picky eaters to believ in modelling any more.</p>
 

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<p>When I said: there is no scientific evidence to support this, I referred to your statement:</p>
<p> </p>
<p>"kids' development is compromised by deficient or even toxic building materials for their cells.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Never heard that before.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I see you are fighting a continuous battle with your children to make them eat what you consider nutritious. I've been through that as a child with my own mother and I know what you mean.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>My own experience as a mother proved me that as long as I trusted my kids to make choices from <em>the food that was placed on the table at mealtime and snack time,</em> our eating - and feeding experience was a lot more pleasurable. They didn't always eat what and how much I wanted them to eat, they occasionally stopped growing, or grew in spurts (my ds didn't gain weight at all between 1 and 2 years; my dd gained a lot of weight around two, but then shot up in height), but as long as our ped and family doctor said they were healthy, I didn't worry.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I guess my goal is to make eating a joyful experience for my kids (and the whole family), to let them be aware of their bodies' cues, when they are hungry and when they are full, to raise them as competent eaters. Personally, I find these goals more important than making sure they got a specific amount/type of food in their bodies on a specific day.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Also wanted to add, bread and pasta are a significant source of fiber. Maybe your dd knew better what her body needed.</p>
 

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<p>Ah I get what you meant now.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>For the probably best known example of structural damage from malnutrition, I would refer you to the research on transfats versus omega3s such as DHA and EPA and their influence on brain development (one summer, DD tried to live exclusively on french fries. ugh). For cell damage induced by diet consisting mostly of refined carbs (dry pasta, dry bread, even whole grain bread), to research on what was formerly called adult onset diabetes, until kids who had ever higher carb amounts in their diet developed insulin resistance, too. Generally, all oxidation processes induced by substances such as refined vegetable oils or sugar lead to cell damage. All of the above will take years to reverse once the damage is done, as the body takes years to renew the compromised cells - sort of like a smoker whose cancer risks takes years to go down even after stopping.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>So why serve french fries, bread and pasta at all, you may ask? Well, we did want to pic-nic on the beach occasionally, or have bread for breakfast or pasta for lunch. It would not have been so bad if DD had consented to eat anything else during other occasions, and not run away screaming and put herself to bed. And you can't be serious about her doing this because she somehow knew she needed the fiber? As if the white flour pretzels and pasta she craved and manipulated every one else into giving her just so she would stop screaming and eat <em>something</em> instead of putting herself to bed hungry were a better source of fiber than the fruit and vegetables we offered? No, if a child behaves that way it means her body signals are seriously out of whack (and because she was difficult even in her transition to solids after being exclusively breastfed I think it was sensory issues in the first place until it developed into a carb dependency). And she wasn't healthy - viz. the constipation, and the slowdown in language development. Peds aren't that reliable in judging whether kids are developing as well as they should. They actually were concerned about the arrested growth and tested for celiac disease, but when that one turned out negative, they just shrugged and prescribed laxatives for the constipation.And since her cognitive development appeared to be advanced anyway, they felt every thing else was fine. Only - her older brother, who is only a somewhat picky eater and actually able to eat a healthy diet by choosing from the healthy options I serve which I know he will eat, was off the charts. And now that she is getting her nutrients in, she is off the charts, too. A ped wouldn't take that concern seriously, but I knew something was going wrong, badly.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>talking about bodily cues, I need to add that both DS1 and I have blood sugar issues, ie reactive hypoglycemia. When our blood sugar drops, we do not get hungry, we crash. I get dizzy and irritable, DS1 just freaks out, and is almost unable to eat. I used to have to yell at him to stop screaming and take just one bite so he could calm down enough to start eating, even though I tried to make sure he had protein rich snacks. Now that we have stopped eating grains and cut down on all other carbs, that is GONE. All those carb options just mess up our kids' bodies cues until they aren't reliable any more, and you cannot "reset" their bodies, as it were, without enforcing the low carb high nutrition options first.</p>
 

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<p>Oh, and I do get what you mean about the joyful experience, really I do. The last 8 months or so were eating hell for all of us. Now that the yelling, running, whining, screamin has mostly stopped, the kids have gotten used to the fact that grains are out and sugar is extremely restricted and we can slowly slowly introduce ever more healthy options, we all feel SO much better. Finding pleasure in food is really important. But I did have to teach my kids to find pleasure beyond flour and sugar.</p>
<p>It was worth it.</p>
 

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Oh man, now I am sort of even more back where I started.<br><br>
I was a very picky eater, and when I got to an age where I realized eating more kinds of foods opened doors, I started eating more. I still have some hang ups, but I LOVE food, cooking, eating, trying new things, and traveling and eating new foods. So...I feel like she might have an adventurous eater inside her just lying dormant, that I don´t want to scare away. Plus, I really don´t have it in my to starve her (because really, she will refuse to eat food that she doesn´t want to eat) to get her to eat a diet that I see as more balanced. When I look at a week of nutrition for her, she is eating some fish or meat products, some veg (carrots, potatoes), some fruit (apple, banana, grapes, strawberries, lots of these), lots of carbs (pasta, porridge, bread, rice), and some unhealthier options (salty snacks or these rolls that have cinnamon swirls in them (much closer to cinnamon bread than cinnamon rolls)). No juice. Lots of water. Sure there are vitamins not being at optimal levels, and now that she has stopped breastfeeding, except for one small token feed a day, that does worry me a bit, but I might try a vitamin :/<br><br>
I think for now I am not going to change anything drastically. We did talk about how trying foods can be a fun way to find new things she likes, and I told her for every dinner I make, I am going to try to make at least some part of that a food that she could theoretically eat (not too spicy, not mixed with lots of other foods <img alt="wink1.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/wink1.gif">). She liked that idea.<br><br>
From my experience with her I know that whenever I push, she pushes back. So, pushing isn´t the answer. <img alt="smile.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/smile.gif">
 
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