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DS is soooo picky. I try to vary the foods he eats and keep offering him what the rest of the family is eating (salmon, chicken, rice, cous cous, veggies etc.) but he acts like he is really going to throw up when that stuff enters his mouth. Every day I try and every day he ends up with his own dinner foods - usually yogurt, banana, crackers or something similar. At what age do you all say "you need to eat your dinner or you don't get anything else" or maybe " you need to eat 3 bites of veggies and then you can have yogurt" I don't want to starve my child and DS is only 19 months so I think it's a little young for him to understand these ultimatums, just wondering for future reference.
 

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from the very beginning.<br>
dd always gets what we eat and that's it. now....she's only 13 months and i <i>have</i> broken some other rules i said i would never break but (knock on wood) we're never going to do special foods.<br>
barring a medical issue, kids will not starve themselves. and if you're worried like he's not getting enough i would just incorporate a meal of his favorites into your rotation. you could do yogurt for breakfast or you could have a fruit that he likes for dessert or a snack.<br>
that said, since he's been getting separate stuff it might be tough to transition. he might did his heels in so it sounds like you're going to have to commit to a plan and stick to it. be consistant and don't cave and it should work out. yeah, he won't understand the consequences of not eating but if he doesn't eat just save his plate and if he's hungry an hour later you can bring it out again. and if he doesn't eat then just repeat. eventually he'll understand that nothing new is coming out.<br>
sometimes you can find a trick that works for you too. i had a very picky 2 year-old in my class a few years ago. he only ate bread and cheerios from the meals. but one day i noticed i had put a larger portion of chicken on his plate and exclaimed "wow, you got BIG chicken!" and he ate it. after that "BIG chicken" worked every time. kids are weird. good luck.
 

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I never really offered separate foods, with my last two. They ate what we eat, from when they first started to eat.<br><br>
With my first, I did as you describe-- what happened is that the list of foods she'd eat got smaller and smaller until she refused everything except peaches and yogurt. She was nearly five years old before we got through that, and I realized I'd made a mistake by letting her have "easier" carb-heavy foods when she didn't like what we were having.<br><br>
So with my next two, I didn't offer separate foods unless what the family was eating was clearly inappropriate-- like clams, for instance, which are difficult for a baby to manage, to say the least. Otherwise, what was on the table were the available choices, and if they ate, that was fine, and if they didn't want what we were having, they got down to play with no comment, and we tried again the next mealtime. I never used ultimatums, though-- it wasn't like that. It was just-- this is what we have. Do you want some? No? Okay that's fine. Come back if you change your mind.<br><br>
If they asked for something besides what we were having, I would just say, "no, we're not having yogurt today. Maybe we'll have it for breakfast tomorrow. Won't that be fun?"<br><br>
I didn't worry about them going hungry. If they were really hungry, they'd eat. It helps, too, if they're still nursing-- because then at least you know they're getting that. If you're not still nursing, you might consider adding a formula until about two years old, to fill in the nutritional gaps as he learns to eat table foods.
 

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We just did this. DS is 29 mos. He has been underweight forever (24 lbs and not even on those stupid CDC growth charts) and even though I catered to him in a desperate attempt to get him to eat anything we weren't seeing any differences.<br><br>
Finally I stopped. We got Ellen Satter's book from the library and put it into practice. In one month we have seen a HUGE difference.<br><br>
He gets what we get and I don't cook weird stuff. I am not asking the kid to eat boiled sheeps head you know? Satter recommends always having bread available but we don't really do bread so I substitute apples or crackers.<br><br>
Than he gets super small portions of what we have-like a tbsp of each so he is not overwhelmed with a huge amount. And that ends my responsibility. His starts. He chooses whether to eat and how much. So I don't bribe him with, "you have two bites of veggies and you can have yogurt." Offering substitutions just made me offer 8 million things. And some days he would refuse even yogurt. It drove me mad.<br><br>
This may not work for everyone and some might find it harsh but for us it has been liberating. I stopped hovering and micromanaging which isn't good for anyone and the kid actually has days where he eats.
 

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I never gave my ds separate foods (well except he'd get dairy-free versions of the same food others were eating). Once he was interested in solids we did baby-led feeding...so let hiim grab what he wanted off our plates/his plate while still nursing on demand.<br><br>
My ds has never been picky and the only food he doesn't like is green peppers...he loves broccoli, swiss chard, bok choy, (all veggies really), etc.<br><br>
If for some reason he didn't' like something I suppose he could have just left it on his plate and I wouldn't worry because he still nursed a ton.<br><br>
He just weaned 2 months shy of being 3 years old and still eats everything we eat. If he chooses not to eat much, i wrap up his leftovers and offer them again the next time he mentions he is hungry.<br><br>
All the families I know that cater to their child's pickyness have regretted it later on because their child eats nothing but "kid" food.
 

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When my kid was physically capable of spreading peanut butter and jam or pouring their own bowl of cereal... I stopped being the short order cook. Naturally, some whining occurred but you'd be surprised. Some kids would rather eat mom's food because they claim to be "too tired" to fix their own sandwich or cereal.
 

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Just my 2 cents.<br><br>
I'm personally a big believer in not making a big deal out of food. I think the more control you exercise over a child regarding food the more they lose the ability to truly listen to what their bodies are telling them is right for them. By saying things like "you need to eat 3 bites of veggies and then you can have yogurt" you are introducing the idea that veggies are not good tasting and the only reason to eat them is to get something that is considered a treat. If you can relax about it I bet you'll turn around one day and he won't touch yogurt, bananas or crackers and he'll be on to something else.<br><br>
My DS seemed to have trouble early on with textures of food and ate a pretty limited diet although what he ate was in large quantities. Now at 2.5 he eats everything under the sun...when he wants to that is! Some days he'll eat huge quantities of one thing and then he won't touch it for weeks. I go with the flow. I always offer him what DH and I are having and let him have full control over eating what he wants when he wants. There are two reasons I can do this. First, I only have healthy foods in our house on a day to day basis. Second, I don't think a meal has to be something elaborate so getting something else for him isn't a hassle. It might be a dish of chickpeas, a bowl of applesauce, and an avocado. It takes me two minutes, it's healthy, and there's no fighting about food.
 

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I don't have food rules. Heck, as an adult there are some nights I don't want to eat a veggie with my meal or I might have a cookie for breakfast. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="innocent"> What I do what them to do is listen to their bodies. I don't cook weird things, lots of soups, pastas, stirfry... is what we mostly live off of. I give small portions of everything to every child, they either eat it or they don't. I give seconds on anything they ask for more with no rules. I do make sure there is always something on the table that everyone will eat. My kids might go through a phase of not wanting salads or veggies but then they eventually start eating it again. I have a 7,4, and 18m old BTW. The toddler gets whatever I cook, with soup I just pick out pieces and put in in a bowl for him. DH and I always cut up a piece of fruit every night for the kids to share while we are reading a bedtime story for them so no one is ever hungry.<br><br>
I have only had an older child flat out refuse to anything at that meal a few times in that case they can eat what ever they can fix themselves, which is usually cold cereal or a sandwich.
 

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In general we don't make separate meals at dinner. We never have. I make sure there is something on the table DS will eat, and then I let it go. I will make a separate meal for DD, but only because she is off dairy and occasionally we have very dairy heavy meals, which she can't eat. I do let DS have a snack before bed, but at dinner time he gets what is offered. Generally DS just doesn't eat dinner or eats bread or fruit, but that is his own choice, and he can have a basic snack after dinner if he wants something to eat.
 

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I don't make extra food.<br><br>
I do require that my children eat veggies. IME one sometimes has to gain a "taste" for certain things, one might not always like it on the first try.<br><br>
Dd is nine now and there really isn't anything she doesn't like, except maybe coconut. She loves all sorts of things.<br><br>
I do tell that they need to "eat 3 bites of x before they can have y" (potatoes or corn are almost always y <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">) because they do need to learn not to fill up on carbs and that while carbs might make us feel good "for now" green things will make our bodies healthier. When there isn't a big carb on the table we don't really get into the "x before y" discussion
 

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Hi Pranava!<br><br>
We don't cater to our DD, but looking back on our experience so far, I think a couple of things have helped. We never did baby food, so she's been eating adult food from the start. We always have a sit-down meal together, especially at dinner. DD can muck around with her food as much as she wants. She can leave whatever she doesn't want. She can ask for more of whatever is on offer. After we're done at the table, if she asks for more food, she can have as much fresh fruit or veggies as she wants.<br><br>
Not sure if any of that helps! We also don't make a big deal of it. It's rare when there's NOTHING on her dinner plate that she wants. So if we're having chicken, broccoli, rice, and cut up veggies, she can have a whole meal of cucumber if she wants. Or a whole meal of chicken.<br><br>
Oh, and if for some reason she's not that hungry (we eat a late dinner, around 730pm and so sometimes she has a later snack to tide her over) we still offer her a plate of food and she sits with us at the table.
 

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For us, since we nursed DD1 until 2 years, the alternative, which was breastmilk, was gradually phased out. I never provided another food, per se. I do let them use alternative condiments, which are invariably yoghurt (which we use like sour cream) and ketchup.<br><br>
I serve their plates and they don't get seconds unless they finish because if you're not eating your greens, you can't be THAT hungry.<br><br>
To me, that's not a big deal, it's only fair. It is not fair for me to have to make unlimited meals. It is not kind to eat all of one kind of food so that for leftovers for lunch everyone else has to eat just the spinach sauce with no rice or no chicken.<br><br>
They don't always eat much but baby always has the breast and my older daughter always has bread at the table if she wants it. We have fruits and cheese for dessert so there's that, too.<br><br>
At 19 months, I *personally* would allow yoghurt as an alternative if the child was not nursing, and gradually work down the servings of breastmilk, cow's milk/alternative milk, or formula up to the age of two, when a child is old enough to make some basic decisions like, "It looks funny / different but I'll try."<br><br>
No separate meals, though, no way. That is a can of worms I will not open.*<br><br>
*Barring of course a child with special needs... but they're called special because they are unusual, so I don't think it's a strech to suggest that most parents on here are parenting mostly normal children who can deal with rice and chicken saag, or whatever.
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">she can have a whole meal of cucumber if she wants</td>
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Hilarious, because tonight that's pretty much what my kids had. The love cucumber. It was all cucumber, and apples for dessert. LOL! So much for chicken saag prepared from scratch. Hey, that's more leftovers for mommy tomorrow...
 

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I don't make extra dinners. The boys never had baby food, they always ate whatever DH and I were eating. I will hold out some spice in order to make the main dish more kid friendly, but that's about it. We do have food rules in our house. There are 3 things the kids can have whenever they want: veggies, fruits and water.<br><br>
Meals are very much take it or leave it here. They don't get anything else (other than the 3 anytime things) until they have eaten a decent portion of their meal and I will save it all the way up to bedtime. My 4yo finishes dinner 99% of the time. My 2yo is much pickier and eats dinner about 50% of the time. He seems to have a hatred of anything green, but always eats meat and potatoes.
 

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We did it from the start. Our kids have never been offered an alternative meal. There is one meal and you can eat it or not eat it, but there are no other options.<br><br>
My kids are great eaters, and we've never had problems.
 

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I stopped once the first set of molars started coming in (about 13 months for DS). But before that, he was having trouble gaining weight after weaning from breast to formula (I was pregnant and couldn't keep my supply up) so we were making sure it was "just the way he is" and not a caloric deficiency.<br><br>
He has no food issues so he gets what gets put on the table. Like any toddler, there are some days he doesn't put a single bite into his mouth until bedtime snack. He always makes up for it the next day though and while on the skinnier side, he's far from starving.<br><br>
When it comes to new foods, I make sure that I serve sides that I know he likes. If he doesn't like the new food and doesn't want to eat anything else, too bad.<br><br>
OTOH, these "rules" don't apply at anyone else's house we may be visiting. If they want to cater to whatever the pickiness of the day is, that's fine by me. They get to feel like they're spoiling DS and he enjoys it too. And they all know that it will not happen in my home when they're visiting <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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I don't force my kids to eat anything - however we don't do clean plate club either. If they choose NOT to eat what is in front of them that's it until next meal (or next morning if need be)<br><br>
I do make everything three times before deciding - okay they really don't like it. For example my almost 6 y.o. is a great eater - not very picky at all, but I've recently discovered that he just doesn't like sweet potato. I give him a very small portion. (as in one big bite or a couple eeensy bites) so that yes - he has to eat it, but I'm not going to completely set him up for failure either.<br><br>
DS2 has slight sensory issues with his food so I avoid casseroles... he hates his food to touch. My sister was the same way so I work with it. Casseroles in general aren't the healthiest anyway (the ones that taste good at any rate!)
 

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I pretty much just give them what we eat. If we are having something dd legitimately can't/won't eat, like a spicy curry <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Eat">, I will heat up some leftovers for her to have instead, or keep aside some veggies without the spicy sauce.<br><br>
Ds is 13 months and doesn't do much with raw veggies yet, for example, and can't have dairy, tomatoes, or eggs, so it is a little more often that he will get something else, but I always try to just heat up some leftovers rather than making a big deal about it.<br><br>
We basically all eat the same thing. I always make sure there is at least one (and usually 2-3) item on the table that the kids like. I want my kids to make their own decisions about eating, so if they want something that isn't sweet (cookies, dried fruit, etc.) and doesn't require me preparing it, they can generally have it. Dd (3.5) almost never asks to get something at meal time, but I would let her if she wanted to. She knows she can get her own (healthy) snacks pretty much whenever she likes.<br><br>
I refuse to battle with my children over food. I do sometimes push the vegetables, though. For example, last night we had chicken, mashed potatoes, squash, and green beans. Dd wanted more chicken, and so dh gave her some more. Then she wanted MORE chicken. I told her she had to eat some vegetables first and let her choose. She ate all of her green beans and then proceeded to eat two more servings of green beans. I will not insist that she eat anything unless I know it's something she likes, then I might push it a little.<br><br>
Dh is opposed, but I also allow a bedtime snack. It is a habit for dd, but I'd rather have her go to bed with a full tummy than be hungry. I know from pregnancy and breastfeeding that I cannot fall asleep if I'm hungry.
 

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Didn't read all the other replys but if he is acting like he is going to vomit I don't see that as a problem. Keep offering, he will eat. On the other hand, if he really is gagging and does vomit when he eats other foods I would get him a speech/occupational therapy evaluation and he may need feeding therapy.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>hollytheteacher</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15982283"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I never gave my ds separate foods (well except he'd get dairy-free versions of the same food others were eating). Once he was interested in solids we did baby-led feeding...so let hiim grab what he wanted off our plates/his plate while still nursing on demand.<br><br>
My ds has never been picky and the only food he doesn't like is green peppers...he loves broccoli, swiss chard, bok choy, (all veggies really), etc.<br><br>
If for some reason he didn't' like something I suppose he could have just left it on his plate and I wouldn't worry because he still nursed a ton.<br><br>
He just weaned 2 months shy of being 3 years old and still eats everything we eat. If he chooses not to eat much, i wrap up his leftovers and offer them again the next time he mentions he is hungry.<br><br>
All the families I know that cater to their child's pickyness have regretted it later on because their child eats nothing but "kid" food.</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that">
 
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