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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
is there any way i can encourage some variety in my son's eating habits? as of now, he'll only eat the following foods:

- cheerios
- raisins
- turkey
- apple
- chicken

we're still bfing, and i'm not worried about his nutritional needs, i just want him to enjoy a variety of foods. he won't eat veggies, or any starches (potato, rice, pasta). of course, he'd eat french fries all day, if we let him. :LOL

he's just over 18 months old. should i even worry about this?
 

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My dd will eat pretty much anything. She enjoys a wide variety of healthy (and sometimes not-so-healthy) food. We've never made an issue of eating. She's done when she's done, we never say "one more bite", never force, cajole, encourage, etc. I want her to respect & listen to her own body signals. We've also always offered her a wide variety of foods & just acted like that's the norm & she'll like/eat it (we've never said, Oh you won't like this or blanded down things for her, etc).

That being said, I don't cater to her. I ask her what she wants for breakfast & sometimes for lunch, and if it's reasonable (like we have it in the house) I'll make it. For dinner (and sometimes lunch depending on what we're doing that day) I make what I make & she's served that. She can eat all, part or none. It's up to her, but I never offer her another meal. I don't think that works for our family, and realistically, I'm not a short order cook.

I think it's partly attitude (of both parents & kids), and partly just the tastebuds they were born with. Who knows, our next one may be pickier, and I'll probably have done the same things with her.

Good luck.
 

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I wouldn't worry, myself. I think the #1, most important, top-notch influential thing you can do is to consume a varied diet yourself. That's it. No pressure on the kids to try it, no big demonstration, just make it a part of your life that's taken for granted.

Kids are naturally soooooo imitative. If ya want them to be into reading, you read. If ya want them to be generous, you give generously. If ya want them to be openminded about food, you create an environment where variety in food is normal.

I think toddlers usually get kinda weird about their food anyway. They switch preferences in bizarre ways. So I wouldn't freak if in a couple months he's still only got a short list of preferred foods (different, but still short :LOL). Try and think in the long term -- what his relationship to food will be when he's 8, or 15, kwim?

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
thanks for the replies.


i just wanted to say that we don't force food on ben in any way, shape or form - he eats only when he's hungry. and i don't really care what he eats; i just want to be sure i'm doing everything possible to ensure that we're exposing him to as many varied foods as possible. i was just wondering if anyone had any ideas for introducing new foods. we've tried adding veggies to other things (like turkey dogs or chicken), but he knows what we're up to and spits it all out. :LOL

i guess we'll just assume that he'll like more foods as he gets older, and not worry about it at all.


thanks again!
 

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I can't remember the exact number and maybe someone else here will, but I've read more than once that the average toddler rejects a new food some huge number of times (20? more?) before ever trying it. So if you like, you can look at the spitting-out as a positive, necessary step -- he *has* to reject it however many times he has to, before he's comfortable enough to try eating it. It becomes familiar & nonthreatening through his ability to see it/examine it & reject it multiple times.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
thanks again!

the info on rejecting the food many times struck a chord - we have offered certain foods to ben on many occasions, and all of the sudden he'll try it. so that makes sense to me. and i did order a couple of books by ellen satter - maybe i'll get some other ideas to help make food more enjoyable. or maybe ben's just trying to tell me something - like that i'm a really bad cook!

:
 
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