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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My son is still nursing for most of his food intake. That's fine to the extent that it provides him with good food. But it's problematic in that his body goes through the milk really fast, so he's hungry frequently and therefore cranky frequently, wanting to nurse constantly and he's not small enough to carry around while we do stuff, etc. The other problem is that if he doesn't get enough food in his body, he doesn't poop as often (b/c he absorbs most of the milk, of course), so his poop is a little more arduous. And then there's the fact that most of what he likes is binding ...<br><br>
So I'm trying to figure out ways to get him to eat more solids -- and healthier ones. We're out of country right now, but when we're home, he occasionally has a bit of breakfast and a bit of dinner and some snacks in between. I make him smoothies with good organic ingredients, too. Anybody tried wheat grass in a kiddie smoothie? Spirulina? Any other such thing? Protein powder?<br><br>
One of the problems, I think, is that he likes carbs -- if I can get him to eat something with a little fiber or protein, that might last him a little bit longer.<br><br>
Now, while we're out of country, it's even worse because we can only get that sugar-water juice (although I'm mixing it with prune juice to add a little fiber at least) and cookies. He occasionally likes fresh fruit. We found some Special K breakfast bars but he won't eat them. He'll eat french fries, pasta (sometimes, a little), pizza (if it's Pizza Hut Deep Dish-- super greasy), cookies, ice cream, etc. And I'm pretty much out of his normal snacks.<br><br>
Does anybody have any ideas on getting a kid this age to eat? And eat healthier foods? That "only feed them what you're eating" philosophy simply doesn't work because he'll just opt to nurse instead. He is a very persistent, independent thinker -- he cannot be persuaded to do something he doesn't want to do and will be turned off not just at the moment but for weeks and months afterwards if we push something too hard. So, ... any ideas?<br><br>
Thanks.
 

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My son is almost 2.5 yo,too. He was pretty good eater but lately he doesn't wants to eat much...so I have to change our "menu" to make things more interesting.Here are what i do and DS seems to eat more and enjoys the foods.<br>
For main meal I would make a "rainbow" pasta (I bought the colorful pasta with red/green/yellow color fr health food store),then add fish or chicken(his choices) and green peas,alot of veggies+olive oil.Very colorful and yummy<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br>
he likes soup...so i make that for lunch like today I made corn,butter squash,potatoes,spinach,tofu,onion...when the soup was almost done I scooped all the spinach and 1/2 of the soup to the blender for 5mins and poured back in...it make a nice green color and creamy ,still with some textures.<br>
For snack or lunch to go I make mini pancake with a bit of maple syrup(plum size) ; blueberry or banana muffin;yogurt.<br>
HTH <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
 

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How about dips w/ crackers or pita bread??<br>
My son has become a bit pickier as well, but he does love dips.<br>
Perhaps hummus, baba ganoush, dips w/ a tofu base, creamy dips, vegi pates, black bean dip...<br><br>
How about corn chips w/ a mild salsa.<br><br>
Soups are another thing my son likes. Especially minestrone soup. He also really likes tomato basil soup a lot.<br><br>
If he likes pizza, you could make him mini pizzas~ spread marinara sauce on a whole wheat pita bread, top w/ shredded cheese, and whatever else you like, bake in oven until cheese is all melted, cut into 1/4's and serve.<br><br>
I do add spirulina to ds's smoothies. I also sometimes add childrens acidophilus powder w/ fos (by Nutrition Now), a couple sprinkles of nutritional yeast, and/or sprinkles of nori flakes.<br><br>
Another way I have found to boost nutritional value of foods for my son is to sprinkle in hemp seeds and/or flax meal. I add it to oatmeal and hot cereals, muffin batter, smoothies, etc. Hemp is especially great, it is a wonderful source of protien, fiber, and essential fatty acids!
 

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My dd has the same problem, but I find if I vary things she eats better.<br><br>
And almost every other week she adds something new that she likes. Seems like whatever she sees US eating, eventually she will try and like.<br><br>
Different colored fun pastas are good and I also get alphabet pasta at the health food store....good for adding to veg. broth with veggies, etc. I buy a big bag of organic frozen veggies at COSTCO so I always have them on hand. WHen she was teething she loved the green beans frozen!<br><br>
Dh is always good for making food exciting by coming to the table and saying"WOW, LOOK WHAT MAMA MADE!!!! RAVIOLIS!!" By the end of the day, my excitement for anything is gone...........
 

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Does you son like eggs? My dd is a picky eater and loves eggs. I used to scramble them up and add cheese and carrots to them or any chopped up veggie. Now she is on a fried egg kick. She wants them every morning! Pancakes are good and you can add bananas or blueberries.<br><br>
Another food my dd likes is frozen berries, especially blueberries, pinapple and mango.... also fresh mango, avacados and apples.<br><br>
Good luck, I know its trial and error at first...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks y'all. As you know, I"m overseas just now and had problems with my email 'til recently.<br><br>
I do the colored pasta, although he's decided he only wants 'white' (or whole wheat -- just not the multiple colors). The only alphabet ones I found are tiny so they're not much good since he won't eat them in anything else.<br><br>
My son will not eat soups nor dips of any kind. He'll eat maybe one or two corn chips, plain.<br><br>
He'll eat 1-3 squares of waffle, max. He refuses normal pancakes but occasionall will take a few bites of Swedish pancake. He does often like scrambled eggs -- with only salt and cream (no cheese, pepper, etc -- if there's anything else in it, he refuses it immediately, out of hand).<br><br>
This is why I think a lot of his aversion to foods has to do with texture and some kind of mental thing about processing food and what it is he's putting into his body. I wished I understood! Then I could address it more easily.<br><br>
For snacks, he'll eat those Kidz bars, fruit (though he's picky about that, too), some crackers, some cookies, some pretzels.<br><br>
He does like pizza but only certain ones -- can't have anything but cheese on it, and that could even be cause for rejection.<br><br>
He occasionally will eat a sandwich that I've prepared -- one or two bites.<br><br>
He won't even eat porridge, will occasionally eat some dry cereal but not with milk. Occasionally will eat a bite or two of cheese. Ramen noodles he likes, of course, since it's unhealthy. Even candy (his dad buys them for him over here in Europe, where it abounds) he eats only one or two bites of, despite his obssession with pink fish.<br><br>
He's recently sampled a pea (loved them when younger) but won't do much more than that.<br><br>
He likes plain vanilla ricotta muffins but pretty much refuses muffins with anything in them (even blueberries).<br><br>
This sounds so negative ... but it is reality. I'm hoping that somebody else has been through this and has some ideas as to the cause. But I so appreciate the other ideas. I'm definitely going to be adding spirulina and a few other possibilities to his smoothies when we get home. I found a place here in Copenhagen (where we are for a couple of days) that will make to-order smoothies and will add spirulina. Yay!<br><br>
Thanks again, so much!
 

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Fraya - My 2.5 year old is a VERY PICKY EATER. And he nurses A LOT, still. I know that it's the nursing-so-much that makes him not crave solids much. He does tend to eat more in the evening and night, and I think that's always been a time when my milk supply is much lower.<br><br>
My pediatrician (who is very supportive of AP style, extended breastfeeding, co-sleeping, etc...) told me to try to "build meals" around his favorite foods -- no matter what they are.<br><br>
His favorite foods are: pizza, spaghetti, chicken breast, vanilla yogert, OJ, watermelon (sometimes), bread, veggy sausage links, cheese burger (but not the veggy ones), baked french fries, peanut butter and cheese. And that's about it!!!! He, of course, likes sweets, too. But he will not e fresh fruit or vegetables for me, nor will he eat them cooked!!! It's very frustrating!!!<br><br>
So, I try to sneak some carrot onto a pizza, or into a spaghetti sauce. I mix an organic jar of banana baby food into his yogert (will not eat fresh banana puree'd), I make watermelon popsicles for him & try to sneak other fruit into the mix. Since he won't eat other fresh fruit, I do let him drink OJ each day (i'd rather have him eat natural, fresh fruit, of course, but he won't).<br><br>
I do give a multivitamin (which I know is controversial), and I have tried the nutritional drinks for toddlers --- he doesn't like them. They're suppose to taste like a milk shake, but they just taste like chemicals. I would totally try it again, though, if I knew of a more natural/tastier one to try with him. I do worry that he's not getting enough nutrition.<br><br>
The other thing I try is to get him more "involved". We picked apples last week, and he's been taking one bite here and there. Not much, but a start. And I also use cookie cutters to try to make food look more interesting & fun.<br><br>
Have you tried sweet potato french fries (baked)? If you're interested, I can give you the super easy recipe I use. You can let him dip those into some good, natural maple syrup.<br><br>
I know what you're going through -- it's hard!!! Hang in there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for your ideas. I do try to do what your pediatrician suggests, but who knows if I'm creative enough? i have tried sweet potato french fries -- he won't eat them. I've also tried the mixing thing a bit, and the problem there is that one of his hang-ups is over complicated food tastes. He even seems to be moving toward wanting his pasta without marinara!<br><br>
But I am going to start making healthier smoothies, for sure.<br><br>
I feel confident that he's getting sufficient nutrition through breastfeeding, but he does need to develop healthier eating habits since one day, he'll decide to wean. Of course, maybe that'll be 3 years from now and he'll eat differently then ... Anyway, I appreciate that you shared that you feel my sense of frustration and longing to dow hat's right for my child but kind of struggling like I'm doing the doggy paddle.
 

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My 4.5 yo has always been picky. Nursed almost exclusively until he was 2 or so, then weaned at 2.5 during my pregnancy. Your descriptions of what your son eats and won't eat made me laugh a bit (not that I don't sympathize!) because it reminded me so of my ds. It's hard, isn't it? You seem to have a good attitude about his eating (ie, not trying to force him) which will definitely help in the long run.<br><br>
I can offer some encouragement in a "big picture" sense. Now that my ds is 4, he still is picky (won't eat meat, except salami! Refuses most vegetables, etc), but little by little he has expanded both his food repertoire and his total intake. As an example, yesterday morning we made banana zucchini bread together and he ate a huge slice of it for lunch. Normally he wouldn't touch zucchini (it was coarsely grated), but of course it's yummier in a quick bread. For those of you whose kids eat well, this might not sound like much, but believe me, this is an example of real progress. In the past he definitely would have been suspicious and rejected it immediately without trying it.<br><br>
You've gotten a bunch of good advice here, and I think if you take a two-pronged approach - stress both variety and sneaky ways of getting healthier things in him - and try not to get too worried (or annoyed!) yourself, you'll see things improve gradually.<br><br>
And finally, kudos to you for still nursing him! As long as he's healthy and gaining weight, he should be fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks, beccaboo.<br><br>
I appreciate the perspective.<br><br>
You're right -- I'm not really uptight about it. But I do think there'd be a few benefits to getting him something more substantial to eat every so often. I am not worried about my son's weight or health. But there are a few practical benefits to him eating solid foods. We're out someplace and on a timeline and he wants to nurse. I don't want to carry around 30 pounds while I'm nursing, if I can help it, and also doing something else (e.g., grocery shopping etc.). There also have been times when he's very hungry and he just absorbs my milk so quickly that it doesn't do much good, so he's throwing tantrums for a couple of hours before I think that maybe he needs some solids, and then he gets some solids and he calms down. So if I can get him to eat some more solid things, maybe he will be more content more of the time and maybe he won't want to nurse quite as often (though I can tell you that is only the case sometimes -- often he'll eat something and then still ask to nurse, so it's not always or usually even just for hunger reasons that he nurses).<br><br>
I also appreciate your perspective because my husband harps on the nursing and solids thing a LOT. He feels that if I weaned our son, he'd eat more. I don't feel that's necessarily so. Your experience validates that to a degree. I don't think my husband (who is a workaholic so he spends fairly little time with us and has this thing about extended nursing even though he usually tries to be supportive of it because of my being adamant that he not interfere) ... I don't think my husband fully understands that there are other reasons a child might nurse so much. He thinks that if he ate, he'd quit nursing. Well, that maybe true for most kids but I don't think it's necessarily true of our son. I think he'd nurse less but not that much less because he seems to nurse for a large variety of reasons.<br><br>
I've already been doing the two-pronged approach described here. My son is very much involved in his food choices, in making food, etc. and that has very impact on his actual eating. He can evven be really excited about something but then gets really upset when it's offered to him or finally gets to a plate, etc. Sneaking in is difficult because of his skepticism and concerns about multiple tastes in one place. And all of it is exacerbated by the fact that he gets constipated easily so I have to avoid bananas and yogurt -- two things he enjoys and that are staples in most kids' diets. One thing that I'm going to work on is control -- namely letting him serve himself. He doesn't like being offered food. I'm not a nay-sayer at home -- he gets to do most of what he wants and we usually compromise on the rest. But he is two, and control is a big deal to him (and that do-it-myself thing).<br><br>
Anyway, I'm looking into soy protein powder and spirulina, and I may try going to a pediatric dietician -- so long as s/he is very updated on breastfeeding -- for some other ideas.<br><br>
Thanks again!
 

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Picky eating is definitely not due to extended nursing. Picky eaters just are, it's nobody's fault! You know that but I thought I'd re-iterate.<br><br>
Since he'll eat whole wheat pasta don't give him white. Whole wheat pasta is very rich in nutrients and great for constipation. Have you tried a carbonara sauce? Egg and butter and cheese. Yum.
 

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I just want to offer sympathy. I have a highly spirited nephew, not even bfed, who had and still has, such a limited diet!<br><br>
Frozen waffles with fake syrup, plain cheeseburgers, cheese pizza, cheese on bread toasted in toaster oven. Ice cream, soda. Fries, chocolate milk. No veg (except ketchup), no fruit, ever.<br><br>
Did I mention he is highly spirited? (cranky at the slightest stimulation)<br><br>
Once I saw him withdraw from the table in a crowded nice restaurant, b/c the pizza he ordered had chunky tomatoes on it. He went and sat over at the wall and pulled his shirt over his head and refused to eat or re-join the family.<br><br>
He used to get croup a lot. My dear sister was not particularly ap or Nfl and had him on antibiotics a lot.<br><br>
He is now 18, tall, healthy and still eats the same things.
 
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