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Lately, we have been advised to be very careful of what we feed our baby in the first couple of years, so that he doesn't turn out to be a picky eater.<br><br>
If your child eats what you eat with little complaint, what factors (in your opinion) contributed to this?<br><br>
If you have kiddos who seem to be finicky, would you do anything different, if you could do things over?<br><br>
We have a 7mo who is currently almost exclusively bf. I can get him to eat a few bites of rice or oatmeal every other day, but that is about it for now.<br><br>
I look forward to hearing from some experienced moms! Thanks!
 

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I think being a "picky eater" has more to do with the individual person and their personality. I've done the same thing with both of my kids & one definitely eats more variety than the other.<br><br>
My sister did "all the right things" and her son is a VERY fussy eater.<br><br>
I just keep offering lots of different things to both kids. Food and eating is very relaxed in my home & they both can choose from a wide variety and I know it's not a power struggle thing at all. I eat pretty healthy, so they see a "good" example too. I think it's just another way their little personalities shine through.
 

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My son is now 3 and we've experienced both sides of the coin.<br><br>
we've went weeks with his diet consisting of nothing but peas and apples... and weeks where the kid will try anything (seafood, indian, spinach, you name it) and everything in servings of 3.<br><br>
I strongly believe in not forcing anything food wise into a child... I always offer what we are having, and after he refuses that, I will usually make/prepare something else.<br><br>
I don't necessarily think that a child at one who eats a wealth of different foods at one year will not be a finicky eater or vice versa ( My son then only at blueberries, apples, and oatmeal). It really takes years to develop and keep good eating habits. A continual exposure to different /unique foods with a limitation on all the rest of the crap, IMHO, will pay off.
 

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Some might disagree, but taste buds are taste buds and what we're born with determine what kinds of foods we like. In other words, I don't think there's much you can do to change what type of foods a kid will like. My advice to you is offer as many types of food as possible and as healthy as possible and with any luck he will be the sort of kid that will eat anything.<br><br>
But, I still think it is very possible to be a picky eater and still a good eater. My son has a pretty limited variety of foods he likes (all healthy), but he eats tons of them and luckily hasn't become sick of them yet.<br><br>
I think it's totally normal for a toddler to be picky and I expect his tastes will grow as he does.<br><br>
I'd focus on quality and let him decide what kind of variety he desires.<br><br>
lisa<br><br>
eta: My son is 'spirited' and has always dicated very strongly what he will and will not tolerate. It just stands to reason that food is the same way with him. My friend has a very easy going son the same age and that kid will eat anything. I don't know if there's a correlation between personality and finickiness or not.
 

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Good question Lisa about personality and finickiness. I have a very spirited child who also happens to be a great eater (tries everything, likes almost everything) so in my case, the answer is "no".<br><br>
I agree with everything the other women said about picky vs. good eater. I think that the MOST important rule of eating (after "offer healthy choices") is to be as relaxed as possible. I think that a lot of pickiness probably has to do with taste buds but I would venture to guess that most of it is due to having controlling parents. And when I say "controlling", I'm not talking about horrible people who make you sit at the table for days at a time until you've eaten every bite of food - I mean they can be controlling in other ways (how you dress, etc.) and the kids try to "get back" at mealtime by asserting their control.<br><br>
I don't even allow people (i.e., mother and MIL) urge "one more bite". How do they know that my child needs another bite? I let my child decide.<br><br>
We don't even use the "if you don't eat you don't get dessert" threat because dessert is always something just as healthy - yogurt or fruit or zucchini bread or....you get the idea.<br><br>
Good luck!
 

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<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">I think that a lot of pickiness probably has to do with taste buds but I would venture to guess that most of it is due to having controlling parents. And when I say "controlling", I'm not talking about horrible people who make you sit at the table for days at a time until you've eaten every bite of food - I mean they can be controlling in other ways (how you dress, etc.) and the kids try to "get back" at mealtime by asserting their control.</td>
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You've got to be kidding?????<br><br>
I am probably just overly sensitive tonight, but I find that comment a little offensive as I'm sure other mother's of picky eaters would.<br><br>
You mean to tell me that when my 9 month old refused sweet potatoes, green beans, anything with tomato sauce, corn, etc it was because I was 'too controlling'??? Please.<br><br>
I've seen kids who were raised no better than in a pack of wolves eat anything placed in front of them. I've also seen very thoughtfully parented kids (like mine!) who are extrememly picky.<br><br>
Fact is, the reason someone doesn't like a particular taste is something that is inherent to them and to their taste system.<br><br>
Yes, there probably is a time/age when a CHILD can use mealtime to push their parent's buttons, but I thought we were talking about BABIES here........<br><br>
lisa
 

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I agree that "pickiness" (I hate that term) is largely an inherited trait. I was a very picky eater as a child, and I still strongly recall how intense my negative reaction was to certain foods. It had nothing to do with me "choosing" not to eat spinach: the sight of it made me gag. Texture was also a huge factor for me: mushrooms and tomatoes tasted good to me but only in sauces and things. I could not bear to eat them whole because the texture really got to me.<br><br>
OTOH, my daughter eats just about everything and the spicier the better. She wants nothing of baby food or bland tasting stuff. Give her curries and chili and she'll eat it up.<br><br>
I remember reading a study I read years ago where they counted the number of taste buds per square centimeter on peoples' tongues and found that they fell into three distinct categories. The "supertasters" were the ones with the highest number of taste buds, and interestingly they tended to be "picky". They also found that some children who are born supertasters lose taste buds as they mature and end up liking a wider variety of foods. This really hit home for me because I did learn to like more foods as I grew older and now eat tons of things I hated as a child.
 

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Whoops lisa (Lucky One) - peace! I did not mean to offend.<br><br>
I was not talking about babies, I was talking about older kids. I should have been clearer. I read the question as one of how to develop into non-pickiness as a child gets older.<br><br>
Again, did not mean to offend!
 

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I'd just like to add that food, like sleep, is one area where we mamas are sooooo susceptible to feeling bad about ourselves and feeling like we're doing a bad 'job' of mothering if our kids don't do what we (or someone else) expects. It's also an area where others, for some unknown reason, feel perfectly justified in sticking in their noses (eg grandparents, teachers, etc, etc).<br><br>
I have had a preschool teacher insinuate that my child was 'difficult' (and attack my mothering) because my child didn't eat what *she* thought he should be eating (I hate eggplant too!). And I have had another preschool teacher feed my child junk (colored marshmallows, pretzels and sugared juice drink for a morning snack?!) and then remark on how hyper all the kids were.<br><br>
I think we should offer good food to our kids and let them decide when and how much to try. And be good to ourselves too. Some grownups like lots of variety in their diets. And some like the same stuff all the time. It's OK!<br><br>
Carolyn<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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No problem, LoveBeads!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hippie.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hippie"><br><br>
lisa
 

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I was thinking of starting a thread about kids who want to eat NONSTOP> That is my 2yo, he revolves around food. He is still breastfed and the ysay breastfed children know how much, when, etc. but geez-this boy amazes me! My DD is 6yo and a picky eater though! My son eats most of anything, I am vegetarian and introduced no meats, but Daddy let him tatse chicken one day and suddenly he now squals "chicken" at the site of it (as does his big sis-they shame me!! My fault for not being more assertive w/ Daddy, whole nother issue!!) Anyway, he began opening the firdge at age one. He wakes up at night for specific snacks. Thankfully, he LOVES fruit, and prefers it over most foods (except donuts!! lol) His second is yogurt, and then third is raw broccolli and dip. Of course, he loves fries and junk too, but I limit it w. him of course. Actually, he will eat that then go looking for fruit or yogurt!<br><br>
Meanwhile, big sis-who was allowed more fast food early on-is sooooooooo picky. Veggies must be very cooked and mainly only broccolli, corn, and canned peas (gotta be canned!!). And box mac and cheese. She does not like anything fast food but fries oddly too. She eats one brand of yogurt (yofarm crunch). She is just ridiculously picky. Grandma introduced her to hot dogs <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/rolleyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="rolleyes">: so I switched to veggie dogs, which she loves and -DS won't touch! lol Oh, did I mention tthat and box mac n cheese are one of his least faves.<br><br>
Point is, so many factorrs influence this-trust me, look at my own house.<br><br>
BTW, I have even caught my nearly 2 you sneak into the firdge, grab some leftover pizza, stick it in the toaster oven, and turn it on-the boy is all about food!! (I watche dw/o him knowing...)
 

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My kids will eat anything. Well, not entirely true...but they will TRY anything and will eat most things. It could be that DH and I are both like that, and it could be that we never fed them "baby-food" so much as not-so-spiced versions of our food so they got a TON of variety (including many ethnic foods since we're both mixed).<br><br>
I have cousins (two children of one of my aunts) who are picky in the extreme, and for them it was behavioral. It had to do with control issues and it became this huge mind-game with their mom, who continually struggles with her own weight and has always viewed food as a reward system (and so when she felt guilty about something, yes including trying to get her kids to eat what she cooked, she'd go out and buy the fast food they wanted to "make up").<br><br>
I have a brother who is something of a picky eater, and he was fed the same as the rest of us. I'm the first, he is the second in a line of four kids and he is the only picky one. For him it is almost certainly genetic.<br><br>
For now, I'm just feeding my kids a huge variety of foods and not really forcing anything on them. They will eat sooner or later after all. They have the good sense to eat when there is food in front of them...if they're hungry. They may not be hungry at mealtime, but may be a couple of hours later - so we'll give them food then (crackers and cheese or peanut butter sandwiches or apples or somethign). I personally think that a lot of obesity in our society may be due at least in part to our training ourselves not to listen when our bodies say they are or aren't hungry, so we're doing our best not to train that awareness out of our kids. We also don't believe in using food as a reward system, so there is no such thing as "eat all your dinner and you'll get dessert." If we are having ice cream it is because we have ice cream, and it will happen whether they eat dinner or not. Since we rarely have ice cream, they don't count on it to fill them up and so it has never been an issue, if that makes any sense at all. I figure if we don't make it an issue, it won't be an issue.
 

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I to think it has alot to do with individuals and that is how I try to look at it form my kids view points. I know my dd will choose a veggie tray over chips at a party and my ds can be found at the chips and cookie area of the table. We have the same guidelines<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/confused.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Confused">: not really rules with both our kids they have to at least try a new food before they say yuck and after trying it if they still don't like it they don't have to eat it. For my dd this has opened her food choices up wide range, for my ds it does not have the same outcome. I don't worry about it though. I offer variety at our meals, if ds decides not to eat the main dish at dinner there is always some fruit or veggie he likes or some side dish he will eat. We don't have food battles at our home I will not do that, if they try it and do not like it they know they wont have to eat it, so there is no need for them to battle us about it. It also helps me to know that there food choices thru out the day have been healthy ones, no fillers like cookies or junkie food galore.
 

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Just reiterating what others have said I guess but this is an important issue for me. I think food can become a control issue but even if handled sensitively you can end up with a "picky eater". Just look at how many families have one of each! I know when I was little I wouldn't eat anything and my brother would hang over my plate waiting for my left overs. Come to think of it maybe this was how I differentiated myself from my brother? Hmmm....Anyhoo, my son is a "good eater" and my brother's son is a "picky eater" so we didn't pass it along.<br><br>
Also, I say pooh on the baby food naysayers. My son ate home made baby food (purees, cereals, all forms of mush) quite happily, thank you, and is still a "good eater" at 3. He eats fish, vegetables, spices, and many other "adult foods".<br><br>
I whole heartedly agree with Piglet on the number of taste buds theory. I genuinely did not like ALLOT of foods when I was little. They made me gag and I wasn't faking. Now I eat almost anything. My SIL is still a Super Taster though. She will eat most anything but if it is the slightest bit bad or old, she can tell. This woman can taste if the flour is old. I find that amazing.<br><br>
My number one rule for feeding babies is: get the maximum amount of nutrients out of every bite you put into them. Make sure the food is organic, if at all possible. Make sure the foods are whole (not processed). Don't introduce anything you don't want them to get hooked on, for instance, juice, sweets, deep fried stuff, snack foods, etc. Don't keep it in the house. Eventually they will find out about this stuff but why hurry it along? Now that my son knows about this stuff I let him have it every once in a while but he knows we never have it in the house so he forgets about it. But then Halloween is coming.......<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/yikes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="EEK!">
 

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My dd is a "good eater," meaning she eats when she's hungry, stops when she's full, enjoys a wide variety of healthy foods (and some not so healthy ones in limited amounts), and is usually willing to try most new things unless they look or smell too weird for her.<br><br>
I think a lot of it is just pure luck. I figure kids are predisposed by gentics to be picky or not picky, and what parents do can help or hurt, but in the end the genes often win out. Sure, if my dh and I had terrible eating habits ourselves, chances are dd would not be as good of an eater as she is, and on the other side of the coin, I know a family with dreadful eating habits whose picky daughter is really suffering because they just don't have the skills to deal with her eating habits, KWIM? She'd be picky no matter what, but she's probably be a little better if her home situation were different.<br><br>
I do think that parents need to encourage healthy eating habits, but when it's all said and done, you can't control how someone eats. All you can control is what you offer, and the rest is up to them!
 

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My little guy is a total chowhound and not by my design. I think the biggest difference between he and my 2.5 year old is that he has always had firmly established mealtimes. Since 4mos. he has been sitting at the meal table w/us 3x/day. He started grabbing food around 5 mos. and now, at 10 mos., he runs to the table and tries to climb into his chair as soon as he sees that meals are about to be served. In his little mind, he MUST eat whatever that stuff is on our plates. I haven't offered him anything allergenic yet, but otherwise he eats everything. He even waves his fork around and will try to put food onto his fork so he can eat like us, too. I used to mush his (our) food up but since he now has 16 teeth<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/yikes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="EEK!"> , it's all fair game.
 

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I don't think my ds is terribly picky, but he hasn't had that many foods to choose from yet <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">.<br><br>
I have a niece who entirely refused solid foods until she was 9.5 months old. She is now 38 months old, about 43 inches tall and 49 pounds. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/yikes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="EEK!"> She prefers food to candy or junk, and eats *constantly*. No one would ever describe her as a picky eater. So things can change <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> I wouldn't be concerned about a 7 month old not being really into solids. Mine was, but he's changed his mind recently and prefers to nurse again. (He's 10 months old now). He likes to eat what dh & I are eating, but because of concern about allergies, I'm not comfortable sharing everything with him.
 
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