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I think a big part of the solution to this problem might be involving your daughters father and his family. If you need to, you can play the pediatrician card with, "The pediatrician is concerned about her not eating healthfully on a consistent basis. Do you think we can agree on some rules so we are supporting each other in this, in our daughter's best interest?"
Maybe she can have pizza for one meal a weekend while with dad/grandparents, Mac and cheese is ok but only if she eats a green veggie with it, she can have dessert only if she has eaten three servings of vegetables that day... Things like that.
If your ex isn't willing to help, is there any chance his family is? I've found that a lot of times if you present it as "we are all on the same team and want the best for this child we all love" instead of "I'm making the rules now and you are all horrible influences" you can get other family members on board a lot faster.
Also, your daughter is getting old enough to start understanding nutrition and how healthy choices effect her health. Try looking for some age appropriate book at the library about health and food. They also have some kid geared cook books that might get her more interested in taking part in the food prep, thus giving more incentive to eat new foods.
If nothing else, just keep offering healthy choices at every meal, don't keep "junk" in the house, and make sure she is taking a good multiple vitamin. What you are teaching her about food and nutrition right now is actually far more important than what she is eating.
I was a strictly buttered noodles, cereal without milk, and fruit kid for quite a while and grew up to have a love of a very wide range of foods and now eat a very healthy, balanced diet.
Educate when you can, encourage her to make healthy choices, and just hold on until she outgrows the refusing almost everything phase!
I have a five year old daughter who just started kindergarten. Her diet consists of easy mac, hot dogs, chicken nuggets, grilled cheese, pizza, rice and ramen noodles for the most part. She will eat spaghetti but without sauce. Lately she has even been taking sauce and cheese off her pizza. She won't eat any fruits or vegetables. Sometimes we can get her to eat chicken. Part of the problem is her father and his family give her whatever junk she wants and dont make her eat well on their weekends. It is a battle trying to change that when she comes home from there.
As I have been eating healthier over the past couple of years, I am finding that my kids have gotten more picky. Some, noticing that they don't like the fried food (except Bojangles, where dh is a district manager) and eating less sweets, are good changes. Others- deciding they won't eat some of the meats and veggies I cook- are not so good.
Some nights, I cook and decide that everyone is eating what I cook. If they choose not to eat it, fine. I have provided the meal and they have the choice to eat or not. Other nights, like tonight, I will cook something I know they like and cook something different for myself. None of the kids like fish, so I steam two fillets- one for me for dinner and one for lunch the next day- along with some veggies while I cook their meal (tonight was ravioli- I love it but too much sodium to allow more than 2-3 pieces)
~~Kim in NC~ EDT
Aug 2009: 175
Dec 2009: 142
Aug - Dec 2012: 135 size 4
*30lb gain in 8 weeks*
Feb 2013: 164
April/13: 166 size 12-14
July/13 Jaw surgery
Sept- confirmed Hashimoto's
Dec 2013: 162
March 2014: 155
Goal: 135-140 size 4
“Anyone can give up, it's the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that's true strength!"~ Unknown
How old are your kid(s)? Different things work for different ages.
Try "sneaking" veggies in things they will eat, add a little pureed carrots or pumpkin to Mac & cheese, spinach or grated zucchini to pasta sauce. Cut foods into fun shapes with cookie cutters. Offer dips like ranch dressing, hummus, sour cream or yogurt for steamed veggies. Ketchup is a big helper for some families. If they will eat things like hot dogs or hamburgers, switch to turkey dogs & homemade burgers with 93% lean beef or turkey. Try "build your own" things like baked potatoes with veggies, cheese, sour cream, turkey bacon crumbles, etc, that give them control over what they have. Let them choose between healthy options, "would you like carrot sticks or cucumber slices with your sandwich?" "would you like an apple or a banana for your snack?" Let them help pick recipes, shop, and cook. The more kids feel involved in the process the more inclined they are to try new things.
The biggest thing to remember is that young children depend on you to provide them food. If you only keep healthy things in the house, they will eventually accept that you will not be giving into their demands for unhealthy options. Children will not starve when there is food available. Yes, they might refuse to eat a few meals, but once they get hungry and realize they still have to eat what you give them it will get easier. I know it sounds harsh, but just explain that this is what we have to eat and we need to be thankful for it. Don't make it a battle, just a fact of life.
How do you get your picky eater to eat?? Mealtime is a constant battle in our house.