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What do I do about my picky 3 1/2 y.o.?


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Trilby April 30, 2009


My little guy refuses to eat most of what I prepare for him, doesn't seem to matter if he liked it the day before or didn't. Or if he eats it at his Aunt's house, he is just PICKY! I am trying to be really flexible but what is too flexible? I have tried finger foods but that's not working any good ideas/

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healthy11 April 30, 2009


Hi. Greatschools actually has a couple of groups you might want to join, that have addressed the same kinds of questions with kids. One is the preschool parent's group at http://community.greatschools.net/groups/11534, and the others have to do with Healthy Kids, Meal Planning, etc. (go to the left side of this page, under Tools, where it says Groups, and you can find a number of them....)

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Trilby April 30, 2009


Thank you, I appreciate the help, this seems like a good page. I actually got him to eat some 'trees' or Broccoli as we know it this eveing, which I consider to be a triumph! He will also eat Yoplait Whips brand of yogurt but I'm afriad that it's because it tastes so much like dessert and even though it DOES have some nutritous value I don't like making 'deals' that feel -or may to him- like that kind of a bribe. Then again, it's food....so somewhere in all of that there is an answer which I am determined to find!
Thanks again.

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tjlove May 1, 2009


Hi Trilby,
I go through the same thing with my daughter. We call broccoli "trees" too and it works! I love that trick.
It sounds like your son is eating for other people but probably knows he can manipulate you when it comes to food. One thing I do when my daughter goes through picky phases is give her a multivitamin for peace of mind. I got some at Trader Joe's that are a full serving of fruits and vegetables and are gummy bears so she thinks she's getting candy.
Also, our pediatrician told us that if she eats vegetables at least once a week that she'll be fine. That helped me to worry less too.
I also bribe her sometimes with TV or some other kind of food she wants. For example, right now all she wants to eat is cereal. So I'll tell her if she eats two bites of everything on her plate she can have cereal. This has been working.

I've heard of some parents pureeing vegetables and sneaking them in to pasta sauce or ketchup, etc.

Now maybe you can offer me some advice about the terrible twos... see my post here:
http://community.greatschools.net/groups/11534/discussion/416642

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Trilby May 1, 2009


Thanks tjlove, your advice is sound and supports a lot of what I've been thinking and feeling. Thanks also for the friend request, I am flattered. I do a thing with the yogurt that Caleb likes, when he wants 'chips' (cheetos or the like) I will say 'Yogurt first and THEN chips how 'bout that?' He will usually agree and when he doesn't, I now just say 'Let me know when you want to do that' and leave the zip code fast! (room). I am trying HARD to accept that if he doesn't eat he eventually will, and I am trying also to accept that the fact that he will eat yogurt, he will eat french fries that I prepare (other than frozen or fast food offerings) and he will eat -at times- oatmeal and chicken- as well as broccoli, is a start, they are all nutritous and I have to be grateful for what I can get. He perceives me as a limit setter rather than a pushover, that would be his Mom, after he returns from spending time in Lala land with her, he's a real handful, but we get back on track eventually, key is we end up there everytime. So I'm now trying to look at things in a new light, and be grateful for small battles won, and gains gotten. I've also learned that the less emphasis I place on any issue the farther I am likely to get with it. AND it is generally ALL an eventuality with these little ones. It's so easy to forget that they're just learning like EVERYTHING (!) whereas we've been there. It must be awfully overwhelming all things considered, to be two or three years old and trying to figure out this place that has all of these rules and to fit into that. I wouldn't want to have to do it knowing what I know now, and I try to have some compassion. It isn't always easy as we all have patience issues, we're only human after all, and we want what is best for them. I love the advice that your doc gave you about the veggies being eaten once a week being okay. I think that maybe I should also try and remember how little he is and that his nutritional requirements aren't anything like mine are.
So, I'm going to feed him broccoli once again tonight, although I am also finding that if he sees one thing on his plate that he likes at times that is ALL that he is going to eat and he will ask for more of that one thing. I've decided to give in, if he wants more broccoli I will steam it quickly in the microwave, and save the chicken for lunch the next day maybe. I'm going to try tunafish today for a late lunch with him. I don't know if he's ever had it before, and he is good and hungry as I have been working on the computer this morning and ignoring the repeated begging for chips. So fingers crossd, here I go!

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tjlove May 1, 2009


I have two more little tricks for you. If you know he'll only eat the broccoli and ignore the chicken, try giving him just the chicken and then bring in the broccoli after he's eaten some. I've been doing that and it works well. If my daughter doesn't know there's rice, she'll just eat the chicken.
My second piece of advice is to get rid of the chips. If they aren't in the house, he can't eat them or expect them.
Talk to you soon!

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Trilby May 1, 2009


Hey, I tried the chicken first trick this evening, and for what it's worth until he decided that he -who knows why just because it's today probably!- didn't like the chicken anymore, he did eat a few pieces before the rice hit the table. It worked because I delayed my husband's and my dinner, as we usually all eat at the same time because we're also working on routine and safety around that for Caleb, I cooked his simple chicken separately from our more complicated dinner. Thanks for the tips, keep em coming if you think of more tj, I sincerely appreciate it. Parenting isn't as much like riding a bike as I might once have thought it would be, amazing what we forget about. Perhaps it's like forgetting labor pain, doesn't matter, it's all worth it. Thanks again. ~Mona



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