View Full Version : Feeding the little ones
11-07-2001, 10:50 PM
Enough Exams Already
11-08-2001, 07:09 AM
I'd say your job is to provide a nutritious, healthy meal, and that's it--if they don't want to eat it, that's up to them, but dinner has been served.
OTOH, there's a lot you can do with pasta, cheese and breakfast foods. Pick up a copy of Cook's Illustrated. I don't know if a new issue has come out yet, but the last one I got had a dish called a strata (essentially eggs and bread stuffed with a filling, usually vegetable). You might try it for dinner some time. If you can't get the issue, you might try their website. Fill it with spinach, onions and cooked cubed chicken, and it might go over fairly well. (I use EggBeaters and skim milk in place of eggs and cream, though. The dish comes out lighter in taste and lower in cholesterol.)
11-08-2001, 07:37 AM
We're also of the "eat it or forget it" school, which has mixed success. If #1 son has had a big lunch he'll sometimes refuse dinner and go to bed without eating rather than suffer something strange (or something not-so-strange he loved 2 weeks before).
If he's gone without we'll usually offer him his dinner again right before bed & sometimes he'll take it.
11-08-2001, 08:15 AM
my kids' doctor always said they would 'find their own level'. If they needed more veggies, some higher power would magically make that food more attractive. Sometimes we'd go a week on just one item and it would drive me kinda nuts, but eventually it worked. They're healthy and I just make normal meals.
11-08-2001, 08:24 AM
I know it's not the healthiest thing, but my daughter, now 4, is the same way, but LOVES bologna. When all else fails and really want her to have something, we resort to bologna.
I have also resorted to making "homemade lunchables". She loves the storebought ones so I cut up meats and cheeses the same way, serve it with crackers and a jello cup and she is happy, and I have made it myself much healthier!
Just my experience! Good luck :razz:
11-08-2001, 08:35 AM
Just checking in with another vote for 'they eat what they need and only as much as they need.' Continue to offer healthy, nutritious food and fear not - the child will not starve.
11-08-2001, 08:58 AM
I have a VERY picky eater, and we just ignore it. She can eat what we are having or have one of 2 easy alternatives (that have been pre-set: PBJ or Soup) When she gets sick of the alternatives, she occasionally deigns to eat the regular meal. We try not to let her see any anxiety we feel about her diet, so she doesn't get any "power" out of it.
She is nearly 10 now, and is starting to expand her diet quite a bit - Before she liked like 4 things - now the list is up to about 15-20.
Good luck and don't sweat it much! Your little darling will not starve or get ricketts!!
11-08-2001, 08:59 AM
My son eats anything at all. He has preferences, but will still eat anything if it is presented at the right time.
A friend of mine had a son who was very picky. They went the route of serve it up and if he doesn't eat it, give him the same plate again later when he says he's hungry. It worked.
They also figured out what was happening. Around four o'clock the child got hungry and Mom gave him a snack. The snack "ruined" him. When this was figured out, Mom and Dad changed food schedules accordingly so that everyone is hungry for a meal at the same time now.
11-08-2001, 09:18 AM
agree with the eat what is served. Bad eating habits carry on into later life
You will be suprised what they may start liking. Make sure they don't over snack, so that dinner becomes irrelavant. and try to be nutricious with their favorites. M&C can be a side dish, if they try the main course. Pasta Prima Vera is easy
11-08-2001, 10:25 AM
My sister has had some luck sneaking spinach into the lasagna.
Basically, they can eat what's on the table, or eat nothing, their choice. If there is something new on the table, they must eat one bite before deciding they don't like it.
They are pretty healthy, and seem to get what they need. She has three, and there always seems to be one in a finicky phase, but not the same one all the time.
(BTW, I love the name, Natasha. Are you a graduate of Wattsamatta U?)
11-08-2001, 10:26 AM
We found that we needed to adapt our eating schedule to my daughters biological clock so that she was hungry at dinner time. I didn't like eating at 5:30 (7:30 would have been better) but it made for a better dinner experience.
We also had the problem with snacking. We had to limit it in size and timing.
Finally, we set up a rule where my daughter had to try everything on her plate, but only a mouthful. She was then free to eat what she wanted, didn't have to clean her plate. Also, we rarely have desert and if we do it is often fruit so there was nothing to look forward to.
My daughter is now 14 and is a very adventurous eater. We have found that if you expect your child to eat what you give them and can convey this to them, they will start to meet your expectations but it can take time and I believe you need consistency in the rules and expectations.
11-08-2001, 10:28 AM
My kids can be pretty picky. Fortunately, there are a good handful of healthy foods that they do like (they would both eat broccoli every day if I made it).
I don't worry too much about proteins or starches, and fruit is easy. But I do try to make sure they get at least one good helping of veggie a day.
I have found that the taste and texture of fresh veggies always goes over better than frozen or canned (although I read an article that said the nutritional value of frozen or canned over fresh is nothing to worry about). To steam a small portion of about any fresh veg, just cut it up, put it between two saucers and nuke it for 1-3 minutes. (You can then run cold water over it to cool it down a little)
And never underestimate the power of DIPPING. My kids will try almost anything (cooked or raw veggies - any "strange" looking meat) if I give them ketchup or salad dressing to dip it in. Cucumber sticks are always a big hit. Also try carrot sticks dipped in peanut butter.
Here's another trick: In meatballs or meatloaf, add a jar of jr. babyfood carrots. It adds a touch of sweetness to the meat - which helps - and gives a few bites of veggie! Win/Win!
But don't sweat it - their little bodies are very adept at eeking out the vitamins and minerals they need from whatever they eat. And you would be surprised at how little they can get by on.
The snacking thing is also very true. My kids get a small snack after naptime at about 3, then nothing but water until dinner at 6 - they come to the table hungry.
ALSO - monitor how much juice they get - it's empty calories and can kill their appetite for good food. Preschoolers and toddlers should be getting no more than 4-6 ounces per day. (I water it down 50/50)
I clipped two articles from Parenting magazine recently. One is "The 20 Best and 10 Worst Foods for Kids" the other was "Is Your Toddler Eating Enough?" This was about portion sizes - they are surprisingly small - it was very reassuring. If you can't find them on the web and want to read them, send me an e-mail with a fax #.
11-08-2001, 10:31 AM
"""we set up a rule where my daughter had to try everything on her plate, but only a mouthful. She was then free to eat what she wanted, didn't have to clean her plate. """
OOhh - I forgot about that one! Yep - we do that too.
11-08-2001, 10:37 AM
On 2001-11-08 10:26, Old Timer wrote:
...Also, we rarely have desert...<font size=2>Most of us here rarely venture over there either. :wink:
Lots of good advice here. My mom's favorite saying was "If you don't like what I've made, you can make your own", and she meant it. We all learned to fend for ourselves at fairly young ages.
11-08-2001, 10:53 AM
our food rules for the QuijoteKids.
1) Always thank the cook for their effort. Complaining is not allowed at the table.
2) You have to try one bite of everything on your plate. If you donīt like it donīt finish it. (Iīve been burned by this one when the kids "cook" - I really didnīt want to try that peanut butter and raisen sandwich, but...)
3) At supper time (last meal) the only food choices are what is already prepared. If you arenīt full at the end, have seconds. If you donīt want to eat, breakfast time is not that far away!
4) Your first glass at every meal is water or milk. If youīre still thirsty after you drink it, you may have another drink (juice, soft drinks, etc.). This helps avoid them filling up on sugar water.
5) At lunch time (when theyīre home) they can "choose" their meal, but with limits. One fruit or fresh veggie and one bread item, then build from there.
6) On your birthday, you get to choose the supper menu.
We also control snacks in the afternoon, although thatīs not one of our "rules". Junk food snacks are limited, but there is always a bowl of fruit on the table and thatīs open game. We find that they will eat chocolate whether they are hungry or not, but the banana or apple only gets picked up when theyīre truly in need.
We donīt fight with them about eating, itīs too easy for them to win. As long as they follow rules 1 and 2, they can happily be excused from the table.
In restaraunts, we order for them things which we know they will like and donīt get much at home (hamburgers and pizzas from the kids menu usually).
11-08-2001, 11:16 AM
I see my plan for my picky eater is not the norm. But it works too.
I have other children who will eat anything, so I know it is not just us not being firm enough, it is truly her "personality" to be picky - I think in the past, she got some "power" from pushing us around. Now it is a non-issue - she eats what we are having or eats PBJ/soup! (BTW she loves veggies of all kinds, so that's no problem.) I'd just rather not spent my evenings fighting about food.
We also have to watch the number/timing of snacks with all the kids.
I echo the recommendation of the 2 articles mentioned above - I had the toddler serving sizes on my frig for a while to remind me that them eating very little food is not starving them!!
11-08-2001, 12:05 PM
Ooohh! I thought of another one!
If your preschoolers like Sesame Street, there is a video out called "Elmo's Magic Cookbook" (I know I know - my kids watch too much tv)
Chef Emerill Lagasse (sp) makes pizza (healthy style) with the kids and they make serveral other things.
I was amazed at what my kids would eat when "We made it like Elmo does!"
They love to make pizza like Elmo (with chicken and broccoli!) - and they "BAM" the stuff on like Emerill - it's really funny.
11-08-2001, 02:03 PM
On 2001-11-08 12:05, Traci - Admin wrote:
"We made it like Elmo does!"
<font size=2>Yeah, it's amazing how much influence popular personalities have on children. It becomes rather pathetic when you realize how many people never grow out of that mindset.
Hmmm... I wonder how many people could blame their obesity problem on Cookie Monster? :smile:
<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: The Mister on 2001-11-08 14:04 ]</font>
11-08-2001, 02:22 PM
Gee, do I smell a class action law suit on behalf of all obese individuals?
11-08-2001, 02:22 PM
Sesame St. had on Edie Falco from Sopranos as one of their guest celebrities,
when questioned as to why they would choose someone who the kids would never recognize (we hope), the response was that when the adults see a celeb they like they are more likely to sit down and watch with the child.
11-08-2001, 02:25 PM
<font size=2>I guess that's why they got R.E.M. and the Spin Doctors... all those new younger parents who might be less likely to spend time with their kids. (but more likely with help from PBS)
11-08-2001, 02:26 PM
Or the people who make the shows just like to hang around celebs.
11-08-2001, 02:29 PM
<font size=2>Well, that's an extra perk. :wink:
Some suggestions for sneaking veggies into the diet: (I think I have the pickiest five year old). Banana, pumpkin, apple, or zucchini (I'm having a brain cramp on how to spell this word - must be exam week) bread. Carrot cake. Also it helps if I make fun shapes out of the food, if I sneak two or three "trees" of broccoli I'm doing well for the week. Somehow my child thinks the herbs sprinkled on pizza are "green things" she needs to pick off.
11-08-2001, 03:27 PM
anyone else remember a frozen french fry that had vegies in it. Sort of a crinkle cut, with a green tint. Weren't very good though.
This is going back about 25yrs
11-08-2001, 03:42 PM
"""Somehow my child thinks the herbs sprinkled on pizza are "green things" she needs to pick off."""
Let her do the sprinkling.
"sprinkles" are another great way to get kids to try stuff.
We sprinkle sugar (colored is even better), parmesean cheese, herbs, whatever - she thinks it's cool to do it herself.
11-09-2001, 08:19 AM
11-09-2001, 09:18 AM
On 2001-11-09 08:19, Natasha Fatale wrote:
Thanks for the pointers, we've heard the same story from our Ped. as well. Our one little joy in all of this is that neither of our kids likes juice, and between the two of them go through about 3 gallons of milk each week.<font size=2>I read recently (sorry, can't find the link) that a number of pediatricians are saying that most fruit juice has very little nutritional value other than the simple carbs. Some of them are saying, "I can't believe parents think they're doing their children a favor by feeding them that stuff." Apparently children should concentrate on drinking milk and water, and should eat whole fruit rather than drinking just the juice.
If I can find the article, I'll provide the link.
11-09-2001, 09:27 AM
I think Natasha knows that and that's why it's her one little joy.
I have a big milk drinker too - does your ped tell you you need to watch out how much they drink? Supposedly too much can lead to anemia - dairy decreases the absorption rate of iron. The recommendation for a toddler was 18-24 oz a day - I know mine has always had more than that but he's never shown any signs of heading towards anemia.
11-09-2001, 09:29 AM
"""the two of them go through about 3 gallons of milk each week"""
Hmmmm - I wasn't going to bring this up, because I thought my kid was the only one who did this.
That's an average of 27+ ounces of milk per day. Not necessarily TOO much, but definitely at the high end. That could be a little of your problem. Milk is rather filling for kids - (protein).
Did you mention to your ped that they drink that much milk? If not, I will make one last suggestion that you do - and ask, based on their height and weight, how much they should be getting.
My 3-yo would drink milk all day if I let her, and never eat. I was floored when I was told by her doctor to cut her back - I keep her at about 20-24oz tops. (I think 16 is what is recommended) It still makes me cringe when she asks for milk and I have to offer her juice instead.
11-09-2001, 09:30 AM
Oops, I was typing while the above 2 were posting!
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