picky young eaters, need HELP

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-08-2003
picky young eaters, need HELP
Mon, 09-08-2003 - 9:39pm
I am new to this message board stuff, so please bare with me. I have 3 young kids, all under 5 yrs old. ALL PICKY EATERS!!! Some more than others. Oldest the worst, middle so-so, and baby is just starting to eat, she likes to pick things up and eat "real" food rather than her baby food now. But I am afraid she isn't getting enough nutrition because she isn't sure of all the new tastes and textures. Does anyone know of any websites or recipes or ANYTHING that can help me out with them. They seem to like bland, and crispy. But varies to some other things also. Trying to give the baby everything so she doesn't become picky like the other two. I have tried so many things so far, with none or not much success. ANY suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I figured what better place to start than with a bunch of parents! And please let me know if I am in the wrong area for this message board, like I said I am new at this and could be doing it all wrong for all I know! Thank you all so much for your help on this!
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-23-2003
Tue, 09-09-2003 - 7:23am
We'll certainly try to help. I have a 2 year old and a 4 year old and thankfully they both try everything. They actually end up liking most stuff. Strange since I was like your kids. I didn't eat a veggie (beyond corn and potatoes) until I was 20. Not all of us here are parents, but everyone has good recipes.

How about the world of casseroles? Let us know if your kids would eat them and we'll get you some recipes. Some kids can't stand stuff mixed together. Ham? It is soft (thinking of the baby) and can be made w/out a lot of seasoning. Roasted chicken? Do you need help with side dishes?

Let us know what types of food you think they'd have better luck with.

TracyPalmPoster.jpg picture by cl-daisy526
Avatar for cl_daisy526
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Tue, 09-09-2003 - 7:24am
You did just fine! Welcome to the board! Here's a couple websites for you to check out. I hope they help.






I hope that something you find might help you... i was pretty lucky, my 2 daughters were not very picky. I guess I started them off by just giving them everything and never asking them to try it. They were always ready to try something new... i am glad i never had to deal with picky eaters. Come back and let us know how it goes, Good luck, Sweetie!

*** Daisy ***

BabyFoot.jpg picture by cl-daisy526

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-18-2003
Tue, 09-09-2003 - 5:57pm

Boy oh boy, have I been in your shoes!

First take a deep breath, remind yourself your child will not starve.

Kids are like cats, they'll love something one day and turn their cute little noses up the next.

I was a picky eater, grew out of it in high school, and my son is an incredibly picky eater (15 years old).

Just my opinion...but don't force (or let others force) your child to eat a certain type of food. Some foods can be substituted...instead of cereal and milk a low sugar cereal and ice cream. Instead of oatmeal....homemade oatmeal cookies.

If you sit down and make a list of what each child eats and see what other foods could fit the bill or are similar you can expand their menu. For my son it went pizza---to pasta with red sauce--to other kinds of pasta with a cream sauce--to other foods with a cream sauce (like chicken a la King).

I'm a firm believer of putting fruit or veggies out kid level on a table and not saying a word. If I didn't say anything I would "catch" my son trying things, the things he liked I offered more often and the stuff he didn't I wouldn't put out.

This may be hard to believe but eventually your picky eaters will eat you out of house and home!

Hope this helps...



Avatar for nickel76nicky
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Wed, 09-10-2003 - 1:11pm

Like she said don't worry children won't starve themeselves. Now that doesn't mean that they will always get the nutrients they should but a multivitamin will help that.

Oh my daughter, Hannah... well I consider her borderline picky. She was much more picky a few years ago and slowly I'm making progress. If you are looking for a quick solution that doesn't require work beyond a wave of a magic wand I'm sorry I can't help. :)I left my fairy godmother at home! :) No honestly it's alot of work and the problem doesn't fix overnight. You and I have probably years ahead of us but trust me when they decide they like something that is new there is no greater feeling of accomplishment when you helped them to explore new foods, learn good eating habits,

Okay first things first here are some interesting facts.

1. A toddler serving is small, 1 Tablespoon.

2. Children have more sensitive tastebuds/pallet

3. It takes an average child being exposed to a new food 10 times before they like it.(the older they get the more exposure they need, Hannah needs about three times that)

4. Many fruits have the same nutrients as vegtables.

Every kid is different, every parent is different so I can't tell you what to do. Just listen to what everyone else does and pick and choose what fits your parenting style and your kids. I'm not limiting suggestions by age since they will get older.

-Keep servings small so as not to overwhelm the child, but don't use a tiny plate just a small one. If you put small portions on a tiny plate it still can look like a lot to the kids. If you put it on a bigger plate it looks small and the kids will think they can handle that.

-Offer dips for meat and veggies etc. Ketchup, Ranch, mustard, cheese, bbq, anything that they may like. Fruit dips yogurt, jelly and creamcheese, caramel... etc. even peanut butter!

-Try charts with stickers for trying a new food of different food groups. Have them rate the food 1 sticker bad, 2 okay, 3 good.

-Keep track of how many servings on the food groups they eat... you'll probably be surprised that they aren't doing as bad for their age as you might think.

-Puree fruits into smoothies and add ice cream.

-Include kids in the cooking or prep work. If they help make it they might be more willing to eat it.

-Puree veggies and other foods to hide in breads, muffins, meatloaves, sauces, casseroles etc.

For my daughter I serve whatever she will eat (within reason) at breakfast and lunch and sometimes add something new but it's up to her if she wants it or not. Now when it comes to dinner she eats at the table with us (Oh she's 6) and she gets served what we are having. I try to serve at least ONE thing I KNOW she likes. Peas, corn, carrots as a veggie, mac n' cheese as a side dish, something even if it's dinner rolls! Then I give her little servings of everything. I expect her to take ONE BITE of whatever is "new". She doesn't have to eat it all, or like it but she must eat one bite before she's excused from the table. At first it was a headache now it's just something she does. I serve that new food several times a week in different ways, cooked, or served. And I serve it the next week a few times and the next. Each time she takes one bite. You'd be surprised at what she really didn't like and now she likes. She's eating brocoli. Okay so she started with cheese sauce but she's trying it with ranch, in salads, in soups, in casseroles! I try to do no more than 1-2 new foods at one time. But she could still be gettin served and trying a food that she's seen two dozen times but still doesn't really care for it. Like spinach she'll eat in salad but not other ways. So if I serve it in other ways she still has to try one bite... even if this was new a year ago. I ask her if she likes it, why she doesn't, I remind her to take a bite if needed, I encourage her to try it, and I thank her for trying something nicely. I also encourage her to think about other ways she might like to try it. I take her shopping with me and encourage her to pick and choose new things. Healthy things but also a few treats too.

(I think of a taste as at least penny sized, but some mom's are okay with tiny bites or even just a quick lick)

I hope that something here is of help to you. And you are welcome to join a PE group I know of at: HTTP://www.theparentperspective.com/boards/forum-view.asp?forumid=189

Best of Luck,


iVillage Member
Registered: 02-18-2003
Mon, 09-22-2003 - 10:13am
Thanks you for your input. However, please remember that iVillage has plenty of resources for helping parents with their picky eaters, and other children's issues:

Ask the Nutritionist http://messageboards.ivillage.com/iv-fdeatinggood

Advice Parent-to-Parent http://messageboards.ivillage.com/iv-psp2padvice

Toddler Food Issues http://messageboards.ivillage.com/iv-pptodfood

Picky Eaters http://messageboards.ivillage.com/iv-pppickyeater

Please also remember that all posts are subject to review and may be removed if found in violation of our Terms of Service. http://www.ivillage.com/help/tos.html

Thanks and we hope you continue to enjoy our boards.


Community Moderator, Food

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Mon, 09-22-2003 - 7:25pm

i have a 6yr old boy and he is exxxxtremely picky.

what I do is chop the vegetables very small or grind them, then put them in soups or his other favorite foods. Sometimes I also put a little bit of food coloring, i use blue, since is his favorite color.

and believe me what he won't eat in plain view, he will devour the things he cannot see and loves it!.

hope this few tricks can help.

gl ;)

Avatar for nickel76nicky
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Wed, 09-24-2003 - 3:43pm
Opps Sorry! I didn't even think of that.