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Old 09-02-2013, 08:56 PM   #1
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advice for getting a picky kid to eat

I know, i know. Let him starve. But what if he really will just starve and not eat? Or if i force him, he gags and throws up?
I'm asking for any helpful advice. Ds is 2.5 and basically only wants to eat chicken nuggets (won't even touch chicken if it's not a nugget. Won't even do homemade ones) and oatmeal with bananas or apples in it. That's about it. No rice, no soup. Nothing. Refuses everything. Once in awhile he will do plain bread. He does like dry cereal.

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Old 09-02-2013, 09:03 PM   #2
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Honestly, as long as he's eating something healthy, I wouldn't force the issue. Make one thing he enjoys at each meal, and the rest whatever you want to cook for your family. Toddlers go through picky phases - even normally adventurous eaters. Try to assess his diet on a weekly, rather than daily basis. Make sure he drinks plenty of water and buy the healthiest versions of things you know he'll eat.

If you feel like he's not able to function or missing vital nutrition, smoothies are a good way to sneak in lots of good food. Make him a strawberry, banana, or blueberry "milkshake" in the morning with chia, flaxseed meal, yogurt, coconut oil, spinach, etc. - use enough fruit and raw honey to make it a treat without making it too sweet.
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Old 09-02-2013, 10:33 PM   #3
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Barring any medical issues that would require feeding therapy...

It is your job to offer healthy food at regular meal and snack times. You decide the what and the when. It is your child's job to decide whether and how much to eat. As the PP said, make sure there is one thing he'll eat offered, and otherwise, let it go.

DD1 does have to have one no-thank-you bite of each food at dinner but we didn't start that till she could really understand.
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Old 09-03-2013, 12:00 AM   #4
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Re: advice for getting a picky kid to eat

How long has he been eating this way? Will he really starve himself if you will not feed him these foods? Does he gag/vomit or run and hide/scream if you offer or try to get him to even taste other foods? Does he have other feeding/oral problems like eating/licking none food items, gagging when drinking/eating preferred foods or even excessive snoring? Do you have other behavioral concerns?

If he has been eating like this for a long time and the answer to these other questions is yes I would get in to talk to his pediatrician. It is possible he either has some sort of swallow issue (possibly tonsils or something else) or it could be an oral/feeding issue. If it is a new behavior I would keep a food journal and just keep offering other foods in the hopes that he gets past it. If you go with offering new foods he doesn't need to eat them, at first just kissing will do. Next time taking a small lick, then a bite. Hopefully he will decide the food is not offensive. Also make sure he isn't getting full on milk or juices. He should only be drinking water and maybe a single glass of milk a day (not at meal time).

Yes many toddlers go through a picky phase and most will eat when they are hungry, but some have more going on. Only eating chicken nuggets and oatmeal with apples is not healthy, nor is starving unless he is given a preferred food.
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Old 09-03-2013, 09:14 PM   #5
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Re: advice for getting a picky kid to eat

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Originally Posted by corinne76 View Post
But what if he really will just starve and not eat? Or if i force him, he gags and throws up?
Try it and if it happens, then you probably have some oral sensory issues going on and it would be worth bringing up to your ped.

In the meantime, I would try to make sure he is getting some Vit C and Vit A somehow. Also calcium if he isn't drinking milk. If you can get some free range eggs in him (the yolks have Vit A) with a little cheese (calcium), and some orange juice (Vit C), that would balance things out a bit. The chicken is giving him lots of protein, and the oatmeal provides iron and fiber and b vitamins, and the apples and bananas have some vitamins and fiber (just both are low in Vit A and C). You could try making orange juice pops if he won't drink OJ. They are super yummy. Also look for a type of chicken nugget that has some flax oil added - its a good source of Omega 3s. They are dinosaur shaped but I forget the name! Green smoothies are great for picky kids. Since he like bananas, try blending OJ with banana and a little spinach wiht some ice cubes. You can't taste the spinach, but you will see it, so maybe serve in a colored straw cup, like those take and toss ones to "hide" the green if that is an issue. Can you tell I have experience in sneaky nutrition?
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Old 09-03-2013, 09:50 PM   #6
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Re: advice for getting a picky kid to eat

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Originally Posted by Silver)O(Moon View Post
Try it and if it happens, then you probably have some oral sensory issues going on and it would be worth bringing up to your ped.

In the meantime, I would try to make sure he is getting some Vit C and Vit A somehow. Also calcium if he isn't drinking milk. If you can get some free range eggs in him (the yolks have Vit A) with a little cheese (calcium), and some orange juice (Vit C), that would balance things out a bit. The chicken is giving him lots of protein, and the oatmeal provides iron and fiber and b vitamins, and the apples and bananas have some vitamins and fiber (just both are low in Vit A and C). You could try making orange juice pops if he won't drink OJ. They are super yummy. Also look for a type of chicken nugget that has some flax oil added - its a good source of Omega 3s. They are dinosaur shaped but I forget the name! Green smoothies are great for picky kids. Since he like bananas, try blending OJ with banana and a little spinach wiht some ice cubes. You can't taste the spinach, but you will see it, so maybe serve in a colored straw cup, like those take and toss ones to "hide" the green if that is an issue. Can you tell I have experience in sneaky nutrition?
well right now I'm dealing with a ton of vomiting, not just wehn he eats. It's mostly when he sleeps on his back. he coughs a little and then throws up over and over. Yesterday though, he was sitting at the table, eating his chicken nuggets, coughed a little, paused and then threw up until he had nothing left to throw up. Then he happily goes about his day or goes back to sleep
It's been going on a couple weeks now. The dr said maybe post nasal drip and a lingering cold from a few weeks ago. He is sneezing an little. IDK. but that's another issue right?

I probably should mention, he's allergic to dairy, egg whites and peanuts. He hasn't been tested since he was one, and he hasn't had any eggs or nut products so IDK how bad a reaction it will be. He will be tested again when he turns 3, until then the pedi said to avoid those things.

as for the dino nuggets, is it this one? http://www.wegmans.com/webapp/wcs/st...0052&langId=-1
that's the one he's been eating
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Old 09-03-2013, 10:05 PM   #7
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Re: advice for getting a picky kid to eat

I've spent 4 years in feeding therapy. Here is my 2 cents..

First--Google Cough Variant Asthma. DS used to cough til he puked, mostly at night. He never wheezed or showed classic asthma symptoms. Pulmicort and Flonase helped a ton for him. He had lots of mucous due to the undiagnosed asthma.

Talk to your ped about reflux too. Esp with so many allergies, he may be refluxing. It is a vicious cycle--puke, acid in throat (and sometimes up in sinuses), more mucous, more coughing, more puking, more acid, etc.

Feeding issues get really bad when there is puking. It causes oral aversion. You have to get to the bottom of the puking before you will make progress on the eating.

Food averse kids WILL starve themselves. As a cycle of not eating continues, they get to the point that they are used to eating almost nothing, so they don't feel as hungry. Some kids will eventually eat. DS is happiest when his stomach is empty.

At the table...get yourself a divided plate. Put 3 foods on it...

1) A favorite food
2) A neutral food
3) A new food you are working on.

One food should be a protein, one should be a fruit/veggie, and one a starch.

We are supposed to set a timer for 20 minutes. We keep track and are allowed to prompt DS to eat 10 times, and after 10 times, we are to leave him alone. After 20 minutes, he can get up, even if he hasn't eaten anything. The key is to stay positive. Don't engage in a power struggle because you can't win. Forcing kids to eat may make progress in the short term, but long term, it is detrimental.

We've also done sticker charts for bites. It didn't work for us, but that doesn't mean it won't work for you. Make a chart with 15 boxes, and kiddo gets a sticker for each bite. When all the boxes are full, he gets to get down.

One book that I really like is the Food Chaining book. It explains how to get kids from a small number of foods to accept a wider variety of foods. DS will now put most anything in his mouth and try it. It really helped us.

A friend recommended Feed Me Love Me, which really helped her daughter. I haven't read it yet, but she loves it.

With all those allergies, have they scoped him for EOE or celiac?

I would definitely talk to your ped. There are feeding therapists out there that help with picky eaters if it is just a case of picky eating. But until you get the vomitting stopped, you probably won't make much progress.
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Old 09-03-2013, 11:02 PM   #8
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Re: advice for getting a picky kid to eat

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Originally Posted by luvsviola View Post
I've spent 4 years in feeding therapy. Here is my 2 cents..

First--Google Cough Variant Asthma. DS used to cough til he puked, mostly at night. He never wheezed or showed classic asthma symptoms. Pulmicort and Flonase helped a ton for him. He had lots of mucous due to the undiagnosed asthma.

Talk to your ped about reflux too. Esp with so many allergies, he may be refluxing. It is a vicious cycle--puke, acid in throat (and sometimes up in sinuses), more mucous, more coughing, more puking, more acid, etc.

Feeding issues get really bad when there is puking. It causes oral aversion. You have to get to the bottom of the puking before you will make progress on the eating.

Food averse kids WILL starve themselves. As a cycle of not eating continues, they get to the point that they are used to eating almost nothing, so they don't feel as hungry. Some kids will eventually eat. DS is happiest when his stomach is empty.

At the table...get yourself a divided plate. Put 3 foods on it...

1) A favorite food
2) A neutral food
3) A new food you are working on.

One food should be a protein, one should be a fruit/veggie, and one a starch.

We are supposed to set a timer for 20 minutes. We keep track and are allowed to prompt DS to eat 10 times, and after 10 times, we are to leave him alone. After 20 minutes, he can get up, even if he hasn't eaten anything. The key is to stay positive. Don't engage in a power struggle because you can't win. Forcing kids to eat may make progress in the short term, but long term, it is detrimental.

We've also done sticker charts for bites. It didn't work for us, but that doesn't mean it won't work for you. Make a chart with 15 boxes, and kiddo gets a sticker for each bite. When all the boxes are full, he gets to get down.

One book that I really like is the Food Chaining book. It explains how to get kids from a small number of foods to accept a wider variety of foods. DS will now put most anything in his mouth and try it. It really helped us.

A friend recommended Feed Me Love Me, which really helped her daughter. I haven't read it yet, but she loves it.

With all those allergies, have they scoped him for EOE or celiac?

I would definitely talk to your ped. There are feeding therapists out there that help with picky eaters if it is just a case of picky eating. But until you get the vomitting stopped, you probably won't make much progress.
thank you. I always appreciate advice from BTDT mamas.

I'm not sure about asthma. DD has asthma, likely cough variant. Hers is a persistant cough, which results in vomitting. DS is like a gagging cough like he choked on his spit and he vomits. but once he starts, he keeps on gagging.

I have considered reflux. I'm going to call his pedi again tomorrow. I took him on Friday and gave him Benadryll (to clear up post nasal drip if that's the porblem) since then. He was fine fri, sat, sun nights. THen yest he threw up in the morning and day and again today.

I will check out those books. DS doesn't really understand reward charts yet, but that may an idea to tuck away for later if this continues.

eta: no, he hasn't been tested for celiac or EOE. I'm going to talk to his Dr about the reflux thing. I did suspect a wheat intolerance when he was EBF, but now he eats cereal and once in a blue moon some bread with no issues
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Old 09-03-2013, 11:08 PM   #9
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Corrine76 what is your email? I want to email you some pics of what I have been doing with my picky 14 month old to get her to eat
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Old 09-03-2013, 11:12 PM   #10
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Re: advice for getting a picky kid to eat

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Corrine76 what is your email? I want to email you some pics of what I have been doing with my picky 14 month old to get her to eat
I'll PM you
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