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How to get kids to eat?

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  • How to get kids to eat?

    To this day I feel guilty about eating CW during pregnancy. I feel like I didn't get my daughter the best start. Don't get me wrong- she is a healthy smart little girl, impressing everyone with her advanced language development, BUT she has so many food allergies. After giving birth she only had breastmilk for the first year when she decided she's "too busy" to want to put an effort into nursing (and around 6m-8m some mashed fruit and vegetables); we switched her initially to pasteurised caws milk and after getting a bad rash and doing some food allergy test to raw goat milk. Meanwhile I read more and although she had some rice cereal as a baby she was never too crazy about them and then after learning the truth about grains I didn't give her any grains any more. I made all her baby food from scratch and she was eating pretty much primal with once exception: she never liked meat.She likes vegetables so I used to make her salads and hide some tiny pieces of chicken in there but soon we found out she is allergyc to chicken. So she can have beef, pork, lamb and fish. My freezer is full with grassfed beef and it breaks my heart that she would not eat any, no matter what I try. I involved her in cooking, let her form meatballs,make meatloaf in the shape of ginger man and let her decorate it with ktchup, tried the salad thing with cooked ground beef (sort of like a taco salad) but she knows it in there and then she won't even eat the vegetables. She's been eating the same thing over and over again: bacon, beef hotdogs (I bought the very "clean' ones from US Welness Meats but she's not too crazy about them so I buy the Hebrew National Kosher hotdogs that are better than other brands but they do have some 2%unwanted ingredients). We made some pork sausage for her (it has to be in a sausage casing - if it looks like a sausage patties she won't eat it) and we tried hard to find some recipe that dosn't have junk in it and after several trials and errors we compromised and used some salt that has a nitrate in it(not too happy with it but it was the best we could come up to put in a casing, smoke and make sure it last in the freezer for a few months). Every once in a while she likes to eat smoked oysters and some grilled salmon. So....I know it sounds like she eats quite a lot but the foods that I mentioned are things that she allows in her mouth every once in a while- I can't count that if I offer her that for a meal she would eat. So sometimes when we can't get any protein and fat into her (and I don't mean just for a meal or a day but several days in a row) we end up giving her some rice crackers or humus with her vegetables. I tried every possible thing I can think of to get some protein into her: sometimes I make her high protein cookies with almond meal or coconut and pieces of bacon in it but she's not even crazy about cookies; I tried pankakes w/ almond butter, mashed banana and eggs or just coconut flour pancakes. I would be happy with hear eating coconut icecream or her fruit with homemade whipped cream. but she is just stubborn when it comes to fat and protein. I thought that if I would feed her primal since she started eating food she would learn to like it but she never liked meat and most of her fat came from milk or yogurt or the cooking oil and some nuts (she likes raw nuts as long as I crack them in front of her). At times she is willing to try a food and acts like she likes it but then she'll never wants it again (and I'm not talking in a few days of weeks but even many months later). So I guess my question is what's the worse thing to do :to let her eat like a vegetarian and lose weight or to give her some unprimal foods when she refuses to have protein and fat? Any other meal ideas for kids? I feel like I tried everything under the sun and other than getting compliments for how creative I am from friends, family member or her pediatrician, I wasn't successful in convincing her to eat.

  • #2
    I have similar problems, but not so extreme with my daughter. At some point I was so desperate that I added whey and egg whites to her smoothies (let them throw stone at me!)! The things that scare her away from meats:

    onion and garlic: I pulverise it in a blender and mix in cladestinely then she eats it
    She preferes her meats very plain, no spice, boiled in a soup or grilled but without much 'browning' (I set aside pieces that don't get spice or sauce on it)
    too complex foods, like stwes and sauces,
    tomato-vegetable sauces (how come ketchup is Okay, I dunno)

    Things that helped:

    Ice Age, with the dinosaur and broccoil part, was super helpful, as it made her think that eating meat of the bone 'like a dinasaur' was cool
    Discussions about how meat makes her fast and strong (she loves playing with boys, so it is important)
    washing meat off under water if she saw something undesiarable
    setting in advance and tripple checking that she will eat it; letting her define how much of the meat she will eat from her plate
    the firm rule that meat has to be eaten first, before fruit/treat
    teaching her to operate knife and fork, and cutting meat together with her into bite-sized pieces

    She will eat now: meatballs, boiled eggs, shrimp, cheese, 'special' yogurt (meaning plain yogurt with a fruit of her choice), sheppard pie, veggie and meat soups, particulary if meat is on the bone, peanut butter (I know, not ideal, but not horrible either)

    I think she also prefers pork to beef.

    Hope that helps!
    Last edited by Leida; 01-27-2012, 03:23 PM.
    My Journal:
    When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.


    • #3
      I wouldn't worry about it. She will eat if she's hungry. I have a daughter of a similar age and sometimes she refused to eat anything but bread, butter and honey. I managed to persuade her to eat bacon again, and we eat a lot of roast chicken and duck because she likes that.

      I think most little children just have very bland tastes and mostly like familiar foods. If they eat all carbohydrate as a result you can always smother it in butter, which at least makes them fat burning and limits the quantity of wheat.

      I always get refused when I offer beef too. Then occasionally she has some. This can be inconvenient because I eat a lot of beef and would much rather she had some with me. Instead I buy chicken legs and cook her one under the grill. This gets round the demand for roast chicken without having to cook a whole one.

      So, that's my excellent technique. Really overload the bread with butter, and only smear on a little honey. Same with spaghetti. Being as it is Peppa Pig's favourite food it is hers too. Offer bacon and eggs. Refuse 90%+ of ice cream requests and always when she has refused other food.

      Raw carrots seem to be popular now. Can't imagine why. I thought little children didn't like high fiber foods due to their gut being too small to cope with the bulk.

      Re allergies, have never seen one. But I hear that when people buy/build their children a sandpit to play in then allergies disappear. I believe this is do to local cats making use of it! I expect a sandpit at a local public playground would be just as effective against allergies.


      • #4
        the way to get kids to eat is leave them alone until they're starving, then they will come to you.


        • #5
          ton of words for nothing, again.


          • #6
            I know it's hard to be firm when you're worried about your child's health, but you need to be firm unless you want to spend the next decade of your life or more as a short order cook, making separate meals for everyone in your family. Offer one meal for everyone incorporating an item or two that she likes and she'll be just fine. I'm a pediatric nurse and the physician I work with recommends looking at a toddler's/child's diet over the course of a week. If she's getting most of what she needs nutritionally over that week, then that's fine. Also cut back on snacks so she'll be hungry for meals with the family.

            Try not to react to her behavior of refusing to eat the foods you offer. Young children tend to do the opposite of what you want them to do!

            When my kids were toddlers I decided to make it a point to make only one meal for my family. I tried to incorporate at least one food type in that meal that everyone would like. But I refused to make a separate meal for each member of my family. If my toddlers didn't want to eat it, fine. I did not react at all. It just sat on the table until everyone else was finished, but that was it. Trust me it wasn't long before they were fine with whatever we had for dinner. Maybe they didn't eat the whole meal, but they ate most of it because they were hungry and over time ended up liking many foods that they hadn't before.

            If it helps, think of caveman days. Did cavemoms prepare meals based on what their children's preferences were? Nope, they learned to eat what there was to eat...'cause that's all there was.


            • #7
              Yup, what everyone said.

              Keep her involved, keep offering, and eventually she'll eat or she won't.

              Also, make bone broths, and steam veggies in the bone broths or make soups with it. LOTS of nutrients in there without eating meat.