We have a picky 5 yr old with huge texture issues. For us, we are doing it one food at a time. Literally. First I wanted to work on snacks so we have moved off from the animal crackers/TJ cat cookies to dried fruit and now to trail mix with nuts. I'll keep dropping the dried fruit ratio until it's more nuts than not. Next was the bowl of dried cereal he used to want at bed time. Now he's eating cheese and pepperoni or yogurt with a bit of honey. I keep lowering the amount of honey every few days. I also make primal desserts that are definitely treats but are better than cookies, etc. Date bars, sweet potato bars, and home made yogurt/fruit popsicles. I keep trying to primalize his mainstream staples - his PBJ is now raw almond butter, no sugar added jelly, "better" bread. Not perfect but...
I try to not to get all worked up over one meal (though he does push my buttons on a regular basis!) and look at his overall nutrition. I do make him take a bite of everything, for exposure, but I try to have at least one thing I know he'll eat at each meal. I know I was picky as all get-out as a kid and now I'm eating all sorts of crazy stuff!
Primal since 3/10/12 - removed lap band 5/11/12
Starting weight: 90kg (11/3/13) (33.1 BMI)
Current weight: 89.5kg (12/3/13) (32.9 BMI)
Goal weight: 75kg (27.5 BMI)
Short term goal: BMI under 30
Mid term goal:
40 pushups, 100 situps, 10 pullups, 10.1 beep test, >10m 2.4km run
Long term goal: Enlist as an ARA Combat Engineer
All great advice here! I too have a 4 yo who wont eat veges. He may eat a few if cooked in soup or if I hide them in ground meat. He loves eggs with sausage for breakfast. For a while he was wanting oatmeal often, so I would cook a small amt (like 1 -2 TB) in milk and then add an egg and make it like a custard. He likes that w/ some yogurt mixed in. He would love mac-n-cheese, hot dogs (in a bun) and gold fish crackers every day, but we simply don't have that stuff at home. When we encounter them while out, he may get them, but if it's not in your house, they can't get access to it most of the time. Just keep trying and don't compare to other parents. All kids are different - just do your best!
I was a picky eater as a kid and really didnt enjoy veggies until college!
I have a 6 and 7 year old. Older kid will eat anything, younger one takes after me and mealtime is often troublesome! That being said...we can do tuna, hummus (not primal), beans and rice. Other ideas are to roast a chicken---smells up the house and might stimulate that appetite! Also, maybe make your meals less spicy and stick to some basics for a bit...meat, veggie, salad or cut up raw veggies, maybe potato/rice. Kids like things plain---they do have heightened taste buds...ours diminish as we age so we gravitate to more spices, etc. Plain fish---salmon/tilapia usually goes over well, bunless burgers, I'll still do gluten free pasta on occasion too for the kids!
Great thread! My little boy is 22 months and he loves "cooking" He is not fussy at the moment but he still has preferences and he is not primal as such. Because he loves pretend cooking he has loads of the play foods, if he is a bit hesitant especially with a new food I go and get the pretend one and show him and then he will try it. With my son it's more about texture and he is a slow teether so he still doesn't have a full mouth of teeth yet. It's really only been in the last couple of weeks that he will eat a very small bit of meat without it being cut up into a mush with other vegies and which is eaten with a spoon.
Thanks to everyone who has posted and offered ideas, I would love to get my son onto a primal diet before he's addicted to grains and sweet food for years to come. He does not have sugar or dairy (other then cheese), he's still breastfeeding so we are off to a good start but I still worry I may be too late. I plan to switch over to making my own almond crackers, chocolate cake and other sweet biscuts with almond flour and raw organic cocoa and honey etc and making things like coconut berry pancakes for teats for my son. I am going to try to always have almond crackers in the pantry too that I make so that he can have them instead of regular savory crackers.
Last edited by Ethereal; 07-25-2012 at 04:02 PM.
The blog "The Nourished Kitchen" has a good article about "How to Transform a Picky Eater":
How to Transform a Picky Eater
I like the tone of the article, about positive self-talk and positive talk. Refer to your kid as a good eater, instead of pointing out how picky they are. This really opened my eyes. I am definitely guilty of refering to my older child, who is 5, as a picky eater. Sigh.
The Nourished Kitchen is a food blog devoted to traditional foods/cooking so not completely primal or paleo, but a heavy emphasis on GAPS compatible and WAPF foods. Her recipe for your own homemade, lacto-fermented ketchup is fantastic. My oldest will eat a lot of things with ketchup that he would not eat otherwise. This homemade ketchup provides some good gut flora and so I feel better about him dipping everything into it.
My 5-year-old has just not started eating meat again. He essentially went 2 years not eating it. I know I am partially to blame as I was a vegetarian that whole time, but I always served grassfed or pastured meat to my husband and son. Now that we are all eating meat again, including me it is easier. I make my own chicken "nuggets" and fish "sticks" for the kids. But, I'll admit, they still love their breads and cereals for breakfast. My oldest just adores anything cinnamon. We at least transitioned from any processed foods to a nice cinnamon bread made with honey from a local bakery. Baby steps.
My toddler who is almost 14 months old will eat anything still. He ate steak last night, eggs this morning. Right now he still stuffs himself with veggies though, again, he likes that cinnamon bread at breakfast too. He's still nursing as well, so I'm not so worried about his nourishment.
I put veggies on my oldest plate for years and years without him eating a bite, but now he is slowly trying them. He ate some pea shoots the other night, and some zucchini. I'm just glad he's not asking for a grilled cheese every night. A few bites of steak, a few bites of a veggie, some fruit and water, then I'm okay if he also wants to have some other foods.
With eating primally, my goal is to make it a lifestyle for myself first, be the example. Along the way, slowly transition the kids to more primal/paleo and also GAPS type foods (fermented), but not stress if they reject them at first.
There are some good suggestions here, like make it bland for them, keep crap out of the house, but just wow. Be casual and nonchalant and give your child what you eat. If they won't eat just calmly remove it when the meal is over. They cannot starve themselves, when they're hungry enough they'll eat. My youngest is 30 now so I've been there. Have you ever seen a cat skeleton in a tree? This is a situation that will resolve itself if you handle it right. You can't negotiate with and you shouldn't bribe a young child. You are just setting yourself up for bigger problems later. You must be in charge, if not they will be and heaven help you when they're teenagers.
I recall the Supernanny using this method with "picky eaters." She would tell the child, "You need to eat three carrots, and two bites of chicken, before you can have any more grapes. Let's count! 1 carrot! Good! Two carrots! WAY TO GO! " etc. Make it fun, set some simple guidelines (how many bites they must eat before having something else) and give them lots of praise and encouragement when they try new things. Keep it light, don't get angry, be patient. No kids of my own yet so this is secondhand experience, but it seems like a good approach. Good luck, moms and dads!