request for advice-Picky eater with Sensory Issues

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Numina, Jan 6, 2009.

  1. Numina

    Numina New Member

    Okay. I'm back from the holidays and am ready to deal with this. I think. I have an appointment with a food behaviorist on Jan 26th. I'm hoping she can help me set some guidelines for all three of us as far as meal planning.

    difficult child did really well at Christmas. The only part that was really hard for his was the actual dinner. He only ate rolls. America has so much tempting junk-food that difficult child was lured into trying it. I think he was also having a growth spurt which helped.

    The 20 days of stool softener seems to have done the trick. :crossed fingers:. I bought him all new underpants bcs I thought I'd have to throw all the old ones away. I did throw some away. lol but not all.

    Marguerite wrote;
    Okay folks. difficult child likes dry and salty. Chicken nuggets, crepes and bread. He'll eat raisins under duress. The only vegetable he likes is french fries. Even getting him to try a tater-tot was an ordeal.

    I would really like to get him to eat more produce. We are going to Italy in February so it would be nice if he'd eat pizza/pasta.

    Where do I start?
  2. Pam R

    Pam R New Member

    I've heard from other parents they've had success with zinc supplements. It appears in some cases to be a zinc deficiency.

    Apparently the zinc tastes good, or at least acceptable, as long as the deficiency lasts. Once the level has been reached, the taste becomes metallic or unpleasant.

    And once the level has been reached, the picky eating seemed to melt away.

    Zinc's not too expensive and might be worth a try.

    Pam R.
  3. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    He eats fries (we call them chips). Do you make your own? If not, it's not too difficult, but you need a couple of important rules. First, you CAN shallow-fry them in small batches but the oil needs to be hot and partway through the cooking you remove them, drain them, let the oil heat up again, then finish the cooking so they'll crisp up.
    Alternatively, I put them in a supermarket-crinkly plastic bag 9with no holes) and add oil to that, shake it up to spread the oil then tip them ito a baking dish in a single layer, then bake them in the oven.

    Do this with potatoes until you get the knack of it and he eats your home-made hot chips (or oven-baked fries).

    Next step - use other vegetables to make fries. In NZ they make chips out of kumara and they're delicious. Very different to potato, though, because it's very sweet. Other good vegetables to try this with are beetroot, celeriac (a good choice because it looks more like potato and has a fairly mild flavour), carrot. Also let him try shoestring vegetables raw, as in a salad. Carrot shoestrings, beetroot shoestrings, celery strips. Or use thewse with a dipping saucve especially a tomato-based dipping sauce. Using a tomato-based sauce (like a pasta napolitan sauce or salsa, for example) will hep introduce him to the sort of flavours he could meet in Italy.

    Will he eat garlic bread? Will he eat home-made garlic bread? There are two good ways to make it. First, get a breadstick (French style) and make diagnonal slices in it, not quite cutting all the way through. Spread each slice generously with garlic butter, wrap the bread in foil and bake it in the oven to melt the butter through. Serve it warm.
    Or alternatively, get a thick slice of bread, spread it with garlic butter, sprinkle it with parmesan cheese then bake under the grill until the cheese is toasty.

    To make your own garlic butter, soften some butter in a dish then add some crushed garlic and stir to blend. You will probably need to add a little salt to make the garlic flavour more obvious. Label the garlic butter and keep it in the fridge. Be aware that it can go mouldy after a few weeks, with the little bits of garlic going mouldy. Try to use it up before then.

    ANother idea he should like - parmesan thins. Use a good baking paper (or silicone baking sheet) and an egg ring. Put the egg ring on the paper or sheet, sprinkle grated parmesan inside the egg ring then carefully lift off the egg ring. Do a few more, then put the tray carefully in a hot oven and cook until the parmesan melts into a flat disc. Allow it to cool for a few minutes then gently lift off.
    THis should help him get used to the taste of parmesan cheese.

    Pizza - we make "slice of bread pizza" at home. I start with a slice of bread per person. Spread it with garlic butter, then add other ingredients according to personal taste. Again, you will need to try hi with just one new ingredient at a time according to the method I outlined before.

    If he will use tomato-based sauce (NOT ketchup!) as a dipping sauce, then that is the next layer on top of the garlic butter. A sprinkle of dried mixed herbs is a lovely touch but don't force it if he is really fussy. Then you add parmesan. Once he will eat this, then try a mild salami cut into small pieces. We slice it thinly, then cut the slices up into narrow strips, and put that over the tomato layer.
    Or maybe instead of salami, try ham. If necessary, toast the bread first so it is crispy. The result should be salty, savoury and bread-y.

    To introduce him to pasta, that could be tricky. I make home-made pasta using egg and flour, it tastes quite different and could be very similar to what you could get in Italy. But a possibility is to buy some macaroni and using kitchen string, make some becklaces with the macaroni. Do this with other kids too, because what ALWAYS happens is the kids then eat the macaroni off the necklace, dry and crunchy. It's not such a big leap then, to cooking a small amount for him (let him watch what you do) and letting him try some, plain, with butter and with tomato-based sauce. Maybe with a sprinkle of parmesan.

    Plan B - make sure you can always find the foods he feels safe with, even in Italy. In general most hotels will by sympathetic. The customer is always right, what you want will be found for you. And bread - they have plenty of bread.

    Often raw food works better than cooked food. difficult child 3 loves raw carrots and raw tomatoes. I remember, I used to always prefer raw carrots, I hated them cooked. My mother always tried to make me eat my carrots, but wouldn't let me eat them raw. I don't know why. So I haven't insisted he have them cooked, but knowing he can choose to have raw if he wants has made him feel secure enough to try cooked carrot and he will eat it.

    I roast vegetables whenever I'm roasting chicken. I roast carrots whole (minus the tops) so they still look like carrots but taste yummy. difficult child 3 likes my roast carrots but easy child 2/difficult child 2 will refuse to eat them and instead go fetch a raw carrot from the fridge to eat as her "red vegetable".

    Anyway, this is a start. Try to involve him in this process too, if you can. He needs to be prepared to try things but also to feel safe enough to know he won't be forced. Have someone else available to eat what your son doesn't have to if he feels he doesn't like it.

    Good luck.

  4. Numina

    Numina New Member

    Thanks for the ideas folks. keep -em coming!

    I'm not brave enough to try sauce or butter on him - I hated them as a child too. Someone mentioned mayonnaise which which I think is the grossest food on the planet.

    Anyway the cheese (parmesan thins) sounds like a good idea. As does the dry macaroni necklaces. And I used to be able to get French fries made out of pressed carrots and spinach (a little like Pringles) which he'd eat. I don't make my own 'chips' but I do bake the frozen ones instead of frying them.
  5. artana

    artana New Member

    My difficult child is incredibly picky and we do many of the same things Marg does. I call it creating a food comfort zone. He has to try a bite of things, but he doesn't have to eat more than the bite. He trusts us that that is the rule now, but it was a struggle to get there. Once my difficult child has his comfort zone, then suddenly he will get bold and ask for foods I never thought he'd try. For instance, after several months of eating foods he liked and trying just a few odd things here and there, he suddenly declared that he wanted to try ribs! He knows that if he doesn't like them, I will make sure that we have an alternate meal he does like. It's been working fairly well.

    by the way: Boca burgers work well in our house. They taste just like real burgers, but my kids know they are made from soy. When he hasn't been eating his veggies, I know he'll eat a Boca Burger.
  6. goldenguru

    goldenguru Active Member

    Jessica Seinfeld (Jerry Seinfeld's wife) has a really great book out - can't recall the name, you'll have to google it - in which she manages to get her kids to eat veggies that are pureed and 'hidden' in all time favorites. I remember one recipe where she pureed spinach and used it as an ingredient in brownies. Apparently, they were delicious.

    I'm also of the mind that says when children get good and hungry they will eat what is put in front of them. I had a very picky eater. I offered a variety of healthy choices. If she ate fine, if not that was fine too. I might have offered her a piece of fruit between meals, but other than that, she had to wait until the next meal.

    She is an adult now. Still pretty picky. But, overall a pretty healthy eater.
  7. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Jessica's book is called "Deceptively Delicious". I actually ordered a copy, but then chickened out. WHile I waited for the book I searched online for the occasional released recipe and did some sums, to find out that a lot of the sneaky vegetables were in her recipes in too low a quantity to actually have much nuutritional benefit, but where they DO have merit is in being able to tell your child, AFTER they've eaten it, "Those chocolate brownies you just said you enjoyed? They had zucchini in them. So maybe you'll try zucchini in other things too?"

    Also, I realised that by the time I got the book, I had little need of it because easy child 2/difficult child 2 was moving out, leaving me with only ONE problem child. Besides, I was fairly sure that Jessica's method would be a disaster with my kids. What? Sneak food in? Maybe with Jessica & Jerry's easy child kids, but you don't do that to a difficult child whose trust you're trying to gain.

    One suggestion from Jessica which I thought was really good - she would cook and puree a lot of vegetable at a time, then freeze the pureed vegetable in one cup bags. For various recipes she would thaw a bag and mix it in. For example, making meat balls, she would thaw a bag of pureed pumpkin or broccoli, and mix it in with the meat. The puree often helped bind it as well, it also kept it moist.

    I really did think about it, but chose not to because a lot of the vegetables that most kids refuse, are not the problem for us. Our problem is different, it's not just kids refusing to try things, it's also kids with EXTREME sensitivity to certain textures and flavours. husband, for example, is very sensitive to bitter tastes. When we were both at uni (different campuses) there was an experiement in genetics where we had to taste a range of dilutions of a certain bitter substance, but this particular substance (I can't remember what it's called now) can only be tasted if you have a particular gene. For those who can taste it, it needs to be quite dilute. For those who can't, you could just about drink it neat and not taste anything bitter. But husband not only has the gene (so he could taste it while dilute) but they found he could taste the lowest dilution, which NOBODY is supposed to be able to taste. So they broke it down further, and further, until they got a point where he couldn't taste it at all. It turned out that he could taste the stuff at a point a hundred times weaker than the lowest dilution presented to the class, which was about a thousandth more dilute than anyoone else.

    What this has taught me (after more than 30 years of marriage) is that husband is VERY sensitive to bitter tastes. difficult child 3 seems similar (I think easy child 2/difficult child 2 is too). I think he inheritied his father's extreme sensitivty to bitter tastes. Yesterday at lunch in the restaurant, we were served fish and chips (no way were these mere fries, they were big, fat anf fluffy on the inside, each chip twice as thick as your thumb) with the sort of salad on the side that says, "I'm here to look at, to stop you from feeling guilty at not having a balanced meal, but we know that nobody is really going to take this salad seriously enough to eat it." Of course, difficult child 3 & I tried to eat our salad. It was made with shoestring carrot, shoestring beetroot, mung bean sprouts and finely shredded red mignonette lettuce. A mix of colours, designed to look good. difficult child 3 of course analysed the components and declared that the mung bean sprouts were very bitter. sister in law ate his salad for him but commented that the sprouts were fine, it was the red mignonette lettuce.

    My point - you can try disguising food for a easy child, but generally this is a bad idea for difficult children. In my experience, they need to be able to analyse a food down to its components, in order to feel secure.

    I grew up with a mother who would disguise food in a recipe. I always found it and as a result, I grew to really hate her casseroles and stews, because I knew that somewhere in there was food I hated and which I knew I risked finding with each mouthful. I understand now, that steak and kidney pie NEEDS to have kidney in it somewhere to give it a rich flavour, but I still refuse to eat it if there is even the slightest chance my teeth will bite down on a piece of kidney. I have never made stak & kidney pie even though I beleive husband loves it. I will, however, make him steak and mushroom pie instead, substituting mushroom for the kidney. I'm told it tastes almost the same.

    easy child 2/difficult child 2 is a devil for analysing a dish to pieces, literally. She HAS to know exactly what she is eating. difficult child 3 also. But I got them both to eat stir-fried vegetables by referring to broccoli and cauliflower as "little trees". You can also often melt cheese over steamed broccoli or cauliflower, but only if your child can cope with the texture of anything creamy (difficult child 3 can't).

    And they don't always grow out of it. Last night at dinner at mother in law's, she had jelly and ice cream for dessert. daughter in law & eldest niece were serving up, mainly to ensure that they were able to eat their jelly first, in the kitchen, before then serving themselves their ice cream. They said they didn't like jelly and ice cream in the same bowl. Not allowed to "touch".

    Another REALLY useful trick to get kids to eat vegetables - teach them to grow them. Make it clear that he doesn't have to eat what he grows, but it might be nice to have a taste before blithely handing his produce over for some other lucky person to eat. At least have a single taste, to make sure he's not going to lis out on something delicious.

    it doens't matter if you do the bulk of the gardening, just involve him at some stage. Teach him how to recognise when a carrot is ready to be pulled, when beans are ready to be picked, when other vegetables are ready. I grew snow peas and would send difficult child 3 out to pick all the pods. Often there weren't enough to cook and I would instead share them with him, or tell him he could eat as many as he liked while they were really fresh because that is when they're at their most delicious.

    So difficult child 3 will eat fresh raw vegetables. He will often eat more than he should - if I buy pod peas (he often asks me too although they're expensive) difficult child 3 will shell the peas, eat the peas, then eat the pods. All raw, of course.

    He won't eat spinach. Again, it's the bitter taste. mother in law taught me to drain cooked spinach well then add a squeeze of lemon juice and grated cheddar, letting the heat of the cooked spinach melt the cheese. it looks awful but tastes wonderful. All my kids love it, husband loves it, but difficult child 3 won't even eat it that way, he is too aware of the bitter spinach taste.

    Analyse your son's likes and dislikes. Try to involve him in ths quest as well, and encourage him to explain what he likes about something and what he doesn't like. In this way you hopefully will find a pattern that can guide you to other foods he has a higher chance of liking.

    You know, I just had a funny though. He likes things that are really savoury, really salty... you might have a closet Aussie there. Has he tried Vegemite? (If ever you try Vegemite, it should be spread really, really thin, barely a molecule thick. NEVER apply it like butter or jam.)

  8. Nancy423

    Nancy423 do I have to be the mom?

    If you find a solution pass it on to me!!! OMG, I swear there's only a dozen items that my ds will eat - chicken nuggets, pb&j, frozen waffles(or pancakes), bananas and those apple sauce cups. He won't eat any other form of chicken, hotdogs, pizza...well, really anything else!
  9. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Nancy, your difficult child actually has quite a good variety, so don't panic and don't push him. Simply have those things available (they sound like mostly frozen food) but otherwise work towards following my methods that Numina quoted in the first post of this thread. For this to work your child needs to really trust that you will always allow him access to his favourite foods. That trust can take time to build up, so you may need to back off completely for a while.

    We have been limited to the point where difficult child 3 would only eat one particular brand and variety of frozen fish - it had to be Birds Eye oven baked potato crumb, Dory fillets. Then they stopped making it and oh, the tantrums we had as he raged about unreliable manufacturers not taking kids like him into account! I suggested he write a letter of complaint to the company.

    We began by extending difficult child 3's range. We had to with the fish, because his favourite was no longer on the shelves. So we would buy packets of this or that and try them. I had to eat a lot of fish that he declared he didn't like. he finally got so frantic for fish that he would eat something he didn't like as much but didn't actively hate.

    So if your son will only eat a certain brand of chicken nugget, try him with another brand that looks as similar as possible. Engage him in an experiement - see if he can detect which plate of nuggets is which brand. Then follow my program above - what does he like about each type? What does he NOT like? Even if he doesn't love them, would he eat them to ward off starvation?

    As you get his taste in nuggets broadened, you can work towards introducing him to the really good quality nuggets made from stamped out breast fillet. I did this by cutting open the different nuggets in front of difficult child 3. I really dislike, on principle, the nuggets that are made from the odd ends, bits and pieces, where the meat is steamed off the bones, scraped up and dehydrated then reconstituted into little cakes.

    Once I got my kids to eat the nuggets made form stamped out fillet, it was a short step towards difficult child 3 & I working in the kitchen together to make home-made nuggets. We used the information we had as to what he likes about nuggets - the crisp crumb, the savoury flavour of the crumb, the moist meat inside - and tried to duplicate it. I made sure we had the oil hot enough to make the coating crispy and not soggy, and still keep the filling moist. I added salt and ground dried herbs to the crumb coating. I made sure we used flour, beaten egg and then crumbs. I've even used crushed rice bubbles instead of ordinary crumbs, or tempura batter. And often while what we make is different, once he's got used to tasting different kinds then tasting the home-made ones is just another tasting, with the added incentive of wanting to eat your own cooking because you KNOW what is in it.

    We've also gone off a lot of prepackaged food since we found a rat molar (complete with the entire length of the root of the tooth) in a shop-bought lasagne. The only way that rat tooth got in there, was to have the rat fall in and the rat got cooked away into the meat sauce. This was not a rat that didn't look after it's teeth, or a rat that got into a fight and had a tooth punched out. The entire tooth was there, the length of the root, so it had to have been dissolved out of the rat's jaw. Bleah!

    With the frozen waffles - we have a waffle maker and can make our own waffles. Once made they can be frozen. I often freeze home-cooked food because what difficult child 3 really likes about frozen food, is it's availability. I'll make burgers, cook the patties in bulk and then freeze the cooked patties so they can be quickly thawed, heated and made up into a home-cooked burger very quickly.

    Nancy, try what I suggested above on how to gradually get a kid hooked on pizza. Begin with garlic bread made at home and take it from there, ingredient by ingredient. Never force him faster than he can go. Be prepared for him to only take one bite and no more, even if he says he likes it. It takes a lot of courage to make changes, having things the same is a great comfort.

    Back before I was married, I had had a series of major problems especially long-term health problems, plus surgery that was traumatic. It took me a long time to recover emotionally. I had to drop out of uni because I had just been too unwell. I got a job in industry but it was far from perfect. My job was becoming increasingly stressful and I had to have something the same, something I could rely on. So I had my routine - I would order my luch in the mornings, I chose something very safe and no-fuss. Whenever I have been ill as a child, I was recovering when I was given Vegemite. The salty taste was often what I needed after endless glasses of flat lemonade, the savoury taste a refreshing break from too much blandness and sweetness. So every morning I orderd a Vegemite sandwich. I got to the pointwhere I was no longer enjoying them, but I didn't dare change because placing the order was part of my recovery routine, part of my therapy.
    Then the day came when I had to accept that Vegemite sandwiches in the order were a big mistake - the sandwich shop was being staffed by non-Australians who didn't have a clue how to spread Vegemite (very thinly) andwhen I bit into too many thick, blobby, salty lumps which set my teeth on edge, I knew I'd ordered my last Vegemite sandwich from that shop. I was by this stage barely on speaking terms with my boss so I used the excuse of having to go out to choose my lunch, to not have to eat lunch with him at our work desks.

    I had to go through that stage. It was my way of dealing with stress. To make the change had required a combination of recovery, of feeling safe, and of necessity. I was ready to discover that I enjoyed other foods and actually at this point tried something completely new in Australia - the Greek kebab. Wow! It had to be bought made fresh, you needed an appetitite, I had to walk to the specialty store to get it but it was the next step in my recovery.

    What I'm saying - you need to find why your child does this. It's not necessarily fear of something new, it can be deeper. It could be Sensory Integration Disorder (SID). It could be reluctance to change anything, or to change to something they don't fully know and therefore fear.

    A suggestion - get him to watch a sandwich hand make sandwiches. He doesn't have to eat the result, maybe get him to watch you place an order for yourself, then show him how you got what you asked for and it's just right, and you're enjoying it. A lot of this is about their need to be certain of their environment.

    Anyway, I hope this can help a little.

  10. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    One of the things that the picky eaters in my house (Little easy child, Me) have grown to enjoy is squash chips. As Marg suggested, using vegetables other than potatoes, make them into french-fry-like shapes, toss them in oil and whatever spice combination you prefer, and then bake them.

    I have a kitchen doodad that slices potatoes into chips (i.e. french fries), so they are the right shape. I put in squash or sweet potatoes. The one key is to bake them really well and be sure to turn them so that they are crisp all around.

    The texture of the baked squash or sweet potato is similar to that of fries, so it works well. With me (and it seems with Little easy child as well) texture is a MUCH bigger deal than flavour. It has to be crisp, or crunchy, or soupy, or whatever texture I'm looking for.

    If your difficult child likes dry and salty, then squash fries and sweet potato fries might be just the ticket. If you are going to try this, make sure to get pepper squash or one of the other firm varieties. Butternut squash is a bit too mushy and doesn't pretend to be a french fry as well as pepper squash does.

    Hope this helps

  11. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    If your child's picky eating is related to sensory issues, a pediatric occupational therapist can help.

    Actually, I'd recommend a Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) evaluation via the Occupational Therapist (OT). If the child has one sensory issue, chances are there are more.

    There's real treatment for Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) and it can make a world of difference.
  12. allhaileris

    allhaileris Crumbling Family Rock

    I think you really need to figure out if it's Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) or if it's his taste buds. I am a super picky eater. I realized after reading an article on wine that it's my taste buds, I have a large amount of them. But, I do not like a lot of soft textures either. All the soft veggies (squashes) are disgusting to me, I'm very sensitive to the touch, so it's probably a combo of the two.

    I think my mom must of thought I hated everything growing up. I found out, after moving out and being in a multi-ethnic area, I really do like a lot of foods. Just not the stuff she was serving! I like FLAVOR. I like spicy, but not hot. I like just the right amount of seasoning. So, my only suggestion is to try some other flavors. Go outside of what you know.

    I see these suggestions of a bunch of carb loaded stuff, which isn't very good. I also do not suggest pureeing the veggies - I would be able to taste it in there, your child may be able to as well if they have a lot of taste buds. Like broccoli, yuck, nasty gross stuff, I can taste it even if there is a smidgen in it, or if it's been picked out.

    My daughter is a vegitarian, so we eat a lot of bean laden foods. Her favorite is burritos. A couple weeks ago we had leftover lentil soup (chunky, not soupy) and I used it instead of beans for wraps with spinach and cheese. She gobbled them up. Something easy like a burrito can be changed a lot, you have a carb, protein and vegis all in one.

    I think we're lucky that she isn't a picky eater, but we also made sure that she had a variety of foods from the beginning. THis is why it's important to not feed your kid "kid foods" as babies and toddlers. Of course there is nothing that can be done now.

    Look up stuff on bento boxes. They can be made so adorable and some kids will eat more when their food is made up in cute little shapes, so you could give that a try. Who wouldn't want to eat a star shaped sandwich?

    SOme foods that I still refuse to eat are soft foods (squash, lamb, eggs), foods that don't chew right (like fat in meat), nuts (too chalky, I'll eat peanut butter), too sweet (honey, jam, syrup). I like my meat overcooked so I can chew it correctly. Food that I don't know where it came from or saw it cooked I have a hard time with (like canned ravioli or frozen meals). Pasta has to be cooked just right. I don't like beer or coffee, I'm not sure what that is, bitter? I'd be interested to know what that thing was that Marg was talking about that only some people could taste. I'd bet I'd be one of them.

    Foods that I do love is most things mexican, some middle eastern, some thai, most things turkey or chicken (not casseroles), sandwiches (generally turkey, cheese, lettuce, tomato, no sauce at all, mayo is gross), cereal.

    Oh, and what you're describing of the J Seinfield book sounds a lot like the book, "Super Baby Food" (ie pureeing a bunch of veggies at once and freezing them).
  13. I am glad to know that my difficult child isn't the only picky eater out there. He very rarely will eat the same thing his sister and I do. For Thanksgiving and for Christmas he didn't eat what we were, he tried a bite of turkey but that was it. The only fruit he will it is apples and they can't have any sign of bruising, once in a while he will eat a banana, the only vegetable he will eat is raw carrots, so I always keep them on hand and ranch dressing.
  14. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    You can sometimes get the British version of Vegemite. It is sold labelled as Marmite and I've seen it in the international section of grocery stores in larger cities.

    I am also a "salt is a food group" junky. Something else to try is anchovy paste. It should also be spread very thinly. It is really good spread atop cream cheese stuffed celery.
  15. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Marmite - bleah. It's like Vegemite with a pinch of sugar in it, very few Aussies will touch it. We used to have Marmite on our supermarket shelves when I was a kid, right beside the Vegemite. I haven't looked, but if it's still there it's only in the speciality shops these days.

    (I like the "salt is food group" concept. When you mention anchovy paste, did you mean tapenade? Because tat has olives in it as well). Or you could try basil pesto.)

    But it does go to show you - even foods you would think would be so similar, as to make no difference - people will still distinguish between them and refuse one but love the other.

    The pureeing thing - is your child prefers creamy textures, then it could be sorth a try. But oterwise it could be counterproductive. Like Sandy, I hated my mother's cooking. Things were cooked to a flavourless mush and she had a habit of smuggling bits into stews. She used subterfuge as her first line of defence. When I was in my teens and one of my sisters came to stay, my mother 'helped' with the boy's medicine. Generally we had no trouble getting medication down a kid's neck, my mother could find a way that worked. But this boy - nothing would work. He was strong and would clamp his lips shut and refuse. So my mother hid his medicine in a bottle of sweet drink. The kid knew, and refused the drink. It didn't help that the medicine was peppermint-flavoured!

    Of course, what we later discovered was that the boy was getting drugged in his mother's home, by a male guest. He was only a toddler and couldn't tell, but his reaction to his own medications should have told.

    Broccoli - people hate it. I did too, as a kid. But I liked cauliflower with cheese sauce. Then I was given broccoli with cheese sauce - acceptable. The kids were unsure, they since had shown that they like it not cooked so much. And I also keep the broccoli in it's original shape, so they know what they're eating. I told them it was "little trees" and they LOVE to eat up little trees, in a mashed potato field dotted with peas and tiny carrot pieces, like flowers. Cauliflower is another kind of little tree, snow-covered maybe (especially with cheese on top).

    I tend to give kids raw carrot, but I found a waffle cutter (the sort you use to make crinkle-cut chips with) and if you set it on a thin slice, then rotate the vegetable 90 degrees with every pass, you get a sort of waffle effect, like a grid with holes in. It makes carrot pieces crunchy but without giving you too much carrot to chew. I cut abowl ful of these and often find the bowl disappers fast, as if I had put out a bowl of crisps. And if te kids eat a bowl of "carrot crisps" then I don't need to serve them cooked carrot for dinner. They've already had theirs!

    I also serve vegetable sticks with dips such as creamed cottage cheese mixed with corn relish. Or tzaziki, made from thick plain yogurt, salt, shredded cucumber, garlic and finely chopped mint. difficult child 3 hates creamy textures but will eat tubs of home-made tzaziki (the shop stuff is awful).

  16. Numina

    Numina New Member

    This was really good advice. I can tell he's starting to trust me when I say he will or won't like something. I say it's like...something he's familiar with. He'll ask now, 'do you think I'd like it?'

    ...except for the bribe part. difficult child despite many efforts on my part cannot be taught to take a bribe. lol

    I saw Jessica Seinfeld promoting her book on Oprah and I also used 'Super BabyFood' when difficult child was little. I blame 'Super Babyfood' for part of why I have this problem. because alot of the food was really gross. As far as Jessica Seinfeld. No. Just no. difficult child would sense that stuff was 'hidden' in his food and think I was being sneaky. Not gonna do it. One day he will have to choose his own food and I want him to know what's in it. Sneaking healthy things into his brownies would only be a stop - gap measure.

    Well, it hasn't worked the last 9 years for me so now I'm going to try something different.

    This is a problem. I am a reformed fattie and husband is a recidivist fattie.
  17. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    It is commonly said that children who are genuinely hungry will eat what is put in front of them.

    I tell you, from my experience, which is considerable since I have raised not only my own children but helped raise a number of nephews and nieces, that this is NOT TRUE, at least not for difficult children who are faddy about food.

    Someone else commented on the high carb level of a lot of the foods we were suggesting - again, we're not dealing with your average overweight teenager here, we're dealing with kids who are already eating an unbalanced, often very limited diet. If our child were overweight, we wouldn't feel a need to worry that they weren't getting enough to eat. In my case, my three younger kids have been below normal weight, often way below. With easy child 2/difficult child 2, she could **** in her stomach and you could see her spine - from the front! I had a helluva time getting school clothes to fit her and to fit difficult child 1, because anything that fit around the waist was far too short. I had to have easy child 2/difficult child 2's school shirts made to measure, and I got round te school trousers problem by getting non-standard stretch lycra (which on her never got the chance to stretch).

    With difficult child 3, he doesn't wear school uniform so it's less of an issue, but I still have a lot of trouble getting trousers to fit him.

    This is what you get with kids who are so faddy, they really WILL go hungry.

    With the problem of having someone available to eat difficult child's leftovers, I understand, I also cannot do this any more since my own diet has to be very strict. But I have friends I can give the leftovers to, that works for me. I just put them in the fridge or freezer, and ask someone at church if there's anyone on the sick list who would appreciate a free meal.

    When you have a kid who is faddy over food because of Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) issues, then all the usual rules and understandings have to go right out the window. These kids cannot be bullied into eating (shouldn't be, it backfires) but can be persuaded, if you go gently. They DO need to know what is in their food, it helps if they can participate in preparing it. I do sneak stuff into their food, but generally only with their knowledge. For example, difficult child 3 eats a lot of home-baked bread so I always add an egg to each loaf, as part of the liquid volume. More than one egg gives it an egg-y taste, but one egg per loaf plus powdered milk makes it a softer crust, protein enriched product.

    When easy child was a baby and went on a seemnig hunger strike, she still had a bottle of formula each day. It was ALL she had, other than water, so I would generally mix a raw egg in with her formula. She would drink most of it, it would be all the nourishment she would get. This went on from when she was about 14 months old, to 30 months. I don't know why. She was tiny, she was thin. But now she's 25 she has a big weight problem. She became overweight from pre-puberty, we're still trying to understand why. Separate issue.

    You can't count on a kid who is already stick thin, to eventually eat; not when you already have people sending CPS around to your door. I kid you not.

  18. Nancy423

    Nancy423 do I have to be the mom?

    Everyone keeps telling me that by the time our boys are in high school, they'll eat anything that's cooked and put in front of them (watch your hands!LOL). I still don't believe it, but if he's gaining weight and is healthy then just deal with it. Certainly I introduce new foods but don't pressure too hard. My thoughts - as long as we eat together as a family, then easy child can eat what he likes (I just make sure he eats one of the 2 fruits he likes with- it)

    If he ever becomes one of those garbage can teens, so be it.
  19. artana

    artana New Member

    I agree with Marg. My child will not eat. He would rather go hungry than eat something that he doesn't like. He hates tomato sauces in general, so I tend to make spaghetti or meatballs with a bit of butter and garlic for him or sometimes I make alfredo for the whole family. He will not even have peanut butter and jelly (which is a huge deal in the States) though he will eat peanut butter.

    My advice is the same as Marg's. Have the child help you cook. Let him know when you give him something new and have an alternative ready. Sometimes, with a younger one, you can introduce something they like and later tell them what's in it, and that's ok. My difficult child eats spinach and cheese tortellini because he loved it before he asked what was in it. He started to get upset when he found out, but I asked him if it was worth it to be upset and never eat it again. The next day he told me he would eat spinach in the tortellini, but nothing else. I felt that was a huge victory.:)
  20. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Marg, Anchovy Paste is usually Italian made. It contains pureed anchovies,butter, or olive oil, and loads of salt. The latter is why you need to use so little of it.

    A small amt, say a tsp or so, added to things like spaghetti sauce, serves to "brighten the flavor" without giving it a fishy taste.

    I wasn't aware of that about the Marmite. Vegimite sounds good, but if there's sugar added to the Marmite, I'd probably gag on it.

    I got lucky in the food department growing up. My mother grew up in the era of eat what you are given, and she spent no small amount of time sitting overnight in front of a plate of something she simply couldn't stomach.

    As a result, despite my pushing fifty (good gods, I actually just typed that...gak!), I never had to eat stuff I didn't like. I did have to have a taste of new foods and periodically of foods I'd tried before and didn't like.

    I found quite a few foods I did like, and no few that I'd hated before and now liked if my mother had ever learned to cook worth a darn. husband and I used to joke about both of us having learnt to cook in sheer self-defense