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Garibay Soup: 6 Year Old Unhealthy Eater

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

6 Year Old Unhealthy Eater

It's a backwards edition of Works For Me Wednesday and I get to ask for some advice on something. I've actually been thinking about what I'm going to ask for the past week and have had so many ideas come to mind, but I think I've decided to stick with some advice on my son. Jayden is 6 years old and we have the worst issue with foods. It's my fault and I'll start there. We lived a very busy life up until a year ago and there wasn't much time for home cooked meals and we've lived our lives in the fast lane and spent many nights eating fast food and basically CRAP. I am now a SAHM and have picked up cooking and we actually have home cooked meals almost every night. Jayden, however, does not eat what we eat. His list of foods is as follows:

Sandwiches (on wheat bread)
Chicken Nuggets
Corn Dogs
Top Ramen
Fish Sticks
Tons of fruit (I'm lucky here)

However, he will not eat a veggie if his life depended on it. If I stick something in front of him at the table that he does not eat he actually will throw up. It's horrible. I know 110% that it is my fault, so I just wanted to cover that, but I want to nip this in the butt and have been trying for a while. I took him to the doctors and they're going to do some testing on him, but in the meantime how in the world am I going to get this kid of mine to start eating healthy? We just found out my husband has high blood pressure and now we're even going more healthy in our home and I really want my son to be on board with this. I don't want to make 2 meals at night, but I don't want him to throw up at my table. I'm kinda at my witt's end.

So, my question to you is, what can I do to get him more healthy. Do you have a recipe that you could share that he might like and has hidden veggies in them? HELP!!!

Also, if you wouldn't mind, if you know anything about how to lower blood pressure please CLICK HERE and comment on my post from yesterday about helping my husband to lower his blood pressure. Thank you so much!!!

To check out other's participating this week in backward's WFMW head over to Shannon's Blog

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Blogger melissa said...

wow, your 6-year old and my 4-year old should go out for lunch-they seem to only eat all the exact same things!

just recently i discovered the 'deceptively delicious' cookbook-and so far my daughter has eaten everything i've made from it. and what she doesn't know is every part of it has a helping or two of veggies in it.

there is even a recipe for chicken nuggets!!

also, i've started making her a smoothie every morning and along with all the yummy fruit and some yogurt-i sneak in broccoli, carrots, or beats and she has no idea! she even thinks it's cool when it is a weird color {as long as it smells good :)}

check out my recent post about it:

March 5, 2008 at 10:09 AM  
Blogger TracyMichele said...

I 2nd the smoothie idea. My kids LOVE them. We use 100% juice from fruit we juice, I add a frozen banana, some frozen berries and some honey if the berries are a little tart. You can also put in some wheat germ as an added kick. With the smoothies we don't eat, we freeze them into pops.

I haven't read the deceptively delicious book but I know there are 2 different versions out there. That might be a good place to start.

I don't know what to say about the vomiting at the table. If he doesn't do it when you serve chicken nuggets, I would say it is probably mental. He could be working himself up over having to eat something he isn't interested in. :( Maybe have him try one new vegetable each meal. I wouldn't make him eat an entire helping, just try it. Keep in mind, this is like starting from scratch with him. It takes something like 15 introductions to a food for an infant to like it. It will probably take more with him. :(

Oh, how about making home made pizzas and have healthy toppings? What kid doesn't like pizza? :)

Good luck and I give you credit for making this change in his diet. Healthy eating is something that will stay with him for a lifetime.

March 5, 2008 at 10:42 AM  
Blogger lisa (lost pezhead) said...

don't feel so bad. well if it isn't in the house he can't eat it. we stopped buying fruit snacks a year ago...you can buy lowfat turkey hot dogs, make home made chicken nuggets with olive oil so they're healthier than frozen, oh the smoothie idea - excellant. we throw a in 1 banana, about 5 frozen strawberries, handful froz raspberries, 1/4 cup milk, 1/4 cup juice (anykind), and a little honey or i like sugar.

as for the veggies we struggle as well....just keep offering them at every meal. tell him you would love if he just tried one green bean...he doesn't have to eat them all, just taste 1 and see if he likes it. (like green eggs and ham)!

keep sandwich bags of cut up carrots or celery with peanut butter in the fridge, if he's looking for a snack it will be an option.

he's a good post

March 5, 2008 at 11:23 AM  
Blogger Melonie said...

This may sound mean, but I've begun telling my daughter this isn't Denny's and she doesn't get to order off a menu. She can eat what I'm making or she can go without until the next meal.

This, however, is after I got her through to eating *most* of what I cook through a peanut butter sandwich phase. She ate that almost exclusively while my husband and I were adjusting the whole family to a new remarriage. He's a very positive role model on fitness and nutrition, so she made changes slowly but surely - but originally we made a lot of peanut butter sandwiches until she adapted from my divorced mom McDonalds meals (daily, sometimes 2x daily - ugh!) to "real" food.

Jessica Seinfeld's cookbook came after another gal's - I would start with the first one first as I've heard some of the recipes in the second one were "borrowed" from there anyway. And when all else fails, skipping a meal won't hurt a child unless s/he has a medical issue that forbids the tactic.

Another thought just popped into my head: if he wants something else, perhaps he could make it? My 6 almost 7 yo can make a toy pb sandwich, or a meat sandwich (with the bread and the meat she wants) - why would I not let her make the real thing? Hmmmm....possibly an idea for us both. ;-)

March 5, 2008 at 11:43 AM  
Blogger Mrs. Mordecai said...

It's my philosophy that if we present kids with a lot of good choices, they'll choose one of them. So give him a choice of five or six foods on your "approved" list and let him choose.

Another idea is to take something he likes and make it healthy. For example, you could do a stir fry of chicken and veggies and serve it over ramen noodles. Or load up a sandwich with lots of good-for-him things.

I'm sure that my philosophy will turn to desperation as my toddler gets more stubborn, but there's my two cents.

March 5, 2008 at 12:39 PM  
Blogger a Tonggu Momma said...

Lots of great comments about this already ... I had one another thought, which I hesitated to post, but your comment about him gagging and/or vomiting at the table got me ... it might be purely mental/emotional as tracymichele mentioned, or it could possible be sensory issues. My daughter struggles with mild sensory issues. She especially struggles with smells and she used to struggle with food textures. E-mail me at tonggumomma@gmail.com if you want more info.

March 5, 2008 at 1:24 PM  
Blogger Melonie said...

Hi Amanda,

Glad you liked the pb&j idea. :-) Thanks for stopping by my blog!

March 5, 2008 at 1:25 PM  
Blogger Totallyscrappy said...

One thing that has helped a bit for us is to serve two veggies and then they can choose one (and not the other...). Or I've served the frozen mix and allowed the kids to leave behind a pile of ONE veggie.
If I know it is something one of my boys doesn't like I will say so right up front. "I'm so sorry you don't like this, A. I know you don't like the meat, so I made this veggie, which I know is your favorite." In other words, I kind of admit it, sound sympathetic and give him a positive spin.

March 5, 2008 at 6:21 PM  
Blogger Kristy said...

I don't have any advice for you - I don't have kids of my own, and I've never run into this, but I just wanted to congratulate you for working to change this.

My mom let brother dictate his meal his entire life - almost every meal, she made something special just for him. He's 18 now, and these are the staples of his diet:

macaroni and cheese
hot dogs
fried processed chicken (he won't eat fried chicken, but he'll eat chicken tenders)
french toast, pancakes, or waffles (drenched in syrup)
mozzarella sticks
french fries (preferably with cheese and bacon)

And really, that's it. The only fruit he'll eat are strawberries, and only if they're loaded with extra sugar or covered in chocolate. French fries and potato chips are the closest he'll come to a vegetable.

And can I tell you something? It scares me to death.

March 5, 2008 at 10:31 PM  
Blogger Awesome Mom said...

We have a take one bite policy. They have to take at least one bite of every thing on the plate and once they do we don't hassle them. A lot of the time they will end up deciding that they actually like the new food they were afraid to try. Evan has always had a sensitive gag reflex and if he really does not want to try the food he will gag on it. We persist and he gets it down after he realizes that gagging is not going to get him out of trying the food.

Hang in there and stand firm. I make kid friendly lunches and breakfasts (simple yet healthy stuff that the kids love) but dinner is whatever we are all eating. That gives them a nice mix of routine (breakfast for the last month has been oatmeal and raisins at the request of Evan) and they also get to try new stuff.

March 5, 2008 at 11:26 PM  
Blogger :: Suzanne :: said...

"Jayden, however, does not eat what we eat." Well that is the problem. Serve him what you have prepared and he may eat or not. He won't starve to death. It's a kids job to learn to like what the parent's serve.

Each of our children is allowed one food they will never be asked to eat - ketchup and peanut butter are their designated yuckies -- but everything else that is on their plate they are expected to eat. If they fuss over something, they get another spoonful.

Stop buying the stuff on his list. It doesn't need to be in the house.

March 7, 2008 at 8:14 PM  
Blogger :: Suzanne :: said...

Sorry that my advice wasn't useful. We too weathered the 'barfing' stage. When it got no response from us, other than the reminder of how we clean up barf, it faded away.

Anyway, good luck with your efforts.



March 8, 2008 at 11:48 AM  
Blogger sandi770 said...

My 6 year old daughter is EXACTLY the same way. She has a very short list of what she will eat. Her gagging on any new foods started with baby food jars when she first started on solids. I heard that speech therapists sometimes work with picky eaters - but I haven't tried that yet. I'm desperate....

October 5, 2008 at 10:33 AM  

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