Author Topic: Fussy kids!  (Read 4223 times)

Offline Miss Katie

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Fussy kids!
« on: May 10, 2013, 02:50:58 PM »
Hi, I have been convinced that I wanted to improve mine and my kids diet for ages, not to lose weight, just to be healthier, so no fads.  I wanted a good long term approach that made sense and gave us as much variety of foods as possible.  After much research I have decided to give Paleo a try.  We're only a few days in and I'm loving it - haven't even had any real cravings YET!  ;D  My problem is my kids.

I have two girls aged 8 & 6 and they are both fussy eaters in different ways.  My eldest will eat some vegetables, doesn't like much meat (only minced beef, bacon and sausage) and won't entertain fresh fruit.  My youngest loves meat (apart from minced beef), loves fresh fruit but won't touch vegetables.  Neither of them like eggs.  They both ate quite a lot of bread (toast in the morning and sandwiches in their packed lunch) and my youngest lived on pasta at every meal, but no sauces, she won't eat sauce or gravy with anything. I am really struggling to find alternatives that they will eat and feel as though I am starving them at the moment  :( I can't even say that one meal in particular is more problematic as everything I give them they hate and refuse to eat.  :'(

If anyone has any suggestions as to what I can give them to eat it would be much appreciated.  :)

Offline C C G

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Re: Fussy kids!
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2013, 03:47:44 PM »
This is how it worked when I was a child

We had to have some of every component of the meal.  We could have "maximum", "medium" or "minimum"

We sat at the table until we finished everything on our plate.  And we had to watch everyone else get dessert (which was generally only offered if one of the 4 of us refused to finish something)


Now, of course this last part is way draconian.  I would not recommend making kid sit at a plate for more than 10-15 minutes. A better option would have been to let us go hungry if we didn't eat what we were given.  The stuff we hated was stuff that all kids hate (curly kale, white fishy fish in white sauce, overcooked liver, lamb hearts) and it was pretty unreasonable to make us eat something that I wouldn't even eat as an adult!!

Most kids are only as fussy as you let them be.  I remember, as a kid, having fussy friends and every single time, in my experience when I was a child, it was because their parents let them eat what they liked. Of course a kid is going to refuse to eat something it doesn't like if it knows that it will get what it does like later.  Kids are cunning and whiley and manipulative creatures.  (having said that, I know it's not that simple every time)

We had a fussy cousin come and stay at our house for a week, she was about 8  First 2 days she didn't like what she was given.  My mother refused to pander.  She got hungry and day 3 she was pretty much eating most things
 
disclaimer: I am British.  A lot of people are quite strict with their kids.  My mother once served us a wild mushroom and slime soup that she admitted 10 year later she would have refused to eat

Now for some slightly more helpful advice

Eldest
give kid minced beef if he'll eat minced beef. Maybe introduct stirfry strips? Burger patties?
give kid sausage if you can find one that has no fillers.   Otherwise, use minced pork and add spices
maybe eventually chicken mince and lamb.  As it sounds like a texture issue
have you tried sweet veggies like carrots and beetroot
Youngest - trickier
If she won't eat meat then...will she eat dairy? Coconut milk?  Does she live entirely on starches right now?
sweetcorn? rice? sweet potato?
Both
start by getting them to try something first before giving them something that they do like.  Like get the youngest to try some meat before she is allowed (GLUTEN FREE!) pasta if that's all she likes right now.

Someone better qualified that me
http://www.supernanny.co.uk/Advice/-/Food-and-Nutrition/-/0-to-4-years/Coping-with-a-Fussy-Eater.aspx
http://www.supernanny.co.uk/Advice/-/Food-and-Nutrition/-/4-to-13-years/Supernanny-Guide-to-Healthy-Eating.aspx


Offline Jean

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Re: Fussy kids!
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2013, 05:07:14 PM »
Growing up in New Zealand we weren't allowed to be fussy eaters either. Everybody was allowed ONE food they didn't have to eat - that was liver for my brother, tripe for me. Other than that, we ate what we were given or went hungry. Generally we ate what we were given.

However, I do think it would be draconian to suddenly apply that sort of regime to a 6- and 8-year-old! It's easier if it's what they've grown up with, then they don't question it.

CCG's suggestions are really good. Minced beef is one of the healthiest meat options there is, especially if it's grass-fed and fatty. From a health perspective, it wouldn't matter if that was all your eldest ever ate. I would cook up minced beef in ways that can be reheated, and freeze portions to reheat one whenever the meal is something the oldest won't eat. If the younger one likes most meats, she can eat whatever you're having, but encourage the older one to have a taste. Fruit or vegetables - it doesn't matter which they like so long as they're getting some. (Although personally I would say if it's something being served to the family they have to eat a half-teaspoonful to get used to the taste. Many kids hate something the first ten or so times they taste it but eventually develop a taste for it.)

If it's too hard cutting all starchy food, start by cutting wheat. White rice is empty calories, but not too harmful otherwise.

Offline Warren Dew

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Re: Fussy kids!
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2013, 10:07:12 PM »
Let's see, what will they both eat?  I foresee a lot of bacon in your future.

Seriously, for meals together, I think the best approach is to let them have what's offered or go without.  Of course, I say that as someone who cooks hamburger for his daughter every dinner, and steak for his son - my daughter has me wrapped around her little finger, and my son has extra bargaining power on foods from being way behind the growth curve.

CCG - you didn't collude to have one person refuse to finish dinner so the other three could get dessert?

Jean - what forms of ground beef do you consider palatable when reheated?

Offline Jean

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Re: Fussy kids!
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2013, 12:26:56 AM »
I make a kind of Bolognese-style dish with vegetables in it often. I saute onions, celery and garlic in olive oil, brown the mince in it, and add chopped tomatoes and finely diced carrot, parsnip, whatever is on hand, and simmer for half an hour or so. If any extra liquid is needed I add bone broth. At the end I add Italian herbs. I also make curried mince with home-made masala. Both of those are good for taking to work where I have a microwave for reheating.

Sometimes I make meatball dishes, such as Danish frikadeller (usually with mixed pork and lamb mince), or pork mince dishes like Thai larb moo or  Chinese sung choi bao - with those you can cook the mince part in advance, then defrost and combine with the salady things. Meatballs can be served as finger food, the others can be rolled up in lettuce leaves to eat as picnic food.

I enjoy cooking so I'll often spend part of the weekend cooking up things in advance for weekday lunches.

lol @ conspiracy theories!   :D


Offline C C G

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Re: Fussy kids!
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2013, 12:57:34 AM »

CCG - you didn't collude to have one person refuse to finish dinner so the other three could get dessert?



Funnily enough, we didn't.  I think we didn't trust each other to hold up our ends of the bargain!

My sister used to be so happy on fish-in-white sauce days, because she know that me and my step-sister hated it so much, it was virtually a guarantee of an ice-cream dessert.

Offline missmaggie

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Re: Fussy kids!
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2013, 05:30:29 AM »
It won't hurt to let them eat the same thing everyday while you work out the diet for yourself first. Might be easier to adapt yourself and let them get bored enough to try new things at the same time. I've been precooking a bunch of burgers, meatballs, shredded chicken, hard boiled eggs and chops so the kids can snack/dine on that and prepped veggies sticks and fruit while I adjust to new recipes. Amazing how interested they are on trying new things when there are no other options.

The biggest hit has been faux mashed potatos and load potato style soup, both made with cauliflower. The cauliflower soup made thick with lots of bacon bits and chives on top goes fast. Meat wise shish kebobs are the favorite.

I'm the only one full Paleo in my house right now, husbands diet is more Primal and kids are at various stages of transition. I only have 1 young child in a family of 6.

Good luck, new to me as well but getting easier.

Offline Miss Katie

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Re: Fussy kids!
« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2013, 03:10:25 PM »
Thank you all for your replies.  I'm definitely going to give the maximum, medium, minimum thing a try celticcavegirl as that may give them a feeling of control.  I love the sound of some of the food ideas but I doubt very much that the girls would eat them.  Neither of them like soup, salads, burgers, meatballs, cold meat, veg sticks or anything even slightly spicy.  Yes, Warren Dew, they would both probably eat bacon at every meal until they got bored and then they wouldn't eat that either!

To be honest mealtimes have always been a bit of a nightmare anyway because they both like such different things.  We have always had a rule about trying new foods that if you try it and you don't like it then you can have something else.  I'm afraid this is a knee jerk reaction from my own childhood as I was a very fussy eater (yes, I know this is probably where they get it from  ;D )and I wasn't allowed to leave the table until I had cleared my plate or the grown ups got bored waiting for me to eat.  It was usually the latter as I was also very stubborn (they get that from me too!).  It was the same at school; I was made to stay in the school hall all afternoon once because I refused to eat my mashed potato.  I swore I would never put my kids through that.

My other issue with making them go hungry is that I really struggle with the idea of sending them to school with no breakfast, when they didn't eat their evening meal the night before, and knowing that they are probably going to refuse to eat their lunch!

I think I'm going to have to take it a bit slower with them because I have been getting myself so stressed about the whole food thing.  I ended up in tears a couple of times last week  :'( which isn't going to do any of us any good. Food and mealtimes should be happy times not miserable moments of high stress!