Posted by: mamaamy | March 13, 2008

What About Picky Eaters?

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Here is a response to a question about what we do about picky eaters:

In regard to food, we have the full range of eaters. We have some that eat mostly fruit, we have some that won’t touch fruit, we have some that want only meat and potatoes, we have some that want mostly cheese, bread and sausage (high fat foods). Some eat like snakes…filling up during a meal that they really like, and then going a few days without eating much. And we have some that eat non stop. It has been a challenge to say the least. There have been times when Mitch has begged the one who doesn’t eat much to “please eat” and to “please choose to eat some living food.” What we have done overall, though, is trust that they will each get what their bodies need if we keep the food that is in our home healthy. We tried to force Matthan to eat something that he didn’t want (green beans, I think) and we were successful after much coercion, until he threw it up! It was then that we decided we would never attempt to force our kids to eat anything. We would encourage them to eat well, we would have only healthy food available, we would teach them why it is valuable to eat healthy, etc. but we wouldn’t force them. It has seemed to work out, and they do so appreciate the food that we serve at our home. I have tried to include hormone-free meat, some colorful veggie (mostly organic), a salad (again mostly organic) and some potato or bread (organic) with each dinner meal. This has always given them opportunity to choose good food to eat. We (the kids take turns during the week to make the breakfasts) bake lots of our breakfasts as this is most economical. The pastries may include organic cane juice crystals as the sugar and we always use organic flour, eggs and dairy. For lunches we usually eat sandwiches or something fairly simple. I get organic bread for that. When we choose to have dessert, it is always homemade with organic ingredients where possible and we usually have desserts once or twice a week. We don’t keep junk food in our house at all. The policy here is that they always ask me if they want to eat a snack unless it is fruit or veggies. Those they can eat freely. Some are naturally thin (like Mitch) and others have my genes (ha!). I think that each one is thriving even though some look like poster children for UNICEF when they take off their shirts. With plenty of healthy food available though, I don’t think they will starve themselves. Each child is different and their bodies need more food at different stages of life. Matthan got really chubby and ate everything in sight just before he shot up about 12 inches. (He’s 6 inches taller than Mitch) Josh (13) on the other hand will never have a chubby stage, I am sure, even though he eats quite a bit these days. All in all, I think it is best to always keep healthy food around and encourage your boys to eat and then trust that their body types are different but will take what they need as they need. Does that help?

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