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My 7 yr old son - Fussy eater with fiery temper
By Prima_Donna Comments: 16, member since Mon Aug 08, 2011
On Thu Mar 08, 2012 09:17 AM

I need some HELP!! My 7 year old son is a very very fussy eater, apart from McDonalds & pizza he will not put any other foods past his lips. He causes a scene if we try to give him other foods which kicks in this temper!

I have tried the rewards route and the taking away personal items but nothing seems to make this boy eat. I think I have made some progress with his temper as we agreed if he feels angry he will tell an adult and leave the room.

If anyone else has been through this, any advice would be gladly accepted

12 Replies to My 7 yr old son - Fussy eater with fiery temper

re: My 7 yr old son - Fussy eater with fiery temper (karma: 2)
By d4jmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 12490, member since Fri Aug 27, 2004
On Thu Mar 08, 2012 09:52 AM
I want to say starve him out, but I don't want you to think that I mean literally starve your child! But rather make it a policy that from this point forward that there is no more attempting to get him to eat and no requests or preferences honored whatsoever. Relax, make the meal you want to make, everyone sits down to eat and if he doesn't, then he goes hungry. Just ignore the tantrums and comments and go about eating your dinner. Do this at every meal from now on and he will soon get with the program.

The point is: By using rewards and punishments you are making the whole eating thing all about you and him and who has control. He want to assert control, and you have a need to see him eat something, anything.

But eating is a simple necessity and when he is hungry enough to get past his will then he will eat. Also eating is a social activity in families and if he is ignored while the rest of the family is happily eating then he will at one point have to drop the act if he wants to be included socially.

Of course none of this will work if an hour later after a meal where he hasn't eaten a thing you cave in and give him something because he is now hungry. Don't do it! He has to wait until the next meal. I wouldn't start this new policy say on a school day where if he doesn't eat his breakfast he has to go hungry until lunch. But start on the weekends when you have him for the day.
re: My 7 yr old son - Fussy eater with fiery temper
By Theresamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 34891, member since Wed May 22, 2002
On Thu Mar 08, 2012 07:35 PM
My five year old is fussy too - he'd pretty much ground his eating down to nothing but PB&J and plain noodles.

I've had a remarkable amount of luck with the book Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld. It's all kid friendly recipes (there's even recipes for chicken nuggets and pizza both...and two different recipes for burgers!), that are all made with vegetable purees, so they're healthier for kids (and, for a kid like mine or yours, at least works in some amount of vegetables...).

I, of COURSE don't mention what's in them. I tell James I made something good, and ask him if he wants to try it. I've made five different recipes so far, and only found two that he balked at - the ice cream sandwiches (they looked too messy, he reported) and the grilled cheese sandwiches with sweet potato puree (he never placed the flavor, but noticed that they tasted weird...). Never let him see what's in them, and give it a shot...it's not turned it around that radically - he still definetly prefers his pb&j and plain noodles, but he's at least trying stuff, haha...
re: My 7 yr old son - Fussy eater with fiery temper
By Prima_Donna Comments: 16, member since Mon Aug 08, 2011
On Fri Mar 09, 2012 03:06 AM
Thanks for the tips, bring on Saturday!! x
re: My 7 yr old son - Fussy eater with fiery temper
By Theresamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 34891, member since Wed May 22, 2002
On Fri Mar 09, 2012 07:09 AM

The point is: By using rewards and punishments you are making the whole eating thing all about you and him and who has control. He want to assert control, and you have a need to see him eat something, anything.


I forgot to talk about that. James (my five year old) does that. When he starts wanting to control something, he goes to food. It's a sucky part of growing up - you feel big, so you want to control stuff, but you don't get to control anything. So you go to food, cause it's what you've got. I finally had to sit down with him and tell him that as much as I appreciated what he was doing, he couldn't quit eating (which he does, ALOT), because it was very dangerous. And we talked about other things that he had that he could control (he could pick out his own clothes, what books to read, what he eats for lunch at school, we listed off about five things, those are the only ones I remember). Learning that there were other things he had control of was really encouraging for him.

Something that also helps, put the food in his space. If he normally sits and watches cartoons around lunch, make him a plate and put it down in front of him. Don't call him to the table, take the food to him. Distracted kids = less picky kids.
re: My 7 yr old son - Fussy eater with fiery temper
By Theresamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 34891, member since Wed May 22, 2002
On Fri Mar 09, 2012 12:56 PM
And, thought - does he eat school lunch? What about breakfast?

My husband and my son have spent most of this school year going around about whether or not he was going to eat breakfast. Usually, he doesn't. He will on non-school days, school days, forget it.

I talked him in to getting a milk one day at school. His teacher lets the kids that get breakfast sit together in the room in the morning. Well, that was fun - getting to sit and talk with his friends before school was kind of cool!

This week, one of the lunch ladies was like "James, come here, let me show you what's over here", and she shows him the bagged breakfasts that they've got available.

It's a cheese stick, granola bar, and a juice, and if you want to add a milk, you can get milk. If I put a cheese stick, granola bar, glass of juice and glass of milk down in front of him and told him that was breakfast, he'd laugh me out of the house. But kid you not, that's one of the parts he looks forward to the most - getting to go to school and have breakfast. Friends are worth more than you think! :)
re: My 7 yr old son - Fussy eater with fiery temper
By d4jmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 12490, member since Fri Aug 27, 2004
On Fri Mar 09, 2012 01:04 PM
^Yes! That's the social part of eating. Good for James! :)
re: My 7 yr old son - Fussy eater with fiery temper
By Celebrianmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 7921, member since Thu Mar 31, 2005
On Sun Mar 11, 2012 09:48 AM
My son has some serious eating issues and it has thrown us for a loop. He went from being 'trash compactor kid' --seriously, he used to eat EVERYTHING-- to the 'what is that?' look over the course of three years.

Yeah, we went through some strange discoveries. Constipation was a factor as well as realizing what foods did not agree with him.

When it came down to it, I did wind up for some months just making one dinner and if he didn't eat, he was just hungry. Tore me up the first couple of days, but as one lady I don't remember who said 'I am not a short-order cook!'

I did do things like every once in a while I would put out stuff without fanfare. Just a thing of three types of vegetables or healthy snacks. It has led to some interesting choices on his part. Those healthy choices took months per healthy choice. He would just look at what he was interested in first. Just go over and stare. I wouldn't say anything to him about it. He would stare at whichever food it was sometimes for weeks each time I put it out. Then he would just want to smell and touch it. I let him. Then he would put it to his lips to feel texture. One day, bravery would strike and he would lick the item. Then try and eat it.

But his latest? Baby carrots! He threw some behind his bed and the couch, but he ate some and I think he might like them for the crunch factor. I give him another month or two of me casually putting them out and they might become a permanent part of diet after that.
re: My 7 yr old son - Fussy eater with fiery temper
By ChristinePremium member Comments: 6818, member since Wed Feb 04, 2009
On Thu Mar 15, 2012 12:10 PM
I've found that kids usually enjoy things they prepare themselves.

My 5 year old grandson HATES carrots. I often have him help scrape them when I'm making a meal. He still doesn't like them, but he enjoys the look of his finished product. He likes the complements he receives from others, and he like watching his sibs enjoy the food he prepared.

Perhaps you could teach your son how to make his own McDonalds's favorites for the family meal. Oven baked chicken nuggets...home made dipping sauce, burgers made into special shapes? Fruit salad? If he has a chance to broaden his horizons on his own terms you may have some luck mounting this hurdle.

Keep On Dancing*
re: My 7 yr old son - Fussy eater with fiery temper
By shmcdona Comments: 857, member since Sat May 01, 2004
On Sun Mar 18, 2012 02:48 PM
My 4 year old has become picky. This is what we did.

1) Deceptively delicious proved very useful. I've adapted and made lots of recipes using those techniques.

2) Cooking and helping pick out and make the food and/or meal plans has helped as well. She feels like she is having some say in things. Not that she get to choose whateve she wants, but we give her a choice of two options such as "On tuesday should we have pasta bake or quesidillas?" Both of these I secretly load with pureed vegggies. I also always have visable vegetables on the table as well. In order to get more of what she wants she has to take a bite out of one of the visable veggies. If she doesn't like it that's fine. At least she tried.

3) Helping prepare food is big for her. Making hummus...loves it. Helping wrap up the chicken taquitos (which have sweet potatoe in them) loves it. She eats what she makes.

4) I've found as stupid as it sounds food made into fun shapes and designs a huge hit. Today it was a sandwich made into a star.

Hope these ideas help.
Ps. if you want to know some ways I've modified other recipes from deceptively delicious send me a PM. I've got a way to make rissotto, pasta bake, chilli etc.
re: My 7 yr old son - Fussy eater with fiery temper
By LoriCook Comments: 1762, member since Mon Aug 17, 2009
On Thu Mar 22, 2012 03:15 PM
My son was a picky eater and mealtime was always a battle until he started going to a daycare provider in the evening. She served a healthy meal and the rule was you had to try a bite of everything or you didn't get desert. He was eating with a table full of kids who ate everything so there were many times he didn't get desert but he started expanding what he would eat and became much less picky.

At my house the rule is I fix what I want to fix for dinner and if you don't like it you can go ahead and make yourself a sandwich. Most of the time no one really feels like making a sandwich so they just eat some of what I serve. We all sit at the table for meals and we wait until everyone has their food before eating and wait until the last person is done eating before leaving. Conversation is kept cheerful and pleasant.

I think it is important to take the anger and emotion out of eating. Kids get into a state where they won't even try a bite and it becomes a big dramatic scene. Just be matter of fact about food. There it is, eat it or don't but the rest of us are going to sit here and talk nicely about our day and everyone is expected to behave. You don't want your son going over to someone else's house and throwing a fit at their dinner table. He needs to learn how to sit and be nice even if the food is not what he likes. He needs to learn to compliment whoever made the food even when it isn't pizza.

I agree with teaching a picky child to cook some simple meals. When they are personally invested in the food they begin to understand what it is like for the cook when someone insults the food.
re: My 7 yr old son - Fussy eater with fiery temper
By LoriCook Comments: 1762, member since Mon Aug 17, 2009
On Thu Mar 22, 2012 04:29 PM
In addition this is a great time to start educating him about nutrition. We eat some food because it tastes good and we eat some food because it has vitamins that we need to be healthy. When you are at McDonalds you can teach him that chicken nuggets taste good but grilled chicken is better for your body. See if he can pick out the foods on the menu which have the most vitamins. Can he plan a meal from McDonald's using all four food groups? Can he make a pizza that has all four food groups? What is healthy about pizza, what is unhealthy?
Get him thinking things about food other than "EWWW I HATE THAT!"
re: My 7 yr old son - Fussy eater with fiery temper
By kandykanePremium member Comments: 16415, member since Mon May 01, 2006
On Thu Mar 22, 2012 11:04 PM
Cutting food into fun shapes was a surprisingly easy way to get my son to eat. My daughter has always been a healthy eater and he would eat what she would eat, as most kids will, as a competitive thing. That "I want to do what other kids do" thing. If you know a kid who is a good eater, invite him/her over for some meals. Monkey see, monkey do! And make it fun! Set a special table for them, use fun dishes, cut food into fun shapes, make some healthy dips, kids LOVE dipping!

kk~

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