Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I am a MOPE and I Need Some Help!

I don't mean MOPE as a characteristic of my attitude, I mean a Mother of Picky Eaters. I came across this chart for help with vitamins and vegetables, but there are still problem areas. Breakfast and lunch are typically no problem. The boys will eat anything from cereal to waffles, bagels to oatmeal and any fruit you put in front of them (except cantaloupe for some reason). For lunch, they love peanut butter & jelly, ham and cheese, turkey and cheese, fruits and pastas. The problem is dinner! I can't get them to eat white meat (chicken, pork), a variety of vegetables, rice or potatoes. If you're in the same boat with vegetables, maybe this will help.

Vitamin A
If they won't eat CARROTS, give them baked sweet potato fries, cantaloupe or dried apricots

Vitamin C
If they won't eat BROCCOLI, give them tomato sauce, red or green peppers or strawberries

If they won't eat SPINACH, give them baked white potatoes, bananas or steamed edamame

If they won't eat LETTUCE, give them cooked green peas, orange juice or asparagus

I have to admit that I'm torn with this list. I don't want to be a short order cook for my kids and I want them to have to try different things instead of just giving them what I know they like. Can a child be too young to force them to eat what is on their plate?!

What do you think about this? Are your kids picky eaters? What have you done about it? Do you have any suggestions for my meat-less eaters? Are you a MOPE too?


Mrs. Bob said...

All you describe sounds completely normal! I think the fact they the eat a good b-fast and lunch for you is great. Your kiddos are still exploring foods and the best thing you can do is continue to offer a variety of things, even if they continue to reject them.

Ella was around 2ish when we said you need to eat this before you can have that. Also, offering the veggie or disliked food before you bring the other parts of the meal to the table can help. Do your kids like beans? Perhaps this would be a good substitute for meat.

Good luck - but it really does sound like your kids are being very normal in this department. Try not to worry! (I know, it's hard!)

Kathie said...

One of my twins is a picky eater and the other will eat anything you put in front of him. I make them yogurt smoothies, throw in some strawberry or mango, some fruit juice and then some carrot juice and spinach or broccoli. The fruit hides the taste of the veggies and they suck it down! You can also add in some silken tofu. We eat so much yogurt that I have started making my own. It is so easy and saves so much money! Not to mention that the kids are not getting all the sugar from the store brands.

My kids do not eat meat...I will take lentils and cook them until they are very soft and then puree them into pasta sauce. They have very little taste but pack a serious nutritonal punch.

Good Luck!

Blogless A.R. said...

Have you tried offering some of those rejected "dinner" foods at the lunch table? Just in case it's a time-of-day thing, or that they associate certain foods with certain meals, changing up the menu order *may* trick them. Worth a shot -- but good luck!

Kelly said...

Like Jill said, it sounds your boys are totally normal when it comes to their eating. Maddie and AJ go through spurts where they eat everything in front of them , and then they only want fruit snacks :) We have a rule where they have to at least take what we call a "No Thank You" bite of everything on their plate. After that bite they can say "no thank you" to the rest of it. We started this around 1 year old, but didn't really enforce it (won't let them be excused) until they were around 2 or until we knew they understood us. They are pretty good about it now. Something that Maddie loves to do is take bites all together. She doesn't really like chicken, but if we all count to three and eat a chicken bite at the same time then yell "Forks Up!" with our empty forks in the air, she'll do it! (Several times actually, so she ends up eating most of her chicken) Good luck!

suzannah | the smitten word said...

dylan is going through a picky stage now--and honestly, it's more a power/control thing than about how foods taste, cuz sometimes she'll reject foods i know she likes. it drives me crazy!

we just keep offering the foods, and we've read that sometimes you need to present a food upwards of 15 times before they'll eat it. we try to make her try at least a bite, but making a huge battle out of it isn't worth it either for us. we try not to get too discouraged (or to make alternative meals.)

it's not uncommon for kids to eat more earlier in the day, so look at what they're eating overall and not meal by meal-the big picture is more important.

amy said...

LOVE THIS! Great ideas! My silly girls love food and eat anything... for now... I'm sure my day will come!