Does anyone have problems with picky eater???

triximkyFebruary 17, 2009

I am engaged to a man and we started having his 6 1/2 yr. old child over to our home for long periods of time and are finding out that his daughter is so very, very choosy when it comes to what she eats.

First, we give her a choice of at least 3 different dinners we can make and have her choose which ones she wants to eat. We cook "that meal" and then she says: "I don't like it", "I am going to eat dessert when I go home to mommy's.", etc.

We then found out that the mother gives her one meal and then give her dessert and then she cooks her another dinner that she will eat. She also goes out to eat almost every day and she isn't used to 'cooked meals'.

The mother gave us 'lists' of the child's favorite dinners, but we tried alot of them and they don't work, but we've found out that most of the items listed are either canned items or the 'out to eat version'.

I am sick of watching this child not eating and wasting food and time or having the idea that she will get her dessert after every meal she eats (not a good habit when the mother isn't feeding her well).

It just drives us a bit crazy......

Any ideas or thoughts other than keep going??

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That does sound like pretty extreme pickiness. I don't know how most parents deal with picky eaters b/c I was anything but and I don't have kids. But I would think the fairest thing you could do would be to pick a few reasonable items off the 'list' to have always as "back-ups" while at the same time trying to broaden her horizons a bit. Maybe she'll enjoy trying new things, maybe she won't, but it'll be up to her if she wants to eat the same old thing all the time. If she's being a brat about it, it's more like a game and if she wants to be "impossible to please" I don't think anyone would fault you for calling her bluff like: "Look, we've given you several options, and half of them are the things you eat all the time so we know you like them. If you refuse to eat ANY of the food we have in the house, I guess you'll have to go without dinner." (Of course this is only fair if she really does have options that you know for sure she will eat.) But if she really isn't a brat about it, she just could really be THAT PICKY and just has to have her set little things. Her loss if she never ventures beyond it.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2009 at 2:45PM
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SS is like that he is 13. It makes me so mad. I had him tell me that my Chilli was disgusting, and that is his favorite food. I ate MIL's Chilli and it was completely different then I make. My Chilli has beans and meat and is like soup. My MIL is almost completly pasta with a random bean and very little juice.

We keep a large supply of Chicken nuggets and french fries and frozen pizza. My kids aren't picky so when they are over I find myself cooking crap that is like that. What I refer to as "lunch foods" I was stuck cooking that for a while and my kids were tickled to come home and find that I had cooked "real food." It does drive you crazy. I hope you work it out. But if they allow her to eat like that there isn't much you will be able to do about it. Or at least I don't know what it is. You can't really tell BM that she can't give DD a treat if she wants. When the girl is 300lbs and won't eat anything but bon bons you can say I told you so.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2009 at 2:55PM
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I have a VERY picky eater as well, and quickly learned to cook ONE meal for the family and that's it, and not tolerate "That's disgusting" comments because they're rude. I'll try to choose something I think/know the child will like, and if I see the kid isn't eating it, I won't mention it either. You really can't MAKE a kid eat without getting into a really nasty power struggle, which, IMO, isn't worth it. But if dinner isn't eaten, then there's also no dessert, since "Clearly, you weren't hungry."

Now that my very picky eater is older, I allow him to cook his own dinner, provided he cooks it himself, cleans up himself, and times his meal so that it's ready for him to sit down and eat with the rest of us. It also has to be reasonably nutritious - so PB&J and an apple was good.

My suggestion is to focus your actions to avoid the power struggle and avoid becoming a 'short order cook.' If SD is trying to press your buttons, just pleasantly make them 'press-proof'.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2009 at 3:09PM
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I agree with Sweeby. Make one meal for the family. Don't give choices anymore. My thing with my child and skids is that they have to try everything on their plate. I give them small enough portions that they can eat it all. I dont accept the not liking veggies thing because they need that nutrition!

If they play "not hungry" or refuse to eat....fine it gets wrapped up and put in the fridge in case they get hungry when others have dessert! I do not engage in power struggle...been there-done that! I once spent way too much time in a restaurant trying to force my son to eat a piece of toast he ordered and put jelly on and then decided he did not like!

As for desserts we try to go healthy sometimes and we don't have dessert every night. My son loves to make smoothies....some cut up fruit, yogurt, ice, and a little sugar. Or dessert may be some strawberries or cherries...fruits that are a bit more expensive so they are not usually a snack around our home. We also have the ice cream sundae nights or baking cookies, etc.

There were two posts the other day on the parent forum about eating may want to check them out.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2009 at 4:09PM
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Another thing this child does is she will eat pork chops (for example) and will chew them up, 'suck the juice out', and spit them out on to her plate or the floor, which ever comes first. She also deconstructs her food into little take all her fish sticks open them up and pick the 'fish' out or take a piece of pizza and separate it on her plate into piles and eat each pile separately.

I am not used to such a picky eater and I think I get stressed out just watching her....I guess that's my little 'pet peeve'...

    Bookmark   February 17, 2009 at 7:16PM
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Of course, she cleans the floor?...

And for her table manners, the best cure would be one of her friends or favorite relatives (not you!) pulling an eeeew gross!" face when she does that.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2009 at 7:37PM
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