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How do encourage DS to eat a wider variety of food.

(16 Posts)
puppie Wed 07-Oct-09 11:32:23

DS is 2.1 and I am worried he isnt getting enough nutrients from his dinners. He seems to eat alright at childminders house during the day although I do think the food she gives them is not as healthy as I would like.

He will only eat three different dinners.

Fish pie (made with peas, sweetcorn)
Turkey pie (made with grated carrot and onions)
Mince with (hidden veggies) and Sweet potato

I would like to give him a different dinner every night instead of just rotating the same three all the time.

whenever I try something new I'm met with 'No ike it' its pushed back at me and he refuses to eat it even though I give him no other options.

Any ideas about what hes gauranteed to like (apart from the obvious unhealthy stuff)?

BornToFolk Wed 07-Oct-09 11:41:20

Just read about Muffin tin monday on another thread and thought it seemed like a really good idea for getting kids to try things.

Can you try something new alongside one of his favourites?

puppie Wed 07-Oct-09 11:52:12

BornToFolk I LOVE that idea! DS does love novelty.

I often try something new with his favourites but it is never touched.

MissWooWoo Wed 07-Oct-09 12:03:44

I'm going through the same thing with my daughter, 2.4

Tuna Lasagne (hidden veg)
Spag Bol (hidden veg)
White fish or chicken with tomatoes (of which she just sucks the insides out!)

New things are either licked and then cast aside or not tried at all. Have spent countless hours preparing meals that go straight in the bin. Am hoping it's a phase hmm

Would welcome any ideas too

sockmonkey Wed 07-Oct-09 12:13:05

Children can be very visual about food IYKWIM. That muffin tin idea looks good.
DS1 & 2 would not eat jacket potatoes with cheese, but will eat "potato boats", which is the same thing, but potatoes are chopped in half, cheese mashed in with a "sail" made of a straw and paper.
Funny faces made of food work well too.
Fussy eaters are hard work aren't they.

MissWooWoo Wed 07-Oct-09 12:22:26

I wouldn't mind so much but DD used to eat all sorts ... mash potato used to be one of her favourites but now won't go near anything resembling a potato product, even shock chips

Like the potato boats idea - that might work.

puppie Wed 07-Oct-09 12:27:45

MissWooWoo when DS goes off something he used to like I serve it with a dollop of tomato sauce and that sometimes gets him eating again as he loves tomato sauce.

MissWooWoo Wed 07-Oct-09 12:33:13

DD loves tomato sauce so much that this is all she will eat if it's on the plate!!! Although now wondering if squirting it all over rather than putting on the side might work?

Fennel Wed 07-Oct-09 12:39:05

I bribe with puddings or sweets. Or I put things they're less keen on like veg first when they're hungry and waiting for the main meal (e.g. frozen peas in a pot as a starter).

One of mine was appalling at just 2, I think it's the worst age for food fussiness, they do get better as they get older if you keep pushing it a bit.

puppie Wed 07-Oct-09 13:32:05

Thanks Fennel. I do hope it gets better. It doesnt help with childminder feeding th kids things she KNOWS they will eat regardless of how good they are etc (nuggets, chocolate mousse)

Pyrocanthus Wed 07-Oct-09 13:52:05

Keep offering the sort of thing you think he should eat, but don't push too hard. Add a couple of unconcealed veggies on his plate with his favourite meals. Encourage him to try, but again, don't force.

Eat good food in front of him, so he can see that you enjoy veggies, spuds, etc. It's a very gradual process, but you might see sudden leaps forward during growth spurts, or when he feels like being more grown up.

Don't make any assumptions about what he might like - my DD (9) still doesn't like peas or cucumber, but likes swede and sprouts (though didn't when she was 2).

Soups and pasta sauces worked well for hidden nutrition with my fussier DD. Don't think there are any guaranteed hits though.

Sometimes they just do eat better away from home. Mine were more adventurous at nursery than at home.

Never give up serving the things you think he should eat, but never get too wound up about refusals.

A repetitive but healthy diet isn't a problem for him, but I know how boring it is for you...

meep Wed 07-Oct-09 14:01:55

puppie I tried tomato sauce with my 2.3yo dd1 and she had a melt down crying "no jam, my no like jam, noooooooooooo"

we are currently stuck on a loop of "my want fishfingers" and she has refused to eat tea for the last 2 nights in a row.. Her 6mo sister eats more than her at the moment. I wish she would eat any of the 3 meals that your ds eats.

sjcmum Wed 07-Oct-09 14:04:07

Definitely comes in phases - so keep offering a range of things - and don't give in to give them something different. There are various things my DD would eat at 1 or 2 which she won't eat now (proudly telling me I liked them when I was 2 but not when I'm 3). But at the same time there are other things that she has started to eat.

Definitely makes a big difference all eating together. We eat dinner early with the kids, so she sees us eating different things. Sometimes I won't give her exactly the same as us - like last night the casserole was pureed up and made into a pasta sauce for her - but other times she just picks out the bits she doesn't want.

As others have said - try not to worry too much, pressure is the last thing he needs as and long as he's getting a mix of things, even if a limited mix, then that's fine. Good luck!

MumOfAPickle Wed 07-Oct-09 14:13:26

my DS (19 months) was struggling with finger food until he wanted to try some of my houmous (my starving hungry healthy snack while he has tea!) and its turned him around. He'll happily eat most veg/meat/potato as long he's got a bit of "dip dip"

Its really tough though especially if you've got an active/skinny one. I hate it when mine refuses a meal and usually cave and offer something I know he'll eat blush

puppie Wed 07-Oct-09 14:19:26

Pyrocanthus your'e right, I do tend to make assumptions about certain foods and dont even try some thinking "well if he doesnt like potato then theres NO WAY he will like swede" IYSWIM. I'll try not to do that, maybe he will surprise me!

grin@meep. My DS(who loves vanilla yoghurt) wont eat the yummy expensive one with the real vanilla in it because of the microscopic black specks. Maybe I should count my blessings with the food he DOES eat though.

sjcmum unfortunately while I totally agree about eating together unfortunately during the week it isnt possible for us as we both work full time and get home at 6.30 so DS gets meals I have cooked and frozen over the weekend with any added extras I want him to try. We eat together at weekends though.

MunkyNuts Wed 07-Oct-09 16:04:00

Check out this thread. It had loads of useful advice on it including putting a selection of things in bowls in the centre of the table so DC can choose what they want to eat.

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