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has anyone ever made radical changes to their kids' diet?

(22 Posts)
jasper Sat 05-Mar-05 00:10:30

has anyone made radical changes to improve /widen their kids' diet?

Two of my three (6,4,3 ) are limited in what they will eat.(fruit, bread, tuna fish, cheese, corn on he cob, mashed potatoes,pasta , pesto, chicken,meat, eggs, mince, breakfast cereal,broccoli and carrots sometimes, frozen peas, )They also like less healthy stuff (jelly, ice cream, chocolate, burgers, chicken nuggets) which they get at my mils house and sometimes from their dad but I try hard only to give healthy nosh albeit from a limited repertoir.

I would like them to widen their tastes a bit without making them miserable or giving them eating disorders.However they recoil at the idea of eating anything as complicated as a chicken casserole or a stir fry with a mixture of vegetables.


I laugh my head off at Anabel Karmel type suggestions for childrens food. My kids would rather starve .

Do any of you serve up new stuff, have the kids refuse to eat it and then give nothing till the next meal? Assuming you would not have to do this more than a couple of times!

HunkerMunker Sat 05-Mar-05 00:12:09

Can you try eating it in front of them yourself, then as and when they ask what it is, tell them it's for grown-ups and that it's too nice for them?

Gwenick Sat 05-Mar-05 00:16:13

That's what I did with DS1 - he was really picky for a long time - then one day I got fed up of giving him rubbish and started giving him what we eat. Even now he still picks at food (2yrs on) but he likes a MUCH wider vareity of food now - and because we so many different meals he's now intrigued to find out what's for dinner. When we first started he hardly ate anything for about 3 days - then realised he had no choice and started eating (favourites now include Spinach, sweet potatoes, beans (kidney, pinto etc not baked beans LOL) and butter squash)

wordsmith Sat 05-Mar-05 00:25:08

Jasper, that doesn't sound 'limited' to me!

Seriously I think perserverence is the only way. Try banging your head against a brick wall for a week as practice, then give it a go.

jasper Sat 05-Mar-05 00:26:01

hunkermumker I have always done that - I am always eating so plenty chance to sample different stuff. It works well on my 3yo who will try anything but the other two won't wear it at all.

Gwenick how old was your ds when you took a hard line with his diet? Well done for holding out for three days!

HunkerMunker Sat 05-Mar-05 00:26:54

Can you give foods different names? I wouldn't eat quince jelly when I was little, but pink jelly went down a treat

chipmonkey Sat 05-Mar-05 00:28:15

A good tip I saw somewhere was to put 5 bitesize morsels of different foods that they haven't tried before on a sideplate with their meal and tell them that they have to eat 3 out of the 5. Apparently if you keep doing this it really widens their palate. I keep meaning to do this but haven't gotten round to it. My sis puts a new dish in front of her dd and insists that she at least taste the food and has had some success. Her dp has a different approach. If their dd won't try something spicy he calls her a "wuss". Works every time!

jasper Sat 05-Mar-05 00:30:20

Thanks Wordsmith. I am torn between thinking they eat a good healthy (if limited) diet so should not worry and they are too young to force the issue, and thinking the longer I let them eat such a small range the harder it will be to widen the range.

Does anyone with older kids find they went from being fussy youngsters to wanting to try anything at age 8 or 9 or whatever?

Gwenick Sat 05-Mar-05 00:32:23

Ds was about 2 1/2yrs when we did that with him like I said he's still awkward eating his dinner (gets bored I think LOL) but when he does eat it's a much wider variety of food.

jasper Sat 05-Mar-05 00:33:11

chipmonkey that is an interesting idea, thank you.
At the moment I often give them something new and tell them they have to take two tastes of it to see if they like it and if they don't that's ok. My elder two always say they don't like it

HunkerMunker Sat 05-Mar-05 00:34:30

Jasper, I was a really fussy eater when I was younger. I've got better gradually, but there are still some things I will not eat (mushrooms, for one!). My dad used to say I should try things, because they might be the nicest thing I'd ever eaten. But they never were, so eventually I stopped trying things!

Gwenick Sat 05-Mar-05 00:35:07

My DS often says he doesn't like things - but I've learnt to recgonise when he's being awkward and when he genuinely doesn't like something.

I just tell him everything is 'yummy' and let him make his own mind up.

chipmonkey Sat 05-Mar-05 01:35:38

Ds1 went for 1.5 years saying dolefully,"I doe like it" when he was a toddler but now will try most things. He's 8.

jasper Sat 05-Mar-05 01:49:18

Anyone tried Humzingers?
Can we have an emoticon for irony?

singersgirl Sat 05-Mar-05 09:39:38

Hi Jasper, I made radical changes to my boys' diets a year ago to try and find out what, if anything, my older boy (now 6.5) was intolerant too. Because it was important to me to get him to eat the few vegetables he was allowed, I made lots of soup (swede, lentils, brussel sprouts, cabbage, celery, leek etc). I started with a teaspoonful for both boys before their main meal of something they liked eg chicken and mash. Then I gradually increased it and now they happily eat soups of all kinds (split pea, chicken, Scotch Broth etc).
I've recently started introducing the 'unpopular' vegetables steamed and I resorted to blatant bribery: "If you eat this brussel sprout/small portion of cabbage there are more chips". But it has worked - it only took them a couple of meals to get used to the taste and DS2 in particular will happily eat most vegetables I serve up.
But to be honest your kids' diet sounds pretty good to me! As long as they eat some fruit and veg etc I'm happy!

moondog Sat 05-Mar-05 09:42:08

How posh were you hunker, troughing quince jelly as a child!!?

HunkerMunker Sat 05-Mar-05 19:09:21

Moondog - it was homemade too My mum's super!

Mud Sat 05-Mar-05 19:16:32

my sister used to give her children a little bit of everything on their plates .. like she'd go to my mum's and mum would have cooked for the weekend and have it all in the fridge .. a fish dish, a meat dish, soup, pasta whatever ..and sis would get everything out and give them a bit of everything

she said it was very good for them to get a wide range of foods as it widened their pallettes

they are now 16, 14 and 12 and the fussiest bloody eaters in the world

2 of them are veggie ..but not normal veggie oh no, one won't eat cheese, the other won't eat egg, the carnivore won't eat potatoes or any soup

I think what I'm saying is don't make food an issue, just give them what they like and keep adding say one extra thing and encouraging them to try it

or go cold turkey and only make them what you're having

sister now makes 5 different meals at every meal-tiem

Mud Sat 05-Mar-05 19:17:04

what's quince jelly?

HunkerMunker Sat 05-Mar-05 19:19:18

Quince jelly is like a clear (pink) jam made from quinces that you have on bread (or can dollop into sauces to have with chicken). It's sharp and beautiful. Another good one is crabapple jelly - that's yummy too!

moondog Sat 05-Mar-05 21:35:50

Hunker,I make quince jelly 'cos they LOVE quinces in Turkey.
Soory mud, but more fool your sister!!! I wouldn't tolerate this for a minute.

Mud Sun 06-Mar-05 09:32:25

moondog don't apologise, you are totally right what a fool (very lovely person but where her children are concerned she's a bit of a fool)

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