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6 year old doesn't eat well
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6 year old doesn't eat well

My 6 year old will only eat... cakes, cookies, ice cream, vienna sausage, and pancakes.  Does anyone have any suggestions on how to get him to eat healthy foods?  I am on my last leg with this.  It has been going on for 3 years.  The pediatrician, said give him something to eat, if he doesn't eat, then just give him water to drink and nothing else until he eats.  

I can't do this.  Forgot to mention that he drinks chocolate milk also.  Help!! I am also looking for any recipes where I can add veggies and disquise it.
Tags: "eat, healthy, 6 year old, help
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I agree with your pediatrican, so long as there is food available a child will eat it when they are hungry enough. I would actualy suggest not buying it all together and putting what you have of it left up out of the childs reach.

I supose you could also try the bribery method too, if you are ok with it, tell them they can have a cooky or two once they eat real food.
Another thought to add to this not takeing away pancakes altogether, but changing it up with wholewheat and buckwheat pancakes, and while it's not exactly healthy my friend makes incredable pancakes with bacon and cheeze in them.. that would at least get some protean in thier system and might lead to more real foods.
I have to say I agree with your pediatrician.  He won't starve.  He'll eventually eat.  I always had a rule with my son that he had to try everything but if he didn't like it he didn't have to eat the rest.  
Swampy likes Trudie's suggestion.  You have to eat one bite -- either you like it or you don't, but it doesn't matter that you didn't like it the last time.

Now, having said that, it doesn't mean that you can't go out of your way to make healthier foods palatable for your child.

So lets go through the exercise: think about what your child likes:

cakes, cookies, ice cream, vienna sausage, and pancakes

What do all these things have in common? Well, for one thing, they are all sweet and they have a consistent texture. They are low acid.

They also are higher in fat than you would want as an adult, although for a child his age it isn't as terrible. Main problem here is bad habits developing later.

Kids have very sensitive tastebuds and can pick up spice use, and aside from mustard in the vienna sausages and vanilla in the other things there aren't all that many spices in the food he eats now. He is likely to regard a "green" taste in vegetables, and other spice use, as "yucky".

So, you have to come up with recipes that satisfy texture, sweetness, and acidity. These are the most likely new foods to introduce.

Later kids learn to appreciate texture of foods, and they slowly learn how spices make food tastier.

As an example only -- Swampy would try a meatloaf and mashed potatoes dinner:

meatloaf -- process the meat a bit so its more "pasty", add a little molasses and decrease the acid content. You would have to adapt a recipe.
mashed potatoes -- use a non-russet potato, 1% milk, some nonfat dry milk (why? you are boosting the lactose content which adds sweetness), some mild american cheese.

Also -- its important that you as an adult eat healthy around your child. Seeing adults eat food is a motivation to eat because big kids all eat. You do want to grow up and be a big kid, right?
He doesn't go grocery shopping so if it's not in the house in the first place, he won't have eating them as an option. Oh he'll throw a fit. He'll scream for a week. He'll get over it.  Make pancakes a weekend only treat and he'll learn to eat other things for breakfast too.  He can have chicken nuggets for breakfast if he wants them - doesn't have to be a breakfasty type food by no means.  

Change from regular chocolate milk to the 5 calorie moo milk flavoring packets. Less calories from sugar in his milk then at least. Make sure it's 2% milk or less you are buying.  

A pbj sandwhich is fairly  healthy if you aren't using plain ole white bread. Slowly start switching to higher fiber breads with more whole grains in.  I"m a fan of the natural peanut butters myself - taste more like real peanuts so you don't have to pile on several inches of it for flavor.

Get out the cookbooks and ask your son to help pick out recipes to make. Get him in the kitchen helping you when you can!

get those flat out wraps and make pizza's on them. put on sauce, cheeses and anything everyone in the family likes. even try barbeque sauce and chicken on them for something different.  Make it at home and you control the fat, sugar and salt better.  

Puree veggies in your spaghetti sauce too.  Carrots, peppers etc puree up in the sauce and give it far better flavor than canned sauce.

Many kids in general don't eat a lot of variation in their diet at that age and no they will not starve. Your pediatrician gave you good advice and unless your child is not growing or is under 10% on the growth curves, it is the best advice.  Children will eat when they are hungry. take the junk food out of the house and they will learn to snack on things like carrots, apples, yogurt etc.    Maybe even tell him that mommy and daddy have to change their diets because they need more vegetables to stay healthy.  Make it a game for all of you to keep him interested in between temper tantrums. And if he doesn't eat anything for a week, that's ok. The next week he'll start to eat something I promise you!  You just can't give in or he'll learn that he is the boss.


gracefromhp is right if its not there unless you send him shopping where does it come from ?Listen to your Doctor ...
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