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March 16, 2005



Boys tend to be the worst about trying/liking stuff. Often they grow out of it, but my brother sure never did (he's now 45!) Very picky eater. And can't stand food touching other food. It would be HELL to be his wife. (It can be hell being his sister, on holidays and stuff). My son is a different story, and it has always blown me away. He will try anything (even when very young), and typically he will like anything. To the point where the very few things he doesn't like (oysters, mushrooms) you take very seriously because he HAS given them a solid "try" and made that determination. But on the other hand, he LOVES calamari, all forms of Japanese and other Asian foods, octopus, and some very odd things. That I don't think I would even try. I like most things, but compared to him, I'M A PICKY EATER!


You're smart to socialize your kids early. They'll learn how to hold polite dinner conversation and politely say yes or no to the foods offered. In the long run ... in the short run, keep that french toast handy!

As for 5:30 ... maybe you could keep the kids at bay with a snack before a later dinner. Apple slices?


I am surprised that with all the cooking you do, your kids have not expressed at least a bit of interest in what you or your husband are eating. Maybe if you included them in the cooking process, they might be more interested in eating what they are making. I have kids who have no trouble eating what is put in front of them, but then again, we have eaten with our kids, in front of our kids since they were born. In addition, they have strong choices when it comes to choosing where to go for dinner. While they like McDonalds, their first choice would be sushi, followed by Thai, Chinese, and they never met a steak they didn't love! In addition, they have wonderful table manners, and are never afraid to taste anything. Good for you for finally introducing real food into their diets.


In truth, they are pretty good about table manners, because they do always have to sit there, and we're always present. They've always been excellent with the "please" and "thank you" routine, etc. It's just the actual EATING that's a problem! ARGH!

We are loath to move dinner back any later, because they go (happily) to bed very early -- Julie around 7:00 and the other two around 7:30! They usually have a snack sometime before 4:00.


I should have explained better. We used to eat earlier, with them, and they always saw our food. They've all been picky since they were very small -- and my mom says I was the pickiest eater of all when I was little! They do like to cook with us, but they don't always want to try the results.

They've never been to a McDonalds, but they do like Chinese food! That's one of the few "dependable" meals we have together at this point!

There's just no explaining it. Why do two kids love pizza and one refuses to try it? Why do two kids love spaghetti and meatballs and one will only eat plain pasta? Why did two kids stop eating mac and cheese but one still loves it? And it's a different two-one split in each of those cases! It's maddening.


I find it best not to talk about their eating habits in front of them. It seems to me that if you make an issue of anything food related, then they never will eat. Kind of a control issue for them, because, really food is the only thing that they can really control. And by the way, my brother was the pickiest eater ever, and now eats everything. go figure


Go figure is right! We try to talk about it only in terms of "You need to eat some protein at every meal so you'll be healthy and strong." We'll get there, I'm sure...!


Sounds to me like you're doing great. And I believe every child and every parent is different so I give you my experience just as another data point. My daughter is 23 now and pretty healthy. She was a great eater but a sporadic eater. She might go 3 days eating very little and then she'd chow down for a day or two. I always told her she just had to try everything but didn't have to eat it if she didn't like it. When I made things I knew she liked and she didn't eat dinner my only rule was I wasn't making another dinner and I wasn't getting her something to eat at 7:30 when I made dinner at 5:30. So if she skipped dinner and then was hungry an hour later she got leftovers or could make a sandwich or even have cereal. If she ate all her protein one day and all her fruit another I didn't care as long as over a 7 day period or so I knew she was getting a balanced diet. But, again, that's our story and your mileage may vary. As far as manners, my daughter used to eat salad and spaghetti with her fingers. I let her do that sometimes but other times I told her we had to know how to eat neatly and politely so that when the queen came to dinner we'd be acceptable. When she was about 11 she told me she didn't think the queen was ever coming to eat with us.


Karen, it sounds like you are off to a real success here - next thing you know, they'll be finding recipes for you :-)


My pediatrician said the same thing -- don't worry about what kids eat each day, but rather look at a whole week's worth of eating. That works out pretty well for the girls, but Pete is a whole 'nother story. If he had his way, he'd eat nothing but carbs and milk. No wonder he's a beanpole! Sigh.

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