My 10 year old son has been an extremely picky eater since he was about 9 months old. He refuses to eat any meat aside from chicken nuggets, bacon, and sausage. He will eat vegetables, raw and uncooked, which is great, but at one point he was diagnosed with anemia, due to the lack of iron in his diet. He will not eat beans of any kind. There is such a limited amount of things he is willing to eat, it has become a struggle at every meal. We have tried everything from making him eat it which results in gagging and screams and tears, to letting him go without if he doesn't eat what's on his plate, which leads to triggering a migraine which he suffers from, to one instance ending up in the ER with severe dehydration. My fear, not only that he not be in good health, but in the extreme case, have all the fighting and forcing possibly leading him to having some type of eating disorder late on in life, or who knows what? Can anyone relate to my situation? What methods have you tried, what methods have worked, do I ignore it for the most part, let him eat what he likes for now and will he simply grow out of it? HELP!!
Answer on What do I feed my ultra picky eater?
It's just about discipline. Being a picky eater is a luxury. They don't have that problem in Africa.
Take a two pronged approach to turn him around.
1. Put all of your food out of reach so he can't get to it. Use locks if necessary. No snacking without permission. He can drink as much water as he wants, but if he's hungry it's his own fault.
2. Put more effort into your meals. When I was growing up, I knew a lot of kids who were extremely picky eaters. And when I ate over at their house, I realized that most of them had parents who were crap cooks. Dry, tasteless meat mixed with mushy vegetables and no bread was pretty much the norm. Way too much reliance on microwaves and tomato sauce.
Instead of eating at 5:30 and rushing to cook after work, eat at 6:30 and give dinner the attention it deserves. Get a cookbook, pick a recipe, and do a good job of it. If he eats it, don't make a big deal out of it. Don't make it awkward and act as if he's caved by eating your food. Too many parents do that, and they wind up pushing their kids farther away from them. Just be cool about it and treat him like anyone else at the table.
If he doesn't eat it, he's going to be hungry. I've seen parents save their kids unfinished meals and serve them again for breakfast- in my opinion, that's a grotesque power trip that only breeds resentment. When he gets hungry enough, he'll eat.