Picky teenage eaters

Filed under: Teens, Nutrition: Health, Development/Milestones: Babies

My son has always been a picky eater. When he was younger, I spent hours coming up with ways to get him to eat healthier or to devise ways to disguise food so that he might like it without knowing what it was. This started the "sniff and sneer." He would get his food, look at it questionably, and then lift the plate to his nose and sniff it. Most of the time, he would also make a face and put it back down.

I would insist that he try it, but by that time, he had mentally convinced himself that he hated it and even forcing it in his mouth would bring on a grimace. People continually told me that he would outgrow his pickiness, but as the teenage years approached, it only got worse.

Kyle has never liked cheese. What kid doesn't like cheese? He won't even eat pizza unless the meat is on top of the cheese so he doesn't have to taste it. He now eats in the lunchroom at school, so I have a lot less control over what he's eating when I'm not around.

There are times when he eats non-stop and I have to make sure he's not eating an entire box of cupcakes or eats a huge serving of meat with nothing else. I buy a lot of fruit, and that seems to work, but the balanced meal issue is becoming a problem. Also, with the scares recently in the news about meat recalls, I want to encourage him to eat more vegetables and a lot less beef. Lately, it seems that Kyle's diet consists almost totally of beef.

There are numerous suggestions out there for how to get younger children to eat healthier and ways to include healthier choices in their menu. How in the world do you do this with a picky teenager who can't be fooled by food disguises?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.