Advice for children ages 6, 3 and 16months


Lunaloveknit

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Hi tomorrow marks day 8 for us, we have a 6yr old, 3yr old and 16month old. I have a few questions regarding them.

My biggest problem is my 3year old, she was sick most of the first 5 days, we suspect a virus coupled with detox. She is finally up and running again and requesting to eat, but she only wants fruit and meat. She is picking all of her veggies and pushing them to the side. I've been refusing her fruit except for small servings when we have a little more time between meals than planned(I've had a few oops running late meals :/ ) I am thinking refusing her fruit period is the answer to the fruit problem, but with her not eating much else I need reassurance that I'm not starving her! An example of what she ate today:

Breakfast-(30-45 min from waking) I cooked scrambled eggs with broccoli and carrots and reheated her the lone pork chop from the night before. She only ate the meat. (The day before she had only eggs and veggies-not touching and she ate maybe 3 bites of the eggs before giving up)

Lunch-(3.5 hours after breakfast) Chili, she ate maybe a a quarter of the bowl herself, then I spoon fed her a bit more. She was asking to eat again about an hour later, which I figured she would because I didn't find the meal to be well rounded, but it was all she would agree to.

Snack-(2 hours after lunch) I picked up Larabars while grocery shopping, she ate 1 bite and said she didn't like it. So she had a few cherries when we got home.

Dinner(2.5 hours after snack) Chicken, carrots, green beans and sweet potatoes that I layered like a shepards pie in hopes it would prevent her from picking. She pulled the veggies off the chicken ate maybe 3 bites of chicken and said she didn't like it(the kid LOVES chicken). She then cried for fruit, which we refused.

Where do I go from here with her? Do I just continue on and completely cut out what little fruit she already gets or should should I continue to give her some fruit? My 6 year old understands that we are 'limiting' our fruit intake, but she doesn't.

Speaking of my 6 year old, we are having trouble with him eating enough at a meal. He will eat most if not all of a plate I make him and sometimes go for seconds which he usually doesn't finish, but 30-60 minutes later he is hungry again and asking for a snack. Is this something that will resolved its self as we continue on? How can I go about teaching him to eat enough at one sitting or am I not feeding him the right things? At dinner tonight he ate 2 full servings of 'shepards pie' which I thought was progress, but then 30 minutes later he asked for the left over plate on the counter and ate it all.

Now my 16 month old, opposite of his older brother and sister, eats 2 servings at every meal and almost always finishes what the others don't eat, but by time the next meal comes around and I am cooking he is at my feet screaming with hunger. Should he be having snacks? He wakes every morning and I can't get breakfast cooked fast enough, he screams and cries until it's on the table in front of him. Same goes with lunch and dinner. He is getting much more well-rounded meals than the others as he eats everything my husband and I eat, but is ravenous by time the next meal comes.

I am looking forward to everyone's suggestions!

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I have 3 girls of similar ages (7, 4, 20mo). Our "rules" are you get what's on your plate & you are required to take 3 bites of each item (they determine the size of the bite - my 20mo doesn't really understand this rule so it doesn't quite apply yet to her). Then what they do or don't eat is up to them. I read a while back that as parents you are only responsible for what food you provide for your children, they are responsible for what they do or don't eat. It's hard to cook meals with their tastes in mind and then have them only eat the 3 bites but you have to let that part go. They will eat when they're hungry. We don't eat between meals with the exception of one daily snack at 3:30. I offer one of the following for them to choose from (sometimes leftovers or whatever is in the pantry, but these options are their favorites): one piece of fruit, hard boiled egg, larabar, or nuts with dried fruit. If I have made a non-whole30 paleo muffin (usually a veggie muffin sweetened w applesauce) this is when they have it. Likewise if we have sweets or special food in the house, they get it here on rare occasion.

We do a piece of fruit for breakfast but not any other time except the snack option. It sounds rigid but it's really not, if we've been super active we eat more during snacks or whenever it's needed, if we aren't going to eat at normal times I let them eat a little something before the meal (ie we usually eat dinner at 5:30, if we are going to dinner and can't eat until 6:30, they'll get something to hold them over). These are rare occurrences & honestly the kids don't ask anymore for snacks and more fruit. They know what they've got is what their options are - sometimes they don't eat but a few bites of a meal, but that's their decision and they know when the next meal is. It took a while to get to this point but as long as you stick to your plan, they'll learn that negotiating won't work.

If I'm trying out a new recipe that I'm pretty sure they won't touch, I make sure 1-2 of the other things on the plate are something they'll eat if they're hungry (they'll eat broccoli, cauliflower rice etc if they're hungry and don't like the other stuff, if they like the other thing - like chicken strips, they won't touch the veggies).

I guess what I'm trying to say is that not allowing power struggles during meal times has really helped my stress levels regarding healthy eating and getting them on a schedule has helped them learn to manage their hunger (over time).

Good luck!!! :)

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I wouldn't be hard core with your three year old on this first try.  My kids sobbed the first time I switched them to Paleo!  Absolute, heartbroken sobs over some cereal, other stuff.  This second time, they are doing much better.  I've been Paleo since September and have finally amassed a collection of recipes that everyone likes.

 

I do sneak veggies into everything - lots of shredded carrots end up in all sorts of things - sliders; applesauce; paleo muffins.  I made them paleo brownies with a sweet potato base.  I made them smoothies with spinach hidden - those smoothies turned into popsicles.  They love chocolate chili, which has a ton of veggies.

 

I think the trick with kids is to hide the veggies.  My son actually _asked_ for pureed carrots the other day! (with a sprinkling of brown sugar and ghee).  Brown sugar may not be whole30 or paleo, but I can tell you, the tiniest sprinkling of brown sugar on top had my son guzzling about a cup of carrot puree.

 

Occasionally I will back down from paleo to "gluten free".  My kids were heartbroken the other night when we went out for Mexican and they could not have tortillas.  I reneged and let them have corn tortillas.  Happy kids, ate the rest of the meal.  Worth it.

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I'm not strict with my 3, almost 4 year old. She still has oatmeal with raisins and applesauce for breakfast and a Pediasure juice box. She still occasionally gets Goldfish or pretzels for a snack. Her lunch and dinner, however, are what we eat. I don't stress too much because if there's fruit or bell peppers in the house, she asks for those over other stuff and I only get the smallest argument over our "you will take at least one bite of everything on your plate rule". She understands veggies make you "big and strong" and while I keep the bad stuff to a minimum in the house, I'm not going to worry too much. I'm just going to teach her how to make good choices and let her feel for herself how things affect her. Coming from the lens of an eating disorder, I don't want to turn food into a power struggle/control issue - which is my own personal trigger. She eats well 80% of the time and is healthy. I can be happy with that.

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I also wouldn't worry about giving healthy snacks to the kids at this point.  We try to keep the meals for the six year old as compliant as possible but he still eats plain yogurt and some sprouted grains.  I don't keep him from cakes or pizzas at parties.  Right now we are hoping to equip him so that he knows what fuels his body healthily and what makes him feel bad at the end of the day.

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Thanks ladies! I guess in my original post I should have stated that my 3 year old is one of the main reasons we are doing this. She has food sensitivities to dairy and gluten. Over the holidays certain family members disregarded our request not to feed her without asking us first and she got pretty sick to her stomach, and the effects usually last weeks. We are looking at healing her, so I'm pretty set with being strict. I have noticed a great improvement in her tummy issues so far, no more extreme bloating, she isn't eliminating loose stool in her panties every time she passes gas and she has way less gas.

I have decided to add smoothies to their day as an afternoon snack, and I will load those up with veggies.

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After eating clean for a week or so, those paleo baked goods can be pretty good.  My kids are quite content to eat "dinosaur cupcakes" when we go to parties.  Glad your three year old feels better when eating clean.  With my kids, talking about our big reasons for eating like dinosaurs helps them recognize that what we're doing is really a big deal and something worthwhile (at least until they hit grade school!)

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We have a rule - the person who feeds my fetal alcohol syndrome severe adhd children off plan - gets to be in charge of them until they come off their high, which may last a week while they ricochet around the house.  Christmastime was horrible with the school wanting to give my kids treats all the time.  I am so glad it is January.

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We have a rule - the person who feeds my fetal alcohol syndrome severe adhd children off plan - gets to be in charge of them until they come off their high, which may last a week while they ricochet around the house.  Christmastime was horrible with the school wanting to give my kids treats all the time.  I am so glad it is January.

 

I told the camp counselor over the summer that if they gave DS another multi-colored HFCS popsicle that I was bringing him to their house at 4 am when he was bouncing off the walls.  They backed away slowly and didn't give him anything like that again.

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