Author Topic: The Picky Eater Teenager-help!  (Read 2769 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

guihong

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6452
The Picky Eater Teenager-help!
« on: October 24, 2013, 09:13:40 PM »
Hi all:

This isn't really an etiquette issue, so I put it here.  I could use some advice, particularly if you have knowledge of teenage boys  ;D.

DS13 is the fussiest eater I have ever known.  Tonight, I thought I was so smart for buying cold chicken from the deli and reheating it in the oven myself, for much less than hot chicken.  He said it "tasted weird"  >:(.

Maybe I need reassurance.  Here's what he WILL eat:

FRUITS
Loves apple juice
Occasionally will eat apple slices
Sometimes mandarin oranges (I buy the kind in water)

VEGETABLES
Loves corn, especially on the cob
Green peas

GRAINS
Loves spaghetti noodles (not the sauce; just the noodles)
Whole wheat bread
Hot rolls from the can  ::)
Dry Cheerios
Pancakes, waffles

MEAT
Sliced cold-cut turkey
Fried chicken (unless it's heated in the oven, apparently)
Nothing with flavorings or any sauces
Loves peanut butter (His daily requested lunch is two PB's on wheat bread and Wheat Thins.  He will drink a juice packet).
Lives for pulled beef from the crockpot, and steak (but it can't be 'wet').

DAIRY
Occasionally string cheese
Loves chocolate milk (I buy lowfat)
Eggs (scrambled)

I hope this isn't a medical thread (if so, apologies), but is he going to starve to death?  He's otherwise in good health, though having skin troubles, no allergies, illness, etc.  His doctor asks about his diet but doesn't seem too concerned.

He likes chips (I buy low-fat), and Chex mix, but absolutely no sweets and very little candy.  I think that's a plus!  He also gave up soda on his own.

I don't want to flap all over the place about this, as we're very close and I don't want to borrow trouble.  Do teens generally grow out of this?


« Last Edit: October 24, 2013, 09:17:34 PM by guihong »



Black Delphinium

  • The Black Flower
  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7420
Re: The Picky Eater Teenager-help!
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2013, 09:16:15 PM »
Some do, some don't. My brother never really did.
When angels go bad, they go worse than anyone. Remember, Lucifer was an angel. ~The Marquis De Carabas

Sharnita

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 21352
Re: The Picky Eater Teenager-help!
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2013, 09:30:38 PM »
Does DS prepare much/any of his own food? He might expand his eating habits if he was involved in preparing his food . Maybe even if he took some cooking classes?

MummySweet

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 566
Re: The Picky Eater Teenager-help!
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2013, 09:32:56 PM »
I might have been your son when I was a teenager (except the whole being a girl thing).  My food list was very, very similar except that I didn't like cheese unless it was on pizza.      I'm now 45 and my food range is much bigger.  I still prefer my food on the bland side, and I use very few condiments, but I eat a varied diet with all the major food groups well represented.  Peanut butter is still part of my daily intake and I consider it as its own food group. 

I added foods gradually during high school and college.  There was a certain level of peer involvement in this... I didn't want to seem too unsophisticated.   My range grew really quickly as my social life grew.  Again, I didn't want to stick out and I wanted to be included, so I made an effort to at least try things.

Your son may learn to eat more, he may not, but he isn't going to starve (you got him this far).   The only real concern that I would have about his present diet is that it is very carb heavy.  A lot of those carbs burn really fast, leaving a hungry hole.   It can be easy to take in more calories  per day than needed.   As a teen he should learn that he needs to be careful for his future health.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2013, 09:34:35 PM by MummySweet »

Nikko-chan

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2560
Re: The Picky Eater Teenager-help!
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2013, 09:33:33 PM »
I was that child, in a sense. Not that picky but I am here to tell you that yes, some of us do grow out of it. Turns out I am my grandmothers grandaughter after all, and will happily eat just about anything, and I love to try new things. There is hope.

flickan

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 192
Re: The Picky Eater Teenager-help!
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2013, 09:36:14 PM »
This looks to fine to me as far as nutrition goes.   It's not ideal but as long as he's eating some fruit and veg he's getting vitamins.  As a teenager his metabolism is probably in overdrive so all those carbs are just going to burn.

If he doesn't grow out of it he'll probably turn out like my spouse has.  I married a very picky eater and a texture-phobe.  He lives on mostly chicken nuggets, apples, spaghetti, bacon, and mexican food.  He won't touch rice, coucous, quinoa, 95% of fruits and vegetables, fish that isn't fried, and any kind of meat in a respectable chop or slab form.

Point is, he's not dead yet.  But I think most kids grow out of this.

andi

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1672
Re: The Picky Eater Teenager-help!
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2013, 09:37:32 PM »
I POD Sharnita based on a friend of mine - her son was mega picky till he hit about 15 and got interested in cooking. In two years his food choices have exploded - but now he's gotten obnoxious about how other people cook  ::). I think most kids grow out of the "picky" phase as long as there's no allergies and you keep offering a variety to him so he knows what's put there

Promise

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 335
Re: The Picky Eater Teenager-help!
« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2013, 09:38:37 PM »
We all have our preferences and food we prefer and food that actually makes us ill to eat/smell. He won't starve. And generally teens are very selfish. Life is all about them. I'm not saying this is true of you since you didn't talk about how you prepare meals, but in general, I truly think we train our children to be picky if we indulge their pickiness by allowing them to eat different foods than what we prepare. If we give in and make different meals for different people for every meal, we encourage that pickiness and in the end, rudeness to the chef.  What works best for many families is to prepare meals with the family rule that the family can only eat what is prepared. If they don't like something, fine, but they don't get to make something else. For instance, you make taco Salad and he won't eat the meat. Let him pick out the meat but don't let him fix a PB&J sandwich. Perhaps each person once a week gets to plan the meal. In that way, he gets his choice at least once a week.

Of course, not every meal should be something we know they don't like. While it might seem easier in the short run to indulge him, in the long run think about what that is teaching him in regards to behavior and the preferences of others.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2013, 09:42:59 PM by Promise »

mbbored

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5315
    • Budget Grad Student
Re: The Picky Eater Teenager-help!
« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2013, 11:33:53 PM »
My brother went to college essentially only eating only cinnamon sugar pop tarts, peanut butter sandwiches, plain noodles, cheese or pepperoni pizza, ham, plain ground beef or boneless skinless chicken breasts with no sauce. He drank orange juice, water or soda, but no milk. The only vegetable was tomato sauce on the pizza.

He's now a chef at a fancy restaurant and grows most of his own food. Going away to college provided peer pressure to try other foods and he got to try things because he wanted to, not because our mother was pushing him.

Slartibartfast

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 11615
    • Nerdy Necklaces - my Etsy shop!
Re: The Picky Eater Teenager-help!
« Reply #9 on: October 24, 2013, 11:43:33 PM »
Put him in charge of dinner once a week.  Let him pick what he's making and put the ingredients on the grocery list (although you can certainly exercise veto power if you want to).  Don't let him fall back on "let's order a pizza" - the goal is for him to learn how to prepare meals he actually likes.  Once he gets comfortable preparing food he *knows* he likes, he'll likely be a little more willing to expand out into things he would consider liking in specific dishes.  And by the time he gets through high school, he'll have plenty of confidence in the kitchen, so when he gets out on his own he won't be stuck only eating plain noodles and fried chicken.

(Says the woman whose husband's fruit list is similar to your son's.  DH likes apples, bananas, and orange juice.  And a list of exceptions: cranberries only at Thanksgiving, pineapple/orange only in Chinese dishes, pomegranite seeds in some salads, etc.  We work around it.  Although now that both DDs are fruit bats, we outnumber him  ;D)

ETA: an easy start is to make plain waffles and a variety of toppers - fruit, leftover fried chicken, peanut butter, whatever.  Or a shepherd's pie cheat (brown the hamburger, add in frozen or canned peas and mashed potato flakes, add enough water to make it not burn and simmer it until everything's cooked).  Or plain pasta with whatever he might eat on it (olives? artichokes? shrimp?).  Plenty of options with not too much work!
« Last Edit: October 24, 2013, 11:46:45 PM by Slartibartfast »

cicero

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 17363
Re: The Picky Eater Teenager-help!
« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2013, 11:58:03 PM »
No, he won't starve. And he may or may not grow out of it. Letting him learn to cook may help a bit, exposing him slowly to new foods ( especially * outside*, e.g., on a trip) may help.

My son is now 27 and his lust of foods that he Will eat is very narrow but I think it is related to other issues he has ( depression, asperger's ). What he is sometimes willing to do is try something new within an accepted food group, so if your son eats chicken * this way* then try chicken *that way*. With my ds I was adament that he eats healthy so luncheon meats, processed fake patties, etc were saved for rare occasions and the rest of the time it's homemade stuff

            Created by MyFitnessPal.com - Free Weight Loss Tools

Tea Drinker

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1305
Re: The Picky Eater Teenager-help!
« Reply #11 on: October 25, 2013, 12:45:53 AM »
We all have our preferences and food we prefer and food that actually makes us ill to eat/smell. He won't starve. And generally teens are very selfish. Life is all about them. I'm not saying this is true of you since you didn't talk about how you prepare meals, but in general, I truly think we train our children to be picky if we indulge their pickiness by allowing them to eat different foods than what we prepare. If we give in and make different meals for different people for every meal, we encourage that pickiness and in the end, rudeness to the chef.  What works best for many families is to prepare meals with the family rule that the family can only eat what is prepared. If they don't like something, fine, but they don't get to make something else. For instance, you make taco Salad and he won't eat the meat. Let him pick out the meat but don't let him fix a PB&J sandwich. Perhaps each person once a week gets to plan the meal. In that way, he gets his choice at least once a week.

Of course, not every meal should be something we know they don't like. While it might seem easier in the short run to indulge him, in the long run think about what that is teaching him in regards to behavior and the preferences of others.

Unless this applies to everyone in the household--meaning that everyone gets a rotating chance to say "we are having this for dinner, even though I know you don't like it," and the parents don't make themselves another meal or snack if they don't like what the teenager decides to prepare--that can wind up teaching the teenager that their preferences don't matter as much as other people's, and/or that they're the only person who is expected to either eat things they dislike or go hungry.

"If you don't like taco salad, you can pick up out the meat, make a peanut butter sandwich, or just eat the carrot sticks" seems like a better way of teaching people that they have to work with other people's preferences. Especially if you don't want, in turn, to have nothing but a peanut butter sandwich and an orange for your own dinner.

I was particular about vegetables when I was a child--I would eat about five things. My mother decided that the important thing was that I eat a vegetable at dinner every night, even if that was carrots, cooked or raw, or plain cucumber more often than not. I didn't get to turn down the carrots in favor of cookies, but I wasn't forced to eat cauliflower either. I didn't even like cauliflower when I was 25; I do now. People change, tastes change, and it doesn't help to teach children to think of vegetables as an unpleasant duty or even punishment.

OP, if you've discussed this with your son's doctor and they don't see a problem, maybe you should have your son prepare the vegetables he does like, so it doesn't make extra work for you on the days you want to serve broccoli or mushrooms instead of corn or peas.
Any advice that requires the use of a time machine may safely be ignored.

Jloreli

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 305
Re: The Picky Eater Teenager-help!
« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2013, 03:19:55 PM »
I agree on giving him an opportunity to learn to cook. It may help him expand his horizons eventually. Even if it doesn't it is still a good skill set to have.

If you are concerned about his lack of variety in fruits and veg, I would ask his doctor about a multivitamin just to be sure he is getting all he needs. If DS balks at taking it tell him the alternative is to eat more green stuff!  ;)

BeagleMommy

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2986
Re: The Picky Eater Teenager-help!
« Reply #13 on: October 25, 2013, 04:25:34 PM »
Some kids grow out pickiness; some don't.  Does your son's pediatrician know just how limited his food list is?  If not, you may want to tell him.

Over the years, my vegetable variety has expanded.  It used to be two:  corn or beets.  Now I eat almost all veggies.  Some I will only eat raw and some I won't eat at all.

Teaching him to cook is a good way to expand his culinary outlook.

Hmmmmm

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6252
Re: The Picky Eater Teenager-help!
« Reply #14 on: October 25, 2013, 04:42:47 PM »
If his weight is normal I wouldn't worry about it.

My teen is picky but (weird picky) and just doesn't like to eat enough unless it's one of his favorite meals. His pediatrician has had him on daily Boost shakes for years. He is very thin but he still keeps growing taller.