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they love it, they hate it. Kids are fickle about food.

Posted by on Feb 24, 2011 in Blog Posts | 12 comments

Another danger of trying to cater to your child’s whims with foods is just that, they are whims, those kiddos are fickle little beasts!

Here is a list of things I have bought, either in true bulk, or a box of, based on a frevent declaration of “I really like these, Mommy! Can we have these?” Of note, most have been snack-type foods- meaning portable. I do get a little tired of packing meals, and snacks (I am the mom who shows up after school with another cooler with cut up pears, a little container of cream cheese and some crackers.) I really long for something I can tuck in my purse when I don’t have time or the will to pack the all-out snack.

These are things she tried, often poached from other kids, liked, I bought, then she wouldn’t touch them:

Cliff Bars
Soft granola bars
hard granola bars (Nature’s Best? Something like that.)
chocolate Fiber One bars (they were sampling them at the store)
those little pouches of apple-sauce
Simply Go-gurt from Yoplait, we have a Costco sized box of these in our freezer…
string cheese
cheddar bunnies

These are just to name a few. I remember one of my first clients with a picky eater was ecstatic when her son ate pesto and gnocchi at a restaurant, and they promptly went out and bought several kinds of pesto and gnocchi. Guess what, he wouldn’t touch them. Moms of picky kids, be prepared. Don’t get too thrilled when your little one loves something new one day. Resist the urge to stock your pantry with it, or serve it every meal and snack for the next 3 days. Chances are they won’t eat it, and that any begging, “But you loved it yesterday!” is likely to slow things down even further.

Serve what you want your kids to learn to like to eat, include something they can eat, and hang in there. All kids are hot and cold with foods. It’s normal. And in the meantime, I am trying to enjoy my Fiber One bars with go-gurt…

What have your kids flip-flopped on? Any surprises?

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  1. Michellers

    Most recently, my daughter just had to have goldfish for a snack to take to school, she asked about them constantly, but when we finally bought them she decided that they were too salty. I, of course, bought the metric ton box. Cue eye roll.

    Half the time I pick her up from school, she’s traded with a friend and eaten something else, anyway. So I send the goldfish and she eats…something else. I had to train myself to not ask about what she ate for snack, so I don’t ask what happened to the goldfish, either. Hope the other kid enjoyed them!

  2. Lisa

    More like what *hasn’t* she flip-flopped on. It’s probably because I’m a psychotherapist, but I think the whole I-like-this-now-I-don’t has more to do with power and control issues. I think it’s a way for them to assert themselves and experiment with differentiation. It can also be a great way to get under a parent’s skin – if the parent lets that happen. I generally don’t react (at least not in front of her but sometimes my eyes are rolling so hard they’re going to fall out!).

  3. jessidehl

    I have found that my kids seem to prefer a rotation of yogurt products. They’ll have a box of Simply Go-gurts, then we’ll do some organic drinkable yogurt, then different brands of cup yogurt. They get tired of food the same way I do (we’re all currently off eggs at the moment). We rarely have the prepackaged snacks because somehow they never get eaten. I also wish I could find something they would predictably eat that I could throw in my bag that didn’t require so much work. My kids will eat apples all the time but are on and off with oranges and bananas.

    • katja

      totally agree. Yogurt has been like that for us. We’ve tried lots with our months and months of really low interest in dairy foods. Go-gurt, the organic, the yoplait, frozen, not, fruit on the bottom… Our current fave is 2% Fage strawberry. We bought out Trader Joes! It’s really pricey (TJs has it for $1.32 each, I think) and Ive seen it at over $2.00 at Kowalskis. I love it though bc it’s got such a great balance. Protein, fat, carbs and my kiddo is crazy for it. it even displaced her “super sweet cereal” as breakfast food of choice!

  4. Jill Bloomfield

    I have an off and on love affair with grape tomatoes. Can’t explain why. Maybe the Go-gurts can become smoothies?

  5. KellyK

    Would that be Nature Valley granola bars maybe? I like those, but I have to be in the right mood for them, and have a drink, because of how crunchy and kind of dry they are.

  6. Heidi

    My son ADORED asparagus all last year. Then, in December, we served it twice and he wouldn’t even touch it. I made some for myself and my mom at the beginning of this month and ended up running short because he decided he once again loved it!

    • katja

      love it! That’s how it goes, and we keep serving it and hang in there. Chances are they will come around to food again, but it takes time. M seems to run hot or cold on bananas…

  7. Lillian

    The worst part is they expect you to remember all the food that they love or hate from one moment to the next. Do they love red peppers or hate them? I can’t remember. I could say this for about a dozen foods, maybe more. I go buy something like macaroni and cheese thinking I’m buying my kid a treat and find out that no one in the house will eat it.