How to get my picky eater 5 yo to eat healthy

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Post  Tue, Sep 10 2019, 11:32 pm
My 5 yo is the pickiest eater ever. I end up letting her eat a sandwich or cookies or something else very unhealthy for supper because she cant starve. She has a bit of a pot belly and she cried to me while in bed tonight that her classmates made fun that her stomach is so fat.
Im stressing way too much about this. She has friends and is cute and I cant imagine that it really bothers her that much; I think she was just overtired. But kids dont realize how mean they can be, and I grew up thinking im the hugest fattest person around (I wasnt, now I am!) And I REALLY dont want her to be stressing about her figure when shes 5!!!!!
I work full day and get home exhausted, just a few minutes before this daughter does, but im willing to do things that will enable her to be healthier and thinner. I dont want to let her know im putting her on a diet, but I do want to! Any hints for the pickiest eater youve ever met?
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Post  Tue, Sep 10 2019, 11:45 pm
Can you sit down with her and plan a menu of foods she likes?

Have her shop with you for them and help prep?
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Post  Wed, Sep 11 2019, 12:00 am
The pickiness, the pot belly, the body image issue, and the friends making fun of her are all separate issues. I would recommend you start by reading ellyn satters book on feeding children. You should not be putting her on a diet. She also should not be eating cookies for dinner on a regular basis. Good luck! This sounds challenging but she’s young enough that you should be able to make improvements
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Post  Wed, Sep 11 2019, 12:07 am
I believe it does bother her. When I was in first grade, a girl said in front of everyone that my stomach was fat. I never ever forgot the embarrassment I felt in that moment. I later became anorexic , definitely not only because of this incident but it hurt me deeply.

What does your family eat in general? Maybe you can sit down as a family and decide to eat healthier. Nothing to do with weight. Just make a list of healthy meals you want to try out or healthy options for sweets like fruit.
I have a very picky eater aswell but she actually only likes vegetables and plain rice or plain pasta. So it's different. Sometimes we watch documentaries on Netflix about how good impacts the body and even if she still won't touch certain foods she says: this would be healthy for me .. maybe she will try them one day who knows. But I believe the focus should be healthy food, not weight.
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Post  Wed, Sep 11 2019, 12:14 am
What doesn't she like about healthy foods? Often it's the texture, so making smoothies or cooking differently can help.
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Post  Wed, Sep 11 2019, 1:08 am
For starters, don't keep cookies in the house. Then they're not even an option for supper. And she won't starve to death so don't worry about limiting her options. She doesn't want the supper, only a sandwich? Fine. Tell her she can have an egg sandwich or a tuna sandwich, those are her choices. If she's hungry enough, she'll choose one.

This shouldn't be about her weight. She's too young to start feeling bad about her body, poor girl. Kids can be so cruel. But it should be about instilling healthy eating habits. Don't keep junk around the house. Offer her whatever healthy choices that she will eat. If she lives off carrot sticks in peanut butter, fine, she'll be okay. Meanwhile try different recipes till you find something she likes (I went through three different meatball recipes before finally stumbling across one my kids would eat). One good way to do that is to make whatever unhealthy things she likes homemade, which makes it much better for you. For example, you can make homemade, from scratch, pizza or macaroni and cheese that are both far better than the kinds that come in a box, be they delivery or dry packaged.
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Post  Wed, Sep 11 2019, 1:28 am
First, five year olds are still supposed to have
little bellies. A child that age should not be thinking of her weight at all.
Second, a child who is offered a range of healthy foods won't starve. Keep a plate of cut fruits and or vegetables out when she comes home so she can have a colorful snack when she's hungry. Maybe she'll take some, maybe she won't. But eventually she will. I think the magic number is 14 - that is, for some kids, a food has to be presented 14 times before they try it. And that's fine.
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Post  Wed, Sep 11 2019, 4:13 am
What foods will she eat? Could be every kid would choose cookies over real food, but I have asked my pick 5yo son to choose a real food, and he often will. Some of his options are matzah with cream cheese, egg white omelet (if it has a drop of yellow, Hashem yishmor!!), cornflakes with milk, pesach lukshon noodles, pizza without cheese, plain cucumber slices, apple slices. I think a sandwich for supper is reasonable (not with chocolate spread though...), but cookies are not. I've also let my kids dip crackers in cream cheese on very difficult late nights.
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Post  Wed, Sep 11 2019, 7:19 am
She eats veggies and fruits. She wont touch any meat other than hot dog, and even that, shell only eat half of. I usually dont let her eat cookies, but sometimes I just do. Im a terrible mom, I know. All my other kids eat my suppers. Shell sometimes take a yogurt for supper but then complain that shes hungry. Just for everyone to realize, shes not obese at all. Just has a little belly.
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